Sunday, August 27, 2006

Latest Stem Cell Research Still at Odds with Church Teaching


A Vatican official on Saturday criticized a new method of making stem cells that does not require the destruction of embryos, calling it a "manipulation" that did not address the church's ethical concerns.
Monsignor Elio Sgreccia, the Vatican's top official on bioethical questions, said in an interview with Vatican Radio that the method of making stem cells devised by scientists at Advanced Cell Technology Inc. in Alameda, Calif., remains an in-vitro form of reproduction, which the church opposes.
"That, from a point of view that is not only Catholic, but from a point of view of bioethic reasons, is a negative factor," said Sgreccia, who heads the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life.
Church teaching holds that in-vitro fertilization is morally wrong because it replaces the conjugal union between husband and wife and often results in the destruction of embryos. Artificial insemination for married couples is allowable if it "facilitates" the sex act but does not replace it. The church condemns all forms of experimentation on human embryos.