Human Embryos Not Objects, Say Europe’s Bishops

Destructive Research Does Not Respect Life

BRUSSELS, JUNE 2, 2006 ( Research that requires the destruction of human embryos is “not compatible with human dignity,” say the bishops of Europe.

The bishops made this statement following the adoption of the budget for research and technology development for 2007-2013 by the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Union, which allows for funding for research on embryonic stem cells.

The budget, which forms part of the report on the Seventh Framework Program, will be submitted for a final vote during the next plenary session in Strasbourg, on June 14th.

“We reiterate our objection to EU-funding of research implying the destruction of human embryos,” said the communiqué of the Executive Committee of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community.

“Such research raises fundamental ethical and anthropological concerns,” the bishops said.

The statement continues: “Treating the human embryo as an object for research is not compatible with human dignity.

“The EU should concentrate its joint research efforts on the many other promising areas of research, also in other kinds of stem cell research, which offer promise.

“By taking such a decision the EU would show that it respects the fundamental values and grounds upon which some member states prohibit or restrict this research out of respect for the inviolability of human life and its dignity.”

The communiqué is signed by the following prelates:

Bishop Adrianus van Luyn
Bishop of Rotterdam

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop of Dublin

Bishop Piotr Jarecki
Auxiliary Bishop of Warsaw

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