Pope says human dignity breached by science

Pope Benedict has condemned embryonic stem cell research, artificial insemination and the prospect of human cloning saying the practices had breached the barrier that safeguards human dignity.

Reuters and DPA reports the Pope, addressing the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the Church had a duty to defend the "great values at stake" in the field of bioethics.

While the Pontiff has said on several occasions that the Church was not against scientific progress, he reiterated that scientific progress should not be accepted uncritically.

"There must be total respect for the human being as a person from conception until natural death and respect for the natural transmission of life through sexual intercourse," the Pope said.

"When human beings in the weakest and most defenceless state of their existence are selected, abandoned, killed or used as pure 'biological material,' how can one deny that they are being treated not as 'someone' but as 'something,'" he said.

"Such practices question the very concept of the dignity of man."

The Pope said the Church encouraged research on stem cells that come from other parts of the body and do not involve embryos or their destruction.

Pope says some science shatters human dignity (Reuters 31/01/08)
IVF breaches human dignity (DPA 31/01/08)
Scientific progress must respect human dignity (VIS 31/01/08)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)IVF Wikipedia
Stem Cell research (Wikipedia)

Benedict's backs "theistic evolution" (CathNews 12/04/07)
Chanting students support Pope after canned visit (CathNews 17/01/08)
Pope backs Italian embryo boycott (CathNews 31/05/05)

1 Feb 2008