.- In an effort to provide more information on the Catholic Church's position on stem-cell research and human cloning, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is publishing a one-page flyer in a clear, easy-to-read question-and-answer format.
The flyer is entitled "Stem Cell Research and Human Cloning: Questions and Answers" and is intended for distribution in parishes and Catholic organizations across the country. It will also be available on the USCCB Web site.
"Stem-cell research has become a highly visible issue," says William Cardinal Keeler, chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities, "but some public statements have spread more heat than light. Many people fail to distinguish between different kinds of stem-cell research, and that obscures the moral issue at stake. Through this resource, we hope Catholics can arrive at a more informed perspective on one of the fundamental moral issues of the 21st century."
According to stem-cell expert Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, director of education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center: "To have an informed debate, people need to be aware of what the real parameters of the discussion are."
The flyer shows that the Catholic Church is not opposed to medical research and innovation, even in the area of stem cells. However, it states the Church's undeniable commitment to human life and its opposition to the destruction of human embryos for research.
"Stem Cell Research and Human Cloning: Questions and Answers" bulletin insert, No. 5-665, 100/$10.00, is available August 30, 2004. To order this resource or to obtain a catalog of other USCCB titles, call toll free 800-235-8722. In the Washington metropolitan area or from outside the United States, call 202-722-8716.