by Steven Ertelt
November 28, 2005
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — As promised, priests throughout Missouri on Sunday shared a message from the state’s Catholic bishops opposing embryonic stem cell research and urging the state’s residents not to sign a petition to put a vote on supporting it on the November 2006 ballot.
A group of advocates of the embryonic research, which involves the destruction of human life and has yet to cure any patients, announced their petition drive last month and have already run television commercials across the state.
At St. Peter Catholic Church, across the street from the state Capitol, the Rev. James Smith compared the experimentation on tiny unborn children to the gruesome Nazi experiments on Jews during World War II.
"The similarities of the arguments behind the destruction of life by the Nazis and the use of human embryos (for stem cell research) are scary," he told hundreds of worshippers at a morning Mass, according to an AP report. "There are real human lives that need our support and protection."
"Human embryos are not potential human beings. Human embryos are human beings with potential," John Weaver, deacon of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Columbia, told worshippers Sunday, AP also reported.
Rev. Thomas Keller of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis said, "The destruction of human life, even in it’s embryonic form, is something that is evil that we don’t want to participate in. We want to educate our folks that there’s more to the story than simply saying this is a type of research on human cells."
Pro-life groups and the state’s Catholic leaders oppose the petition effort because, if approved by voters, it would allow human cloning for research and the destructive embryonic stem cell research.
Backers of the petition must gather 145,000 valid signatures by May 9 to ensure their issues will appear on the November ballot. The drive will begin in two weeks after signature gatherers undergo a training course on collecting them.