VATICAN - GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS MUST BE STUDIED IN VIEW OF RESPONSIBLE ETHIC AND PASTORAL DISCERNMENT: TODAY AND TOMORROW SEMINAR IN THE VATICAN PROMOTED BY PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE

Monday, 10 November 2003

Vatican City (Fides Service) - “Collect as much information as possible on GMOs which will service to sustain ethic and pastoral discernment”: this was the finality indicated by the President of the Pontifical Council Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino of a Seminar taking place 10 and 11 November in the Vatican, on the theme: “GMOs: threat or hope?”. Participants include members of international bodies such as FAO and UNCTAD, research institutes, academies of science, qualified members of associations of producers and consumers. And also various Italian Ministers, agriculture policies, environment, health, because of Italy’s European Union semester of presidency.
Opening the Seminar and mentioning the pressure felt also by the Holy See and to the different established approaches towards GMOs Cardinal Martino affirmed “the stakes are high and delicate, due to polarisation which divides public opinion, trade disputes at international level, difficulty to define at the scientific level a material today object of research in rapid evolution and with complex ethic-cultural, and ethic-political implications”. In this regard he said he was confident that, thanks to the scientific contribution offered by the Seminar and the Church’s centuries of experience, the Council he presides will “be able to find with balance and truth a point of synthesis useful and fecund of good for men and women of our time, especially the poor ”.
Referring to surprise expressed in some circles at this initiative of the Pontifical Council, Cardinal Martino said “it is a question, also in this case, to meet a deep and essential need of the Church’s moral and religious mission to enlighten with the Gospel all that concerns the promotion of the human person and human”. He concluded referring to the Biblical commandment to man and women to tend to creation, to “cultivate and protect” goods created by God , that is – the President of Justice and Peace explained – “intervene, decide, act, not lets plants grow haphazardly, strengthen perfect, for better and more abundant fruits, order, clean, eliminate anything that destroys and ruins”. (S.L.) (Fides Service 10/11/2003 – lines 27 words 382)


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