Vatican City, May 18, 2017 / 09:26 am America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis said that there is no outcome that can justify the use or destruction of embryos for scientific purposes – even for the commendable cause of trying to help those suffering from incurable diseases.
“Some branches of research, in fact, utilize human embryos, inevitably causing their destruction. But we know that no ends, even noble in themselves, such as a predicted utility for science, for other human beings or for society, can justify the destruction of human embryos,” he said May 18.
Pope Francis spoke during a meeting at the Vatican Thursday with people affected by a rare and incurable genetic brain disorder called Huntington’s disease, along with their families and caretakers.
His comments were significant given the massive slate of members from the medical and scientific communities who treat the patients with Huntington's and perform research on how to prevent the disease or slow its progression. Present were some 1,700 people from 16 different countries. Sponsors for the event included major corporations such as Virgin Airlines.
There are several ethical problems surrounding the research on Huntington’s disease, including the use of embryonic stem cells taken from embryos made through in vitro fertilization.