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VATICAN Daily Slams Stem Cell Move

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Bianca
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« on: March 11, 2009, 07:46:06 am »

















                                            Vatican daily slams stem cell move



                             Osservatore Romano against U. S. president's announcement






 (ANSA)
- Vatican City,
March 9, 2009

- Vatican daily Osservatore Romano on Monday slammed United States President Barack Obama's decision to lift strict limits on human embryonic stem cell research.

In an editorial, the daily stressed that ''recognition of personal dignity must be extended to all phases of existence'' and claimed that ''real democracy is founded on this maturity of thought''.

Following up on an election promise, Obama told researchers Monday that funds would be freed up for stem cell research, reversing a directive put into effect by his predecessor George W. Bush when he took office in 2001.

The Catholic Church is against such research, which currently results in the destruction of the embryo, because it considers foetuses human beings from the moment of conception.

On Monday the United States' Bishops' Conference described Obama's announcement as ''a sad victory of politics over science and ethics''.

''This action is morally wrong because it encourages the destruction of innocent human life, treating vulnerable human beings as mere products to be harvested,'' said Philadelphia Archbishop Cardinal Justin Rigali, who heads up the conference's pro-life activities committee.

Osservatore Romano on Saturday backed the bishops ahead of Obama's announcement by describing stem cell research as ''profoundly immoral and superfluous''.

Last month Pope Benedict XVI warned United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi that lawmakers have a special responsibility to protect the dignity of human life.

Speaking during Pelosi's six-day state visit to Italy, Benedict told her that the Church requires ''all Catholics, especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society'' to promote human life from conception to death.

The Vatican's health pointman Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan has repeatedly stressed the Holy See's opposition to the new president's stance.

Barragan argues that, ethical arguments aside, better research results are obtained from cells taken from the umbilical cord or from adult cells, while embryonic cells are ''useless''.

Some researchers into so-called adult stem cells have claimed they have the same potential as embryonic ones, but embryonic cell researchers have voiced scepticism.
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