Blog Template Theology of the Body: The Catholic Church's Protest Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research, and the Cost of Little Human Lives

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Catholic Church's Protest Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research, and the Cost of Little Human Lives

"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me...And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it unto Me." Matthew 25

March 9, 2009:

President Barack Obama is expected to lift restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research today. Speaking against this decision is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:

“When President Bush placed restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, there was no way for scientists to approximate the effectiveness inherent in embryonic stem cells. But that is no longer the case. Last fall, Harvard University stem cell researcher Konrad Hochedlinger announced that he was able to coax adult cells to regress into an embryonic state. Scientists everywhere were ecstatic.

“It is precisely because there are ethical alternatives to killing embryos that President Obama’s decision is doubly flawed: (a) it is immoral to intentionally destroy nascent human life, and (b) it is even more irresponsible to do so when morally acceptable alternatives exist.

“Obama has stepped on a slope so slippery that many of his supporters may eventually regret he did so. It is not for nothing that Germany has the most rigorous ethical guidelines on human research. Our model should be 21st century Germany—not 20th century Germany.”

Christ gives to Christians the uncompromising command that we are to love even our smallest and weakest neighbors as ourselves. It is in light of this command that we understand the even more uncompromising mandate: "thou shall not kill." Thus the Church understands the following:

"It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material...

Research or experimentation on the human being cannot legitimate acts that are in themselves contrary to the dignity of persons and to the moral law. Experimentation on human beings is not morally legitimate if it exposes the subject's life or physical and psychological integrity to disproportionate or avoidable risks. Experimentation on human beings does not conform to the dignity of the person if it takes place without the informed consent of the subject." Catechism of the Catholic Church 2275, 2295.

May God have mercy on our nation as we begin to abuse, more and more, the weakest among us in the name of social progress.