.- The Catholic Church will not and cannot base its teaching on opinion polls, said Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio in reference to the embryonic stem-cell research debate. The archbishop was responding to an opinion piece, written by Kevin Eckstrom, titled “Galileo's ghost haunts Catholic Church” (Religion, July 23).
“To constantly bring back Galileo's "ghost" and judge the Catholic Church by a 17th-century event is like judging the veracity of the medical community because in the past it used bleeding and leeches,” he wrote, commenting on Eckstrom’s pieces. “Not even Galileo's telescope would look that far back.”
The archbishop pointed out that the Church is not opposed to all stem-cell research; it supports adult stem-cell research, which does not require taking human life.
“We prefer and pray that those who are suffering be healed, but we must never let the end justify the means,” the archbishop explained. “The Church cannot change its commitment to protect all life, from conception to natural death, just to win the public opinion polls.
“The Church is not asking people to make a choice between embryonic life and the lives of those struggling with disease. It is asking us to consider the absurdity of creating human life only to destroy it,” he continued.
“With faith, love and compassion, the Catholic Church encourages society to do all that is morally possible to relieve suffering and protect God's precious gift of life,” he said.