Pope Uses 26th Anniversary Speech to Discuss Stem Cell Research Concerns
by Steven Ertelt
October 19, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Pope used the occasion of the 26th anniversary of his election as pontiff to discuss concerns about embryonic stem cell research and to call on pro-life advocates to strengthen their efforts to protect human life.
Pope John Paul II spoke of "threatening shadows" hanging over the human race, including "scientific research [that] sometimes put to the service of the selfishness of the strongest."
"What stronger aspiration is there than that of life?" he asked.
"And yet on this universal human aspiration threatening shadows are gathering — the shadow of a culture that denies the respect of life at all its stages," the Pope explained.
The Pope has taken a strong stand against human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
In August, he 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.
"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.