OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - On the eve of elections Catholic Bishops call attention to bio-ethics

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Canberra (Agenzia Fides) - In view of elections for parliament and a new prime minister on 24 November, the Catholic Bishops of Australia have brought the issue of bio-ethics to the attention of the country's political leaders and the electorate. Commenting the discovery by researchers of the possibility to obtain from human skin cells 'toti-potenti' stem cells (like embryonic stem cells)- a discovery which means the use of human embryos for research is unnecessary - the Bishops voiced satisfaction and said “the discovery offers another possibility to treat a vast number of illnesses, remaining on a path of respect for the principles of bio-ethics and safeguarding the dignity of every human embryo."
“I hope legislators in Australia will accept this discovery and put an immediate end to measures which legitimate human cloning or the use and destruction of human embryos in research work”, said the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Philip Wilson.
The Bishops reminded the voters that members of parliament and political leaders should respect the Christian principles and values, which further the wellbeing of every society.
In the elections the governing liberal coalition in led by John Howard, which has won the last four consecutive elections in 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2004, is challenged by the labour party led by Premier candidate Kevin Rudd.
The outcome is uncertain. Many people are disappointed with Howard's liberal position, foreign policy, long time in power, but on the other they are aware that the country's economy is in good health and so is the country. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/11/2007 righe 26 parole 269)