Pope Tells Catholics to Oppose Human Cloning, Embryonic Stem Cell Research

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 23, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pope Tells Catholics to Oppose Human Cloning, Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 23, 2004

The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — Pope John Paul II told Catholics around the world to ensure that the progress of science doesn’t trump ethical considerations when it comes to issues such as stem cell research and human cloning.

The Pope said that scientists who engage in human cloning have an "arrogant belief that their project is better than the Creator’s design." He said researchers should no manipulate human beings for their own purposes.

In a statement released on Sunday, the pontiff said those who defend practices such as human cloning differ from Biblical principles.

"The results achieved in various fields of science and technology are considered and defended by many as a priori acceptable," the Pope said in a statement released on Sunday. "In this way, one ends up expecting that what is technically possible is in itself also ethically good."

"The way taught by Christ is different: respect for human beings," the Pope continued.

The Pope warned that some people perceive "truth and justice as something modeled around the work of man himself."

Instead of relying on embryonic stem cell research, where unborn children are killed days after their creation to obtain their stem cells, the Pope urged the scientific community to pursue medical advances, such as the use of adult stem cells, that recognize the dignity of human life.

The Pope’s comments come just weeks after British officials gave university researchers the go-ahead to clone unborn children with the express purpose of killing them for their stem cells.

This is not the first time Pope John Paul II has advocating opposing human cloning or taken a stand to promote the value of human life.

Last week, the Pope spoke to more than 300,000 people at a mass in France.

"I appeal urgently to all of you, dear brothers and sisters, to do everything in your power to ensure that life, each and every life, will be respected from conception to its natural end," the Pope said. "Life is a sacred gift, and no one can presume to be its master."

Expanding on the Catholic Church’s pro-life policies on assisted suicide and euthanasia, the Pope in March said that removing the feeding tube of a disabled patient is immoral and amounts to "euthanasia by omission."

Pope John Paul II also said that the lexicon used to describe such patients — as being in a "vegetative state" was degrading and inhuman.