.- Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, has said that "destroying human embryos is equivalent to an abortion."
In an interview with the Italian Catholic publication Famiglia Cristiana, the cardinal spoke of life issues and the state of the family.
He said scientists involved in research with human embryos, including embryonic stem-cell research, could be excommunicated. He also affirmed that excommunication is still applicable to persons who receive, perform or support abortions.
Commenting on the family, he said recent legislation and a lay culture that is hostile to marriage are dismantling the institution of marriage piece by piece.
“The idea of marriage as a universal good, as the basis of society, is disappearing,” he said. There is even a tendency to say that the family infringes on the freedoms of single people, he added.
The cardinal expressed his concern that there is a tendency to create new human rights. “This is happening with regards to abortion, which is a crime, and instead it is becoming a right. John Paul II had already said it in Evangelium vitae. Life is no longer sacred or untouchable, but it has become fluid in the hand of man, who can decode when it begins and ends.”
He added that the Catholic Church is concerned that, "even talking about the defense of life and family rights is being treated as a sort of crime against the state in some countries - a form of social disobedience or discrimination against women."