100 Groups Oppose Embryonic Stem-Cell Work

Catholic Leaders Urge Nondestructive Research

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WASHINGTON, D.C., MAR. 13, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The Catholic Leadership Conference today released a statement condemning destructive embryonic stem cell research, encouraging instead the more ethical and equally promising path of adult stem cell research.

Signed by more than 100 leaders with groups representing more than 2 million U.S. Catholics, the statement reads in part, “The moral justification of any research cannot be based upon the dehumanizing premise that a good end justifies the use of any means necessary. Destroying human life in order to help human life is intrinsically evil. … Further, contemporary research has shown destruction of human life at any stage to obtain stem cells is not necessary.”

Until March 15 the government is accepting applications for grants for embryonic stem cell research. President George W. Bush has declared his opposition to stem cell research, but has not committed himself to a ban on federal funding for such research. His decision is expected later this year.

“The [conference´s] statement demonstrates that Catholics are united with their bishops in opposing the destruction of embryos for stem cell research,” said Deal Hudson, spokesman for the Catholic Leadership Conference and publisher of Crisis magazine.

Among those who signed the statement are Carl Anderson, supreme knight, Knights of Columbus; Gerard V. Bradley, president, Fellowship of Catholic Scholars; Bud Hansen, trustee, Papal Foundation; and John Haas, executive director, National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Among those who signed as individuals are William Bennett, Bowie Kuhn, Mary Ann Glendon, Robert George, Thomas Monaghan, U.S. Representative Chris Smith and Father Richard Neuhaus.

In the statement they call on the president and Congress to endorse only research that shows unconditional respect for human life in all stages of development, and on researchers and physicians to conduct experiments and treatments that do not destroy human embryos.

For more information or a copy of the entire statement with a complete list of signers, call (202) 861-7790 or visit www.petersvoice.com/stemcell.htm.

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