British archbishop attacks embryo research
The Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, has sharply criticised a controversial move by Britih politicians to allow research using cells from human embryos.
On Tuesday night, MPs backed proposals by a majority of more than two to one to allow scientists to take cells from embryos at a very early stage. Prime Minister Tony Blair was in favour.
Opponents say the decision is the start of a slippery slope toward human cloning. The government argues it could help develop cures for a range of killer diseases. Britain is the first European country to make the move.
"I was gravely concerned at the result of the vote last night. Where is this morally wrong road going to end?" Murphy-O'Connor, asked. "Embryos are the beginning of human life and entitled to respect. After all, where did you and I begin?"
Scientists believe stem cell therapy offers enormous potential to treat and cure degenerative disorders and illnesses, but the technique involves cloning and research on human embryos, and therefore conflicts with Catholic moral law.