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Cardinal O’Malley: Human Cloning Inconsistent With Human Dignity, Treats People As Products

 
May 15, 2013

USCCB Pro-Life Chair Responds to Cloning Breakthrough in Oregon
Says Creating Embryos To Destroy Them Objectionable to Non-Catholics Too
Notes That Morally Acceptable Scientific Advances Already Addressing Same Goals

WASHINGTON—Human cloning for any purpose is inconsistent with the moral responsibility to "treat each member of the human family as a unique gift of God, as a person with his or her own inherent dignity," said the chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

"Creating new human lives in the laboratory solely to destroy them is an abuse denounced even by many who do not share the Catholic Church's convictions on human life," said Cardinal Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston. He said this way of making embryos will also be taken up by people who want to produce cloned children as "copies" of other people."Whether used for one purpose or the other, human cloning treats human beings as products, manufactured to order to suit other people's wishes." He added, "A technical advance in human cloning is not progress for humanity but its opposite."

Cardinal O'Malley's statement responded to the news May 15 that researchers in Oregon have succeeded in producing cloned human embryos and obtained their embryonic stem cells. He added that the researcher's goal of producing genetically matched stem cells for research and possible therapies is already being addressed by scientific advances that do not pose the same moral problems.

More information on USCCB's position on human cloning is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/cloning/

The full text of Cardinal O'Malley's statement follows:

The news that researchers have developed a technique for human cloning is deeply troubling on many levels. Over 120 human embryos were created and destroyed, to produce six embryonic stem cell lines. Creating the embryos involved subjecting healthy women to procedures that put their health and fertility at risk. And the researchers' alleged goal, producing genetically matched stem cells for research and possible therapies, is already being addressed by scientific advances that do not pose these grave moral wrongs.

Creating new human lives in the laboratory solely to destroy them is an abuse denounced even by many who do not share the Catholic Church's convictions on human life. Also, this means of making embryos for research will be taken up by those who want to produce cloned children as "copies" of other people. Whether used for one purpose or the other, human cloning treats human beings as products, manufactured to order to suit other people's wishes. It is inconsistent with our moral responsibility to treat each member of the human family as a unique gift of God, as a person with his or her own inherent dignity. A technical advance in human cloning is not progress for humanity but its opposite.

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Keywords: human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, human life and dignity, Catholic Church, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap., Boston, Oregon, science

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