Friday 24 April 2009

Bishop concerned at human cloning claim

A doctor in Kentucky claims to have implanted cloned human embryos in four women. Dr Panayiotis Zavos (right) says none of the 11 embryos survived, but he reportedly intends to enable a cloned child to be born. Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, the Catholic Bishop of Lancaster, calls the reports disturbing and the alleged activities repugnant. He writes that cloning: "creates a dislocation in the human family; it removes the begetting of children from its true context – the fruit of mutual self-giving in marriage – and turns human children into a manufactured product."

The bishop says that it is mistaken both to support embryo research and to think it can be controlled. Such research involves killing humans and, once it is allowed, demand for embryos soars. He adds: "Some doctors and scientists have condemned Dr Zavos for breaching the widely accepted ban on transferring cloned embryos to the womb. But those who support destructive embryo research while criticising Dr Zavos are laying themselves open to a charge of hypocrisy."