Brazilian bishops question validity of “referendums” on origin of life

.- Auxiliary Bishop Odilo Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo and Secretary General of National Conference of Bishops of Brazil warned this week against the idea of a referendum on the beginning of life and the dignity of human embryos. Referring to the referendum taking place this weekend in Italy on a controversial law on assisted fertility, the bishop said other countries have followed suit in proposing similar decisions.

Speaking to the Fides news agency, Bishop Scherer said it was “contradictory that, after all of the scientific advances, people pretend not to know that the embryo is a human being during the first 15 days of life.”

He added that scientific and anthropological facts come to precisely the opposite conclusion, that is, that “the beginning of human life occurs at fertilization.”  Therefore, “if the embryo is not a human being from the first moment, it will never be one.”

Bishop Scherer noted that in vitro fertilization or the production of embryos for storage or freezing results in “serious ethical and anthropological problems” and therefore legal measures that do not respect human dignity and make human beings objects of use and manipulation “can never be accepted.”


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