Saturday, November 04, 2006

Clone & Kill Amendment: A Cleric's Perspective

There are traditionally three professions: law, medicine, and ordained ministry. It seems appropriate, then, to present three perspectives on the Clone & Kill Amendment: a lawyer's (which I've done) a cleric's (which I'm sharing below), and a physician's (which I'll post shortly).

Bishop Robert W. Finn has been front-and-center in his opposition to Amendment 2, from the initial battle against the deceitful cloning petition language, up until Thursday, when he had a short column in the Kansas City Star that was geared to the unchurched and poorly catechized folks who read that rag. Here, though, I'm running his last column in the Catholic Key, which is a little meatier than the Star column (leaving aside the issues I've had with the Catholic Key).

Thanks to all who helped us know the truth: Vote No on Amendment 2
By Bishop Robert W. Finn
Kansas City-St. Joseph

In their most recent (Oct. 22, page B8) editorial endorsement of Amendment 2, the Kansas City Star newspaper characterized the opposition of church leaders to the proposal using words such as "misleading," and "lying," and said we have attempted to "frighten" or "confuse" voters.

The heart of the Universal Church's opposition to this research is well-founded in her teaching. It is a teaching based on strong science about the beginnings and the dignity of human life. It presents basic moral principles, such as: Human life is meant to be brought into the world as the product of the married love and intimacy of a husband and wife. It is gravely immoral to directly take an innocent human life. The end does not justify the means, therefore we cannot willingly do something that is seriously evil, even if it results in a good end, for example, a cure.

We have done quite a lot on this issue and I commend the efforts of our Respect Life Office, the The Catholic Key, our pastors and deacons, many faith-filled scientists, professors, lawyers, businessmen and other everyday faithful folks and benefactors for helping us use our rather meager resources so that people will know the truth and Vote No on Amendment 2.

A few weeks ago on Oct. 7, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, I committed this effort to Mary. Polls now are actually showing a notable drop in "yes" votes! - registering less than 50 percent! In light of the great mismatch in human material resources by which we have had to respond to this attack, if we prevail, I could only give God the victory. From the start this has been a supernatural battle. Keep praying. Keep working.

Below are some quotes that I share with you on this eve of the election.
"No objective, even though noble in itself, such as a foreseeable advantage to science, to other human beings or to society, can in any way justify experimentation on living human embryos or fetuses." - Donum Vitae: "Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation - Replies to certain questions of the day," from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Feb. 22, 1987).

"It is immoral to produce human embryos destined to be exploited as disposable 'biological material.'" - Donum Vitae.

"It is a duty to condemn the particular gravity of the voluntary destruction of human embryos obtained 'in vitro' for the sole purpose of research, either by means of artificial insemination or by means of 'twin fission.'" - Donum Vitae.

"Attempts or hypotheses for obtaining a human being without any connection with sexuality through 'twin fission,' cloning or parthenogenesis are in opposition to the dignity both of human procreation and of the conjugal union." - Donum Vitae.

"These procedures are contrary to the human dignity proper to the embryo, and at the same time they are contrary to the right of every person to be conceived and to be born within marriage and from marriage." - Donum Vitae.

"It must be recognized that cloning has exactly the same result as that of fertilization. There are no grounds for asserting, in spite of genetic abnormalities, that cloning does not produce a zygote." - From the Pontifical Council for the Family, "Cloning: The Disappearance of Direct Parenthood and Denial of the Family" (August 2003).

"Even if the presence of a spiritual soul cannot be ascertained by empirical data, the results themselves of scientific research on the human embryo provide 'a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of the first appearance of a human life: How could a human individual not be a human person?'" - "Evangelium Vitae" ("The Gospel of Life"), no. 60, Pope John Paul II, 1995.

"Over and above the strict moral duty not to produce [the cloned embryo], there are many serious reasons for holding not only that embryos obtained in this way should be duly respected as befits their human dignity, but also that they are human persons who are first manipulated and then destroyed." - From the Pontifical Council for the Family, "Cloning: The Disappearance of Direct Parenthood and Denial of the Family" (Aug. 8, 2003).

"Therapeutic cloning, the production of human embryos as suppliers of specialized stem cells, embryos to be used in the treatment of certain illnesses and then destroyed, must be addressed and prohibited. This exploitation of human beings, sought by certain scientific and industrial circles, and pushed forward by certain economic interests, retains all its ethical repugnance as an even more serious offence against human dignity and the right to life, since it involves human beings (embryos)who are created in order to be destroyed." - Intervention of Cardinal Renato Martino at the United Nations's International Convention Against the Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings (Nov. 19, 2001).
"... Every process involving human cloning is in itself a reproductive process in that it generates a human being at the very beginning of his or her development, i.e., a human embryo. The Holy See regards the distinction between 'reproductive' and 'therapeutic' (or 'experimental') cloning as unacceptable by principle since it is devoid of any ethical and legal ground. ... Therefore, human cloning should be prohibited in all cases regardless of the aims that are pursued." -Holy See to the United Nations (February 2003).

Tags: Missouri Amendment 2 Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures Jim Stowers Institute Missouri Coalition for Human Cloning Missouri Roundatble for Life Missouri Right to Life Embryonic Stem Cell Research Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Cloning They're Lying It's Cloning Vote No. Bumper Sticker bumpersticker

1 comment:

guilty by stander said...

Whatever happens tomorrow, we are blessed to have Bishop Finn at the helm. He's committed to doing what's right. I like that. I've spent too much of my time substituting the convenient for the true. That's a bad way to waste a good life.