The Catholic Weekly 30 August 2020 $2 30, August, 2020 COURSE COMBATS MAFIA ON MARY BAPTISM SHOCK AFFECTS MANY P12 ... We flag to you that any COVID-19 vaccine cultured on a foetal cell-line will raise serious issues of conscience for a proportion of our population.” Letter from Australian Archbishops THREE FAITH leaders have written to the Prime Minister of their disappointment at the deal the federal government has struck for a coronavirus vaccine to be produced using cells linked to electively abort- ed human foetal tissue. The letter was signed by leaders of different Christian traditions: the Catholic Arch- bishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher OP, the Anglican Arch- bishop of Sydney and Met- ropolitan of NSW, Dr Glenn Davies, and the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdio- cese of Australia, Archbishop Makarios. The three were compelled to send the letter following the announcement the gov- ernment had signed a letter of intent with drug company As- traZeneca to secure theOxford University trial vaccine and mounting pressure to make it mandatory for Australians. The Oxford vaccine is ethi- cally controversial as it was de- veloped using a cell-line from a human foetus which was electively aborted in the 1970s. The prelates urged Mr Morrison to instead make an ethically uncontroversial vac- cine for COVID-19 available to Australians if one becomes available from the many clin- ical trials underway globally which do not involve foetal cell lines. They called on him to not make the Oxford version mandatory if adopted, and to ensure no one is pressured to accept it “against their con- scientious religious or moral beliefs or disadvantaged for failing to do so”. “While we accept that the proposed vaccine may be sufficiently remote from the abortion that occasioned the derivation of the cell-line, we flag to you that any COVID-19 vaccine cultured on a foetal cell-line will raise serious is- sues of conscience for a pro- portion of our population,” they wrote. Bishops call PM to pause Australian prelates unite to urge Scott Morrison to seek alternate ethical COVID-19 vaccine ¾ ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues At 100, Dennis still a Rat with Faith A CENTURY on, one of the last surviving Rats of Tobruk still recalls how prayer and faith got him through the toughest of battles. Dennis Davis, a 100-year- old WWII veteran and pa- rishioner of St Bernadette’s Parish Castle Hill, recalls how prayer and faith got him through the toughest battles of the war in an exclusive interview with The Catholic ¾ ¾ David Ryan Weekly . “I carried my rosary beads with me all the time, always in my right hand pocket throughout the Siege of Tobruk and throughout the whole war – every day of my life,” he said. Dennis, a member of the 9th Division of the Second Australian Imperial Force, lived through some of the most gruelling battles of the Second World War - in- cluding the Siege of Tobruk, and the two battles of El Al- amein. Today, Dennis lives in his Castle Hill home and walks one kilometre every morning to attend Mass. With over a century of life behind him, Dennis of- fers advice, encouragement and inspiration to young Catholics are struggling with unique 21st Century chal- lenges during a pandemic and a recession. His advice? “Keep the faith.” STORY ON PAGE 3 Mr Morrison told media he would like a coronavirus vac- cine to be “as mandatory as possible” with “a lot of encour- agement and measures” to get a high level of acceptance. But Federal HealthMinister Greg Hunt went further, flag- ging censures for people who refuse a coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available, such as potentially stripping government assistance pay- ments or denying access to child care or kindergarten en- rolment. “We have absolutely kept on the table concepts such as ‘no jab, no play’, ‘no jab, no pay’,” Mr Hunt told media this week. Archbishop Fisher, a bioethicist, said that he per- sonally did not believe it would be unethical to use the Oxford vaccine if there was no alternative available as it would not be co-operating with a past or future abortion. “But I am deeply troubled by it,” he said, noting that its use would also be unneces- sarily socially divisive. CONTINUED ON P6 ARCHBISHOP FISHER P6 The ultimate source: major ethical concerns hang over the govern- ment’s plan to use vaccines developed from aborted babies. P14 Dennis Davis, one of the last Rats of Tobruk, advises young people today to ‘keep the faith.’ PHOTOS: GIOVANNI PORTELLI