The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher (Image: AAP/Bianca De Marchi)

The Vatican has spoken. Well, maybe. Or maybe not.

Australia's most senior clerics have -- to be charitable -- muddied the waters when it comes to COVID vaccination. The question appeared to be settled last year by the Vatican which ruled that Catholics should be vaccinated. The reasoning was that the common good should override individual ethical concerns. Done and dusted. Or so it seemed.

Yet In Tasmania, Hobart's Archbishop Julian Porteous has begun a push for priests who have a "conscientious objection" to COVID-19 vaccines to be allowed to work in aged care homes after a vaccine mandate comes into effect at the end of this week. His case is based on the fact that some vaccines have been developed using cell lines from aborted foetuses from 50 years ago.