The experimentation cannot be conducted even if its motives are laudable, he said. “It’s a very good idea to look into the causes of miscarriage,” he said, adding that such research should be conducted through ethical experiments on animals and not on human embryos.
The sustaining of human embryos outside the womb for research is not licit, he explained, especially when they are discarded after a period of time.
“Procreation is all about respecting the dignity of the human person. And creating an artificial womb where the child is completely disassociated from the mother for nine months, or even just a few weeks,” he said, “all of that is completely contrary to the dignity of the human person.”
“And so these kind of experiments where they will actually be killing human beings are never something that can be done,” he said.
The Church sets ethical restrictions on research out of respect for the human person and not out of animosity toward science, he said.
“The Church is very pro-science,” he emphasized. “We always put the human person at the center of science, not to be experimented upon, but to be actually helped.”
In Donum Vitae, the Vatican CDF stated “[t]he human being must be respected - as a person - from the very first instant of his existence.”
“Medical research must refrain from operations on live embryos, unless there is a moral certainty of not causing harm to the life or integrity of the unborn child and the mother, and on condition that the parents have given their free and informed consent to the procedure,” the document said of direct therapeutic treatment.
“If the embryos are living, whether viable or not, they must be respected just like any other human person; experimentation on embryos which is not directly therapeutic is illicit,” the Vatican said.
“No objective, even though noble in itself, such as a foreseeable advantage to science, to other human beings or to society, can in any way justify experimentation on living human embryos or foetuses, whether viable or not, either inside or outside the mother's womb.”