Thursday, October 05, 2006

The last line of this article caught my attention because of the life and death I am dealing with with my mother.

The Universe: A Catholic Weekly Newspaper

The Catholic Church has a rich history of encouraging scientific research, according to pope Benedict XVI.Speaking at a recent symposium on Stem Cell research organised by the Pontifical Academy for Life, at Castel Gondolfo, the Pope said that while the Church remained opposed to the use of embryonic stem cells it was fully supportive of other research possibilities through adult stem cells. But he added that an "insurmountable limit" on how far scientists should go during research.

Somatic stem-cell research the Pope said, "deserves approval and encouragement when it felicitously combines scientific knowledge, the most advanced technology in the biological field and ethics that postulate respect for the human being at every stage of his or her existence."

"The prospects opened by this new chapter in research are fascinating in themselves, for they give a glimpse of the possible cure of degenerative tissue diseases that subsequently threaten those affected with disability and death," he added."

I would like in particular to urge scientific structures that draw their inspiration and organization from the Catholic Church to increase this type of research and to establish the closest possible contact with one another and with those who seek to relieve human suffering in the proper ways."

May I also point out, in the face of the frequently unjust accusations of insensitivity addressed to the Church, her constant support for research dedicated to the cure of diseases and to the good of humanity throughout her 2,000-year-old history."

If there has been resistance -- and if there still is -- it was and is to those forms of research that provide for the planned suppression of human beings who already exist, even if they have not yet been born. Research, in such cases, irrespective of efficacious therapeutic results is not truly at the service of humanity."No one can dispose of human life," he added."

An insurmountable limit to our possibilities of doing and of experimenting must be established. The human being is not a disposable object, but every single individual represents God's presence in the world."

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