Top Catholic Official Says Human Cloning More Dangerous Than WMDs

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 28, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Top Catholic Official Says Human Cloning More Dangerous Than WMDs Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 28, 2004

The Vatican ( — Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a leading Vatican spokesman on theological issues, said during a debate with a a writer for an Italian newspaper that human cloning is more dangerous to the sanctity of human life than weapons of mass destruction.

"Man is capable of producing another man in the laboratory who, therefore, is no longer a gift of God or of nature. He can be fabricated and, just as he can be fabricated, he can be destroyed," Ratzinger said, according to a Zenit report.

Ratzinger, who is the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the power that human cloning gives to mankind, to be able to create and destroy human life so easily, proves "he is becoming a more dangerous threat than weapons of mass destruction."

The comments came Monday in a debate Ratzinger had with Ernesto Galli della Loggia, a professor of history of political doctrines and writer for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The comments come at a time when the United Nations is considering whether to ban all forms of human cloning or allow it for research purposes.

With member nations unable to strike a compromise between competing proposals to ban all or some human cloning, the United Nations appears to be holding off on a vote until after the presidential elections.

Some nations believe the direction the UN should take will change drastically depending on who wins.
Nations are divided between a U.S.-Costa Rica proposal sponsored by 63 countries that would ban human cloning for both reproduction as well as research and a 20 member bloc led by Belgium behind a plan to ban only reproductive cloning.

That leaves a large contingent of nations somewhere in the middle, with many preferring to wait either another year to study the issue further or to postpone a vote until after the U.S. presidential elections.

Should President Bush be re-elected, he will continue to press to ban all human cloning.

However, if John Kerry wins, the U.S. position is expected to change as Kerry has co-sponsored a bill in the U.S. Senate that allows human cloning for research.