"Being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good.”
-These quotes are from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Pope Francis & Pope Benedict received the vaccines at the beginning of 2021
Here are articles about Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI getting the 1st dose and 2nd dose of the vaccine:
Before we look at the Catholic Church's statement on Johnson & Johnson, let's first look at the first statement from the Diocese of Peoria which summarizes info from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) about Moderna and Pfizer vaccines:
As you have most likely been made aware, the United States Bishops have approved the use of the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccines for Catholics (see The Catholic Post, Sunday, December 20, 2020, page 5) as an “act of charity” in light of the public health risks of the pandemic. In response to the vaccines, the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life and Doctrine stated this,
“People may in good conscience use the vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, which made only limited use of those unethical cell lines (for lab testing of the vaccine).” Moral theologians refer to this as “remote material cooperation.” The Vatican has agreed with this position as outlined in the US Bishops’ statement. We must encourage the continued development of non-morally compromised cell lines for future vaccines from all drug-manufacturing companies. At this time the Church allows the use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to combat Covid-19 if you choose to be vaccinated. If you would like to read the complete statement of the US Bishops on the “Moral Considerations Regarding the New COVIS-19 Vaccines” go to the USCCB website at http://www.usccb.org/moral-considerations-covid-vaccines
Later, after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine began to be administered, the USCCB issued another statement regarding concerns over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine:
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recently approved for use in the United States:
The approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States again raises questions about the moral permissibility of using vaccines developed, tested, and/or produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines.
“Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines raised concerns because an abortion-derived cell line was used for testing them, but not in their production. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, was developed, tested and is produced with abortion-derived cell lines raising additional moral concerns. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged that ‘when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available … it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process. However, if one can choose among equally safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen. Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.
“While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good.”