VATICAN - THE FIELD OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS SHOULD NOT BE ABANDONED BUT IT DEMANDS GREAT CAUTION: CARDINAL MARTINO CONCLUDES SEMINAR ORGANISED BY PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE

Wednesday, 12 November 2003

Vatican City (Fides) - “The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace will continue to help enlighten consciences so that vegetable bio-technology may be an opportunity for all and not a threat, within a political and juridical framework of renewed solidarity in trade relations between nations, environment and health security for all, rediscovered consensus between the world of science, civil society and political leaders at national and international level”. Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said this in a closing address to about 60 representatives of the world of science, politics, industry and trade and competent international bodies who took part in a Seminar organised by the Council held in the Vatican 10 and 11 November.
The Cardinal said “giving attention to discoveries of scientific research, to what is promoted by production bodies, to what is evaluated by civil society associations, to what is decided by civil leaders – the aim of this Seminar – is for the Church a unavoidable condition for the exercise of that religious, ethic-cultural and pastoral discernment which is among her duties”.
Cardinal Martino explained that “the Seminar was a first moment of study on an itinerary which the Holy See intends to take with prudence, serenity and in truth, to meet the many and widespread expectations present in the Church, in the scientific world and in our society in general . Of course the Holy See has no intention of being a pupil in a permanent state of learning. The time will also come when she dons the mantle of Mater et Magistra, and exercises a responsibility which will not fail to be faithful to her religious and moral mission to bring the light of the Gospel to every human situation which concerns the spiritual and material wellbeing of mankind. Especially when it is a question of promoting integral development of the poor whom the Church continues to live with a love which is neither exclusive or excluding but which is certainly preferential ”.
The Cardinal concluded by saying that “the field of GMOs must not be abandoned but it still requires much care. Work must continue: the Pontifical Council encourages everyone to do so and is itself committed to working with availability and a spirit of service”. (S.L.) (Fides Service 12/11/2003 – lines 29; words 399)


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