OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne condemns introduction of law to allow “therapeutic” cloning of human embryos

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Melbourne (Fides Service) -The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Archbishop Dennis Hart has condemned an announcement by the first minister of Victoria that the state government will introduce a law modelled on a recent federal legislation to allow “therapeutic” cloning of human embryos.
Reaffirming the Catholic Church’s “total opposition” to embryonic cloning, Archbishop Heart said cloning is always “unethical”. He also said he will make a personal plea to the state’s Catholic MPs to prevent the law from passing.
Some Catholic politicians are ready to oppose the law, others have said that being a Catholic does not dissuade them from proceeding with the Bill because “the opportunity to cure some of the intractable diseases around the world…is an opportunity we should not pass up or miss”.
However Melbourne’s auxiliary Catholic Bishops Christopher Prowse said that the community would not support such a Bill. “I would have thought that the people in our streets and neighbourhoods and our parishes would be appalled to think that the government was moving in that direction”.
Many Australians were dismayed in December 2006 when the Federal Parliament passed a bill liberalising cloning of human embryos for stem cell research for therapeutic ends. Lifting a ban voted four years earlier. Now it is up to the individual States to adopt or reject the Bill. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/3/2007 righe: 25 parole: 258)