Monday, October 16, 2006

A Papal Pronouncment on Ends and Means

A good result can never justify intrinsically unlawful means. That was the gist of the statement by Pope Benedict XVI on September 16, to participants in a symposium on stem cell research organized in Rome by the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Some other noteworthy excerpts:

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 . . .

The human being is not a disposable object, but every single individual represents God's presence in the world.

The Pope has underlined a view of embryo research informed by a resolute committment to the sanctity of life from conception. Rather than opposing beneficial research, he simply reminds us that we need not destroy other human beings to achieve valuble clinical goals. Such goals can be obtained through adult sources of stem cells, to the furtherment of human flourishing everywhere.

Full text of Papal statement:

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