28-January-2003 -- Catholic World News Brief
OLDEST CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY FLOUTS CHURCH TEACHING ON EMBRYO RESEARCH
LOUVAIN, Belgium, Jan 28, 03 (LSN.ca/CWNews.com) - The Catholic University of Louvain, founded in 1425 with the blessing of then Pope Martin V, has published a position paper contradicting Church teaching on stem cell research. The university's home page (in French) links to the document "The Use of Human Stem Cells in Research and Their Therapeutic Application" and the subtitle indicates that the paper is "The Point of View" of the Catholic university.
The document notes that parents can, "in an ethical spirit of solidarity," turn over for experimentation their surplus embryos created originally for fertility treatments. Moreover, the university paper even condones therapeutic cloning, which is human cloning that then kills the unborn child for his cells.
"They have sullied their illustrious reputation," Hilary White of Campaign Life Catholic told LifeSite. "The university does stipulate certain conditions for such destructive use of human embryos, which are the same conditions secular humanists with a tinge of guilt suggest for such research," said White. The conditions include animal research be given the priority, parents must give their informed consent in writing, and the research must be subject to the approval of a qualified ethics committee.
"The document in no way gives the Catholic understanding that a real live human being, with all the same rights as every other human being, comes into existence at the moment of conception," said White. "Using faulty relational theology as a base, it erroneously identifies human dignity as deriving from the 'community' and not from having been made in the image and likeness of God."
See the Catholic University of Louvain stem cell position paper online: http://www.ucl.ac.be/actualites/celsouches.html