Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Health Updates
In response to concerns expressed by the faithful regarding the potential spread of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) into our communities, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston continues to monitor the health situation in the 10 counties within the Archdiocese.
Updated December 8, 2020
Cardinal DiNardo's Statement on the Moral Permissibility of Recently Announced Vaccines for COVID-19
Some individuals and groups are publicly asserting that if a vaccine is connected in any way with tainted cell lines then it is immoral to be vaccinated with it. This is an inaccurate presentation of Catholic moral doctrine and I would like to offer some clarifications regarding the moral permissibility of using the COVID-19 vaccines developed by the companies Pfizer and Moderna.
Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development, or production. However, these vaccines are not completely free from any connection to abortion, as both Pfizer and Moderna made use of a tainted cell line for one of the confirmatory lab tests of their products. There is thus a connection, but it is relatively remote and should not be the basis for refusing to receive the vaccine.
A third possible vaccine, this one produced by AstraZeneca, is morally concerning because of its origins. However, according to Catholic moral teaching it is also acceptable to receive it for the sake of our own health and the health of others if it is the only vaccine available in a given place.
It is morally permissible to receive the COVID-19 vaccines which will be available for distribution in Texas beginning this month.
On this Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary we unite ourselves more closely to the intercession of the Mother of God as we pray for an end to the Coronavirus pandemic. Please be assured of my continued prayers for the clergy and lay faithful of the Church in Galveston-Houston.
El 2 de diciembre, el gobernador Abbott anunció que el gobierno federal distribuirá una asignación inicial de aproximadamente 1.4 millones de dosis de vacunas COVID-19 en Texas durante el mes de diciembre. Estas vacunas serán administradas por proveedores calificados.
Algunas personas y grupos afirman públicamente que si una vacuna está conectada de alguna manera con líneas celulares contaminadas, entonces es inmoral vacunarse con ella. Esta es una presentación inexacta de la doctrina moral de la iglesia católica y me gustaría ofrecer algunas aclaraciones sobre la permisibilidad moral del uso de las vacunas COVID-19 desarrolladas por las empresas Pfizer y Moderna.
Ni la vacuna Pfizer ni la de Moderna involucraron el uso de líneas celulares que se originaron en el cuerpo de un bebé abortado en ningún nivel de diseño, desarrollo o producción. Sin embargo, estas vacunas no están completamente libres de conexión con el aborto, ya que tanto Pfizer como Moderna hicieron uso de una línea celular contaminada para una de las pruebas de laboratorio de confirmación de sus productos. Por tanto, existe una conexión, pero es relativamente remota y no debe ser la base para negarse a recibir la vacuna.
Una tercera posible vacuna, producida por AstraZeneca, es moralmente preocupante debido a sus orígenes. Sin embargo, de acuerdo con la doctrina moral católica, también es aceptable recibirla por el bien de nuestra propia salud y la de los demás si es la única vacuna disponible en algún lugar.
Es moralmente permisible recibir las vacunas COVID-19 que estarán disponibles para distribución en Texas a partir de este mes.
En esta Solemnidad de la Inmaculada Concepción de la Bienaventurada Virgen María nos unimos más estrechamente a la intercesión de la Madre de Dios mientras oramos por el fin de la pandemia del coronavirus. Tenga la seguridad de mis continuas oraciones por el clero y los fieles laicos de la iglesia en Galveston-Houston.
Updated April 29, 2020
With increased vigilance against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), The Archdiocese continues to monitor developments and will communicate any new recommendations or updates as soon as possible about this dynamic and evolving situation.
April 29 - Phased Reopening
On April 29, following Governor Abbott's recent announcement concerning a phased reopening of the State of Texas, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has notified its parishes that they are permitted to begin "Phased Reopening" this weekend, May 2-3, with an emphasis on social distancing, masks, and sanitation. Each parish is empowered to choose if they wish to celebrate Mass, and how to comply with state guidelines. Elderly and vulnerable parishioners are encouraged to continue to livestream Mass for now. - Read the full announcement here.
In a letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese, Cardinal DiNardo wrote:
"On one hand, this closure of churches to the public has been necessary for the safeguarding of public health, and we must continue to be mindful of the advice of governmental authorities. At the same time, I have heard the continued pleas of so many of the faithful and priests for access to the spiritual strength and nourishment of the sacraments after enduring so many weeks of stay-at-home orders. Therefore, I believe the time has arrived to look forward to how this local church can cautiously resume some of its essential activities." - Read Cardinal DiNardo's Letter to the Faithful here.
During this time of reopening, all people coming to churches, including clergy and staff, should wear masks to cover their nose and mouths.
The obligation to attend Mass is dispensed until further notice. Those who may be ill; suffer from chronic health conditions; have a compromised immune system; are over the age of 60; or are uncomfortable attending Sunday Mass due to concerns due to COVID-19 are encouraged to remain at home and not attend Mass. Read the full message here.
Cardinal DiNardo continues to encourage unity in prayer for the faithful of the Archdiocese with a new Prayer in the Time of the Coronavirus.
Online Masses and Liturgies
Though parishes in the Archdiocese are continuing regular Mass schedules, a number of Catholic churches will be streaming weekend Masses. To view Mass times and streaming websites, visit this dedicated webpage.
Influenza & Coronavirus information links
Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern, according to the CDC. The faithful can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses with these simple actions.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Why? Read the science behind the recommendations.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Are you at higher risk for infection?
Source: Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov)
- Center for Disease Control - Español
- CDC Resources for Community- and Faith-Based Leaders
- CDC - Fact sheets, handouts and posters - Español
- What to do if you are sick - Español
- Frequently Asked Questions (CDC) - Español