Pennsylvania bishops issue document on stem-cell research

.- Pennsylvania bishops released a document last week, clarifying the Church’s teachings on stem-cell research. “Questions and Answers on Stem Cell Research” explains why embryonic stem-cell research is morally unacceptable. "At a time when public policy makers are considering spending taxpayer money to finance various bio-medical research initiatives, it is appropriate to consider the moral impact of such research," said Dr. Robert J. O'Hara, Jr., executive director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, said the ethical teachings of the Catholic Church could provide a framework for decision-making and the understanding of stem-cell research.

“The Church encourages the development of human understanding in this area in a manner that respects the sanctity of human life at every stage," he said when the document was released.

The bishops also pointed out that the Vatican Instruction on Respect for Human Life states: "no objective, even though noble in itself… can in any way justify experimentation on living human embryos or fetuses, whether viable or not, either inside or outside the mother's body."

The document is available at www.pacatholic.org

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