Scotland Catholic Cardinal Plans to Criticize Gordon Brown on Cloning Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scotland Catholic Cardinal Plans to Criticize Gordon Brown on Cloning Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 21
, 2008

London, England ( — Scotland Catholic Cardinal Keith O’Brien plans to criticize British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during his Easter sermon for advocating legislation that would promote human cloning. Brown is behind the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that would allow scientists to clone human-animal hybrids.

Pro-life groups, including Catholic Church leaders, have strongly opposed the bill.

"One might say that in our country we are about to have a public Government endorsement of experiments of Frankenstein proportion – without many people really being aware of what is going on," O’Brien will say.

"It is difficult to imagine a single piece of legislation which more comprehensively attacks the sanctity and dignity of human life," he’ll add according to a transcript of the prepared speech the Daily Record obtained.

Describing the attempt to promote human cloning as "hideous", "deathly" and "grotesque," Cardinal O’Brien will also criticizd Brown for not allowing members of his Labour Party to have a free vote on the bill.

"It seems that Labour MPs are not to be allowed a free vote on this Bill and, consequently, are denied the right to vote according to their conscience – a right which all other political parties have allowed," the Catholic leader’s speech indicates.

Brown will allow Catholic and pro-life MPs to abstain but not vote against the cloning bill. Members of the Conservative Party will have a conscience vote and will not be held to the party’s position.

"If I were preaching this homily in France, Germany, Italy, Canada or Australia, I would be commending the government for rightly banning such grotesque procedures," O’Brien is expected to say.

"However, here in Great Britain I am forced to condemn our Government for not only permitting but encouraging such hideous practices," he’ll add.

The Daily Record said O’Brien plans to call on Catholics to lobby their MPs and encourage no votes on the human cloning bill.