Loading
Vatican denounces “monstrosity” of hybrid embryos

.- The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Bishop Elio Sgreccia denounced as a “monstrosity” the new norms approved this week in Great Britain by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which allow the creation of animal-human embryos for the purpose of extracting stem cells for use in the treatment of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Proponents of the new ruling held up a  “support” survey of two thousand people who have no knowledge of the issue as evidence that the research should go forward.

With the newly granted permission to create hybrid embryos (part animal, part human) three teams of British scientists—one from King’s College London, one from the North East England Stem Cell Institute, and one led by Ian Wilmut, whose team cloned the sheep Dolly—will begin experiments to introduce human DNA into a cow egg in order to create embryos that would be 99.9 percent human and .01 percent animal.

Investigators argue that this macabre norm is needed because of the lack of human ovums for research. In response Bishop Sgreccia explained that up to now, international law prohibited this kind of genetic manipulation “because of the offense against human dignity” that it constitutes, “because of the risk of producing monsters” and “because of the morally high significance.”

He said the British government had “caved into a request from a group of scientists that it seems to me goes against the will of the majority and certainly against the morality of not only of Catholics but also of other religious groups and defenders of life, and against all rational morality, which up to now has been quite clear in all of the international treaties.”

Bishop Sgreccia said the scientists’ justifications were “mere excuses” for defending the indefensible and that experiments that are inhumane and illicit “cannot be carried out, not even with the hope of achieving a degree of success.”

“Success, if it exists, should come through human means. Good should be achieved through decent means; otherwise we are applying pure Machiavellian ideology to science and to scientific experimentation when what is at stake is human dignity,” he emphasized.

Likewise, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life recalled that experimentation on a living human being and its subsequent elimination has up to now only occurred in concentration camps.  These experiments were forbidden by the Nuremberg Codes and the Helsinki Declaration.  It’s important to emphasize that even though some labs are going to carry them out, that does not make them licit,” he said.

Bishop Peter Smith of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, also weighed in on the unprecedented ruling saying, “Human begins have one sole nature, specifically separate from animals,” and therefore nobody should wonder if it is “correct to exceed the limits of the species and try to mix human and animal natures.” “Instead of promoting this kind of ethically problematic research, why not encourage research with adult stem cells which is not controversial?” the bishop asked.  “The Catholic Church is not against this kind of research and encourages that which is done with stem cells extracted from the blood and from the umbilical cord,” he stressed.


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

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
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: