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Archbishop dismayed by Howard moves to OK embryo stem cell research

Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle has said that it is "disappointing" to hear that the Australian Government's moratorium on embryonic stem cell research is to be discontinued.

Prime Minister John Howard wrote to all premiers and chief ministers in January requesting a further year to be added to a three-year moratorium on stem cell research. But he failed to reach an agreement with the states, meaning embryos created after 5 April 2002.

The ABC reports that Archbishop Doyle (pictured) was one of a number of church leaders to express dismay at the reversal.

"Something that was in place, which was just holding things back, is no longer going to be there to stop these kind of goings-on," he said.

Meanwhile Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who heads the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has hit out at human cloning and the "arrogance" of mankind that thought it could conquer death through its own efforts.

Cardinal Ratzinger made his comments during the Good Friday at the Vatican.

"The arrogance that makes us think that we ourselves can create human beings has turned man into a kind of merchandise, to be bought and sold, or stored to provide parts for experimentation," he said. "In doing this, we hope to conquer death by our own efforts, yet in reality we are profoundly debasing human dignity."

Embryo research ban's end disappoints churches (ABC News 27/3/05)
Church leader slams cloning 'arrogance' (Daily Telegraph 26/3/05)

Cardinal Pell hails stem cell discovery (CathNews 22/3/05)
Sydney Archdiocese announces Church funding for adult stem cell research (CathNews 26/3/03)
Ethicist stresses moral inviolability of embryonic stem cells (CathNews 5/10/04)
US cardinal talks up benefits of adult stem cell research (CathNews 19/10/04)
Adult marrow breakthrough at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital (CathNews 30/1/03)
Catholic Health calls for delay in embryo research bill (CathNews 24/6/02)
St Vincent's Hospital research sidesteps moral dilemma (CathNews 16/4/02)

Cardinal [Cormac Murphy-O'Connor] 'deeply alarmed' by select committee report and calls for broadly-based National Bioethics Commission (Bishops Conference of England and Wales 24/3/05)
Catholic Stance on Tube-Feeding is Evolving (Pew Forum/Washington Post 27/3/05)
Stem cell study green light (Townsville Bulletin 26/3/05)
Nasal stem cells get ethical okay (New Zealand Herald 28/3/05)
Banned: choosing a baby's sex (Sydney Morning Herald 25/3/05)
Right to choose gender of IVF babies defended (Agence France-Presse/Sydney Morning Herald 25/3/05)
PM 'abandons more embryo restrictions' (Sydney Morning Herald/Australian Associated Press 26/3/05)

29 Mar 2005