Human Lives Must Not Be Saved by Destroying Other Lives, Pope Warns

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2003 ( John Paul II pointed out the moral contradiction that is implied in saving human lives from diseases by destroying other human lives in early phases of their existence for the sake of research.

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The Pope reaffirmed the Church’s position on the issue of experimentation with embryonic stem cells when he received members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in audience on Monday. The academy is celebrating its 400th anniversary.

The scientists are meeting here to analyze the scientific and bioethical implications of stem cell technology and other therapies.

In his English-language address, John Paul II said: “Research in this field has understandably grown in importance in recent years because of the hope it offers for the cure of ills affecting many people.”

“I have on other occasions stated that stem cells for purposes of experimentation or treatment cannot come from human embryo tissue,” he said. “I have instead encouraged research on adult human tissue or tissue superfluous to normal fetal development.”

The Holy Father stressed: “Any treatment which claims to save human lives, yet is based upon the destruction of human life in its embryonic state, is logically and morally contradictory, as is any production of human embryos for the direct or indirect purpose of experimentation or eventual destruction.”

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