Holy See Hails U.S. Vote Against Human Cloning

Academy for Life Official Says Decision Is Ethically Logic

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 2, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to prohibit all forms of human cloning «successfully harmonizes the logic of ethics, as regards human life, with scientific logic,» a Vatican aide says.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Bishop Elio Sgreccia, vice president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, also talked about a related topic: stem cell research involving human embryos.

«In recent times,» he said, «research has made it clear that in order to use ´mother´ or stem cells, it is neither necessary nor opportune to produce embryos. In fact, stem cells found in adults are valid and safer than those taken from embryos.»

Therefore, he explained, «the pseudoscientific reason that justified the use of frozen or cloned embryos to extract stem cells has collapsed.»

He added: «All this demonstrates that ethical reasons, namely, that the human being can never be used as an instrument, or as medication, or produced for this end through cloning, always end by helping science, because where the ethical truth is found, the scientific truth is also found.»

In Washington, D.C., Cardinal William Keeler, chairman of the U.S. bishops´ Committee for Pro-Life Activities, applauded the House vote and urged the Senate to approve the legislation as soon as possible and send it to President George W. Bush for his signature.

«This legislation is an important first step on ´the path to a truly humane future, in which man remains the master, not the product, of his technology´,» said Cardinal Keeler in a statement, echoing John Paul II´s words to Bush last month.

The European Parliament already has decided against allowing human cloning. Britain, however, allows so-called therapeutic cloning for research.

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