Sunday, July 16, 2006

Stem cells and the Catholic Church

Attack on the science behind stem cells by a prominant cardinal (Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo). One man!! CATHOLIC stem cell researchers could be banned from taking Holy Communion, relieved of church duties and even denied a church burial.

Head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, Trujillo is the most senior Catholic official so far to proclaim on the morality of stem cell research. "Destroying human embryos is equivalent to an abortion," he said. "Excommunication will be applied to the women, doctors and researchers who eliminate embryos and the politicians that approve the law."

The arrogance and ego are too much, aren't they? Who does this man think he is to make such threats. God? Now that is arrogant!

It remains unclear whether Pope Benedict XVI supports Trujillo. Nor was it clear whether the threat applies only to researchers who destroy embryos to extract embryonic stem cells, or whether it extends to researchers who later work on the derived cells. Probably anyone he doesn't like. Me? I'm worried now.

Many scientists are horrified. Chris Shaw of King's College London, who has a licence to create cloned embryos to study motor neuron disease, says that if stem cell researchers are to be punished for "abortion", so too should Catholic couples who use the pill or intrauterine devices.

It sounds like disgusted would be a better word than horrified. Condemning very ill people to a worse future. Very compassionate for a man of God.

"This amounts to religious persecution of scientists," says Julian Savulescu, an ethicist at the University of Oxford. "Presumably God will be the one to judge the scientists, not Church leaders."

We are back to the days of Galileo. If the Catholic Church does not get its way then it plays with the life of the mature living. To deny beliefs after death? And to speak of destroying human embryos. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. But not particularly surprising.

What are these people? Who do they believe they are to threaten such action "to get their way"?


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