Pope´s Words to Bush Clarified by Vatican

Pro-life Group Assails Report in Washington Post

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 26, 2001 (Zenit.org).- In the wake of misleading media reports about John Paul II´s speech to U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday, the Vatican issued a statement about the papal address at Castel Gandolfo.

«The Holy Father has wanted to take this opportunity to repeat the ethical unacceptability of ´proposals for the creation for research purposes of human embryos, destined to destruction in the process,´» said the statement, issued Wednesday by Vatican Press Office director Joaquín Navarro-Valls. «On the other hand, it is important not to forget what John Paul II wrote in his well-known Encyclical ´Evangelium Vitae´:

«´This moral condemnation also regards procedures that exploit living human embryos and fetuses — sometimes specifically ´produced´ for this purpose by ´in vitro´ fertilization — either to be used as ´biological material´ or as ´providers of organs or tissue for transplants´ in the treatment of certain diseases. The killing of innocent human creatures, even if carried out to help others, constitutes an absolutely unacceptable act´.»

LifeSite Canada cited what it called «the most reckless spin» of the Washington Post as an example of misreporting about the Pope´s comments.

A Post story from Monday stated: «The pope´s denunciation of stem cell research could have been much broader. By making his comments specific to stem cells that are manufactured, he gave Bush room for the type of compromise decision that many administration officials believe he is seeking.» See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36667-2001Jul23.html.

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