Tuesday, June 1, 2010

South Korean Courts decide embryos “are not human”; Church protests

Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - There is sadness and outrage in the Korean Church after a court in Seoul ruled that frozen human embryos are "not human," thus endorsing such practices as experimentation and destruction of embryos. The ruling ended a complaint filed by several parents and another 11 experts, including philosophers, physicians, and biologists, who opposed the use of these frozen embryos, following the practice of in-vitro fertilization, for scientific research.
"It is a ruling that is contrary to human life and to science itself," Cardinal Nicholas Cheong, Archbishop of Seoul, told Fides. "We are very sad and worried. As a Church, we are firmly opposed to this approach and we now publicly express our disagreement. How can a court assume the right to deny that the embryo is a human being?" the Cardinal questions.
In this story there is also an aggravating factor: the Korean media have almost completely silenced or overshadowed it in the news, without giving it the necessary attention. "The Christian community, therefore, must also inform and awaken the consciences of the citizens," notes the Archbishop of Seoul.
"We will continue to raise public awareness on the sensitive issue of respecting life from conception until natural death. We will do our best. We will organize prayer vigils and peaceful demonstrations in defense of life," promises Cardinal Cheong.
According to the Cardinal, behind the general silence on this issue there are also political reasons. In fact, tomorrow, June 2, Korea, will hold administrative and regional elections and the electoral timetable has overshadowed a decision that has important consequences and ethical implications. Also, politicians are unwilling to expose themselves on such a sensitive area, on the eve of the vote. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 01/06/2010)