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

May 15, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

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

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

Cardinal O'Malley's statementresponded to the news May 15 that researchers in Oregon have succeeded inproducing cloned human embryos and obtained their embryonic stem cells. Headded that the researcher's goal of producing genetically matched stem cellsfor research and possible therapies is already being addressed by scientificadvances that do not pose the same moral problems.

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

The full text of Cardinal O'Malley'sstatement follows:

The news that researchers havedeveloped a technique for human cloning is deeply troubling on many levels.Over 120 human embryos were created and destroyed, to produce six embryonicstem cell lines. Creating the embryos involved subjecting healthy women to proceduresthat 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 gravemoral wrongs.

Creating new human lives in thelaboratory solely to destroy them is an abuse denounced even by many who do notshare the Catholic Church's convictions on human life. Also, this means ofmaking embryos for research will be taken up by those who want to producecloned children as "copies" of other people. Whether used for one purpose orthe other, human cloning treats human beings as products, manufactured to orderto suit other people's wishes. It is inconsistent with our moral responsibilityto treat each member of the human family as a unique gift of God, as a personwith his or her own inherent dignity. A technical advance in human cloning isnot progress for humanity but its opposite.

---

Keywords: human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, humanlife 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

# # # # #

MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Email