Vatican official condemns cloning as "two evils in one"
The vice president of the Pontifical Academy for Life has regretted the news of the cloning of a human embryo by South Korean scientists, suggesting that "supposed therapeutic cloning is doubly illicit".
The experiment of scientists of the Seoul National University, headed by professor Woo Suk Hwang, appears in the review Science and was presented on Thursday at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in Seattlen.
Bishop Elio Sgreccia (pictured) told Vatican Radio that cloning firstly "has a procedure that goes against nature and, in second, it eliminates the cloned embryo".
"Therefore, if it is already something monstrous to clone a person, to make a photocopy according to our will; it is even more so to eliminate the embryo to make therapeutic use of it," he added.
Bishop Sgreccia said no form of human cloning can be morally justified. It is "asexual reproduction," he said. The cloned human being lacks a father or a mother, since it comes from the genetic code of only one individual, the bishop added.
"This desire to control the total constitution of a human individual is, in itself, immoral," he stressed.
Scientists who carried out the cloning experiment say they are using it as a means to seek cures for illnesses that are currently incurable.
Cloning Turns a Human Being Into "Industrial Material," Warns Adviser (Zenit 13/2/04)
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Vatican condemns 'Nazi' cloning (Sun-Herald 15/2/04)
"Therapeutic"cloning seen as "doubly immoral" (Catholic World News 13/2/04)
Pontifical Academy for Life
Bishop Elio Sgreccia (catholic-hierarchy.org)
Holy See seeks UN cloning ban (CathNews 29/10/03)
Cloning: The process and its complexities (Nathaniel Centre, the NZ Catholic Bioethics Centre)
16 Feb 2004