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Pope says don't let humans play God

Pope John Paul has said that not all advances in biotechnology were morally legitimate and urged mankind to resist the temptation to play God.

"Life cannot be considered a possession or private property even if the potential we have today to improve its quality could make people think they are the masters of it," the Holy Father said on Tuesday.

Speaking in his message for Lent, which begins next Wednesday, he said human life is a gift from God and should not be considered a commodity.

He said people cannot let themselves be led to think that technological leaps forward made them all-powerful.

"Conquest in medicine and biotechnology can sometimes convince man that he is his own creator, and lead him to give in to the temptation to meddle with the 'tree of life'," he said.

But he added: "Not everything that is technically possible is morally permissible."