Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pope Endorses Stem-Cell Research in Wednesday Audience
Wednesday June 27, 2007

By John Jalsevac

ROME, Italy, June 27, 2007 ( – During the weekly Wednesday audience held earlier today, Pope Benedict expressed his approval for adult stem cell research, distinguishing adult stem-cell research from destructive embryonic stem-cell research, which the Catholic Church strongly condemns.

According to ABC News, the Pontiff made the remarks while greeting members of a conference organized by La Spaienza University about the use of adult stem cells to treat cardiac problems.

"On this matter the position of the Church, supported by reason and by science, is clear," said the Pope.

"Scientific research must be encouraged and promoted, so long as it does not harm other human beings, whose dignity is inviolable from the very first stages of existence."

Adult stem cells have already been used in a host of successful cures, whereas embryonic stem-cell research, which involves the destruction of live human embryos, has yet to be successfully used to treat any particular disease or illness. The Catholic Church has repeatedly expressed its approval of, and support for adult stem-cell research, and condemned embryonic stem-cell research as gravely immoral.

"In the face of the frequent and unjust accusations of insensitivity directed against the Church," said Pope Benedict in September of last year at a conference organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life, "I would like to underline the constant support she has given over the course of her two thousand-year history to research aimed at the cure of illnesses and at the good of humanity."

But the Pontiff added, "If there has been - and there still is - resistance, it was and is against those forms of research that involve the planned suppression of human beings who are already alive, though they may not yet have been born."

"In the face of the direct suppression of human beings," he continued, "there can be no compromise or prevarication; it is inconceivable for a society to fight crime effectively when it itself legalizes crime in the field of nascent life."

See related coverage:

Pope: A Society with Legal Abortion Cannot Fight Crime Effectively

Adult Stem Cell Discoveries Could Treat Alzheimer’s and Blindness

Why Embryonic Stem Cell Research? It's About Human Engineering, Not Ending Disease

Human Liver Grown from Cord Blood Stem Cells--Media Ignores UK Breakthrough

Adult Stem Cells From Human Cord Umbilical Cord Blood Successfully Engineered to Make Insulin

Research Provides New Clues about How Adult Stem Cells Work

Leukemia and Heart Patients Treated with Stem Cells