Pope John Paul has condemned the cloning of human embryos and called on scientists to respect the dignity of human beings.
    But, speaking at an international scientific meeting in Rome, he has encouraged organ transplants and organ donation, providing there is no commercialisation of human body parts.
    The BBC reports that he made the unusual decision to travel from his summer residence to a congress hall on the city outskirts, where doctors and scientists are holding a six-day international congress on organ transplants.
    But he warned that any attempt to commercialise human organs or consider them as items of barter or trade must be considered morally unacceptable.
    He went on to condemn all experiments in the cloning of human embryos, even with a view to obtaining new organs for transplant.
    These techniques, the Pope said, insofar as they involve the manipulation and destruction of human embryos, are not morally acceptable, even when their proposed goal is good in itself. He pointed scientists toward adult stem cells as the acceptable route for research in this field.
31 Aug 00

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