NEW YORK, FEB. 20, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See expressed moderate satisfaction over a U.N. committee’s approval of a declaration calling for a ban on all forms of human cloning.
The non-compulsory ban, adopted on Friday with 71 votes in favor, 35 against, and 43 abstentions, also includes “therapeutic” cloning, which involves cloning human embryos for the sake of scientific experimentation.
The vote now goes to the General Assembly and will take the form of a recommendation.
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said the Church declared herself in favor of a “total ban.”
The Church, he said, “encouraged by the promises of medicine, which already foresees the possibility of the successful use of adult stem cells, cannot tolerate the use and destruction of human embryos.”
The importance of this ban, even if it is not compulsory, he said on Vatican Radio, is highlighted “by the fact that it appeals to the states to ban all forms of cloning contrary to human dignity and the protection of life.”
At “the end of the tormented debate, three amendments were introduced, two of which sought to remove from the text all reference to protection of human life in cloning techniques,” explained the archbishop.
“Precisely the firm rejection of these two amendments, by a majority of the assembly, has sent out an unmistakable signal,” he said.
“The Holy See would have been happy to see an agreed and general adoption of the text which contains references to the protection and dignity of human life,” he said.
“However, the signal launched and rewarded by the voting is reassuring. We hope it will be the point of departure to ceaselessly promote the progress of medical science, always keeping present and firm respect for human life,” he concluded.