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SAN BERNARDINO—Bishop Alberto Rojas continues to be an outspoken voice of encouragement for local Catholics to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

 On June 8, he released a video message urging the faithful to be vaccinated that was posted on Diocesan digital media with plans to air it on local television and radio throughout the month.

 “Right now, this is the best way to prevent the spread of the virus, to protect ourselves and our loved ones from sickness, and to return our society to normalcy,” the Bishop says in his message.

 The Diocese continues partner with the public health departments of both San Bernardino and Riverside counties to provide the vaccine at several parish sites. In May, Bishop Rojas made a point to clarify the preferred vaccines for Catholics and announced that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would not be offered at any parish vaccination sites. His May 21 states in part,

 “As we have previously stated publicly, information provided by the Vatican states that the vaccines developed by Pfizer and by Moderna do not utilize cell lines that originate from fetal tissue of an aborted baby for the design, development or production of the vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, on the other hand, is morally problematic because aborted fetal tissues were used in its production. Therefore, we have informed our partners at both the Riverside County and San Bernardino County departments of public health that we will not distribute the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at any of our parish sites. We will continue this practice, utilizing only Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, as we expand vaccination clinics at our parishes during the next six months.”

 The Bishop also defined the conditions under which receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be morally acceptable.

 “… we support the position of U.S. Bishops’ committees on Doctrine, and Pro-Life Activities that if the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines are not available, it is morally permissible for a person to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as a means of protecting their life and health.”