Cardinal George Pell is urging Catholics to lobby senators to vote down a bill that would legalize therapeutic cloning, calling it an affront to human dignity. The proposed research process involves the destruction of human embryos.
The cardinal-archbishop of Sydney told The Australian that all Christians hold the protection of innocent life as a basic human value and an issue of justice. This view, he said, is not only theological but based on natural law.
Natural law, he continued, consists of “broad ethical principles accessible to everyone, which place the protection of human life above the casual or commercial curiosity of scientists."
"We pray that Parliament will make a decision based on universal ethics, not on populist rhetoric," Cardinal Pell reportedly said.
The Australian conducted a survey of senators last week. The survey results suggest that a private member's bill, which would lift the ban on cloning, is likely to be passed next week.
Doctors opposed to cloning launched a $100,000 newspaper advertising campaign yesterday. The campaign argues that adult stem-cell research holds more promise than research using cloned embryonic material.