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Pope Urged U.S. To Suspend Research On Human Embryos

Posted July. 25, 2001 09:19,   


Pope John Paul urged the U.S. President Bush to suspend the research on stem cells of human embryos.

After having participated in the G8 summit in the Italian city of Genoa, President Bush, with his family, stopped by Rome and met with the Pope for the first time in the Pope`s summer residence in the hills outside Rome

According to AP, the Pope told President Bush during their first meeting that ``a free and virtuous society, which America aspires to be, must reject practices that devalue and violate human life at any stage from conception until natural death.``

The Pope also urged President Bush to refuse the federal government` fund for the research on stem cells of human embryos, saying that ``a tragic coarsening of consciences accompanies the assault on innocent human life in the world, leading to accommodation and acquiescence in the face of other related evils such as euthanasia, infanticide, and, most recently, proposals for the creations human embryos for research purposes.``

After seeing the Pope, President Bush announced that he would `consider the Pope`s advice` at the joint press conference with the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Foreign presses analyzed that President Bush would alienate many of the nation`s 44 million Catholic voters if he continues to fund the research, while he would be blamed for being succumbed to the religious leaders or conservative circles, if he suspends or limits the funds.

Embryo is an earlier form of life, which is less than two months after sperms and eggs are fertilized. Stem cells attained from embryo can grow into other organization of body. Therefore, scientists expect that these cells would help cure diabetes, Alzheimer, and burns.

However, the Pope and anti-abortion organizations are opposing the research arguing that ``extraction of stem cells is same as abortion because it leads to the destruction of embryos.``

Although the U.S. allows the research on the stem cells that are extracted from frozen embryos or an aborted fetus, many countries ban the research itself.

According to the report of the International Bioethics Committee of the UNESCO, German, France, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Norway, Switzerland, Brazil and Peru ban the research on human embryos including the cloning of human embryos.

Meanwhile, the Pope, who is against the capital punishment, did not mention the U.S.` capital punishment system. A Vatican official said that ``the Pope did not have to raise the issue since both President Bush and the Pope are aware of each other`s stance on the capital punishment.``