Loading
Missouri Bishops take campaign against stem cell research to the pulpit

.- Missouri Roman Catholics who attend Mass Sunday can expect to hear a homily against embryonic stem cell research and a statewide petition drive aimed at allowing Missourians to vote on a constitutional amendment to protect the research.

Earlier this month, the bishops of the four dioceses that make up the Catholic province of St. Louis decided to direct priests to convey the church's position from their pulpits this Sunday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that the Catholic church is using the first Sunday of Advent to launch a campaign aimed at keeping Catholics from signing the petition, and to teach them the Catholic view of the issue.

The Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, which includes business interests, universities and patient groups, announced the petition in October. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan approved the petition last week. The coalition has already begun airing advertisements.

The initiative is believed to be the first of its kind. Some believe its success could help fuel a national movement to protect stem cell research through state constitutional amendments.

It isn't just Catholics who are opposed. In June, the editor of "The Pathway," the Missouri Baptist Convention's newspaper, called embryonic stem cell research "highly speculative and dangerous" and "the greatest moral issue facing Missourians since the state ratified the 13th and 14th Amendments abolishing slavery."

Former Republican Sen. John Danforth is the honorary co-chair of the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, and an ordained Episcopal priest. He said initiative opponents should ask themselves two questions.

"First, do you believe the cells in the Petri dish are the equivalent to a 10-year-old child with a disease that may be preventable with this research?" he said. "And second, if you do believe that, do you believe the government should pass legislation to enact that religious proposition?"

The Catholic church believes embryonic stem cell research destroys human life and is therefore akin to abortion. Church leaders, however, say they support adult stem cell research.

In a letter to his priests dated Nov. 10, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke told them: "Without an understanding of the true nature of the 'Initiative,' Catholic voters may be inclined to sign the petition. In order to avoid Catholic voters succumbing to the false promises and statements made by this initiative's proponents, it is important that voters in our parishes receive appropriate scientific, moral and ethical information."

The bishops also have asked every Catholic parish to hold an educational event to discuss the topic.

"The whole purpose is to educate the public that this coalition wants to amend our constitution to give free rein to do whatever scientists want to do with our embryos," said Molly Kertz, director of the St. Louis archdiocese's Respect Life apostolate.

In a recent column in his archdiocesan newspaper announcing the campaign, Burke wrote about the "intrinsic evil" of embryonic stem cell research, and the moral consequences of signing the petition.

"To sign a petition favoring the initiative is to promote the culture of death which tragically besets our nation and constitutes a cooperation in the destruction of human lives at their very beginning," he wrote.

In a sample homily provided to each Catholic pastor in the state, the Missouri Catholic Conference suggests the priest end with, "Our hope and our prayer this day is that - by our words and actions as faithful Catholics - we can shape the policy of our state over this next year so that our state laws and policies respect human life at its very beginnings."


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
17

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Gospel
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Homily
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: