Thursday, May 17, 2007

Destroying Embryos Isn't Progress, Says Cardinal

Destroying Embryos Isn't Progress, Says Cardinal

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 8, 2007 ( Cardinal Justin Rigali is urging the U.S. Senate to reject legislation that allows for federal funding of stem cell research that destroys human embryos.

The archbishop of Philadelphia said in a letter sent Wednesday to the Senate that the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 would "encourage deliberate attacks on innocent human life in the name of medical progress."

Cardinal Rigali, who is the chairman of the Committee for Pro-life Activities of the U.S. bishops' conference, emphasized that the stem cell issue is not a matter of supporting versus opposing progress.

"The question is whether our technical progress is guided by an equally advanced sense of the dignity of each and every human life," the cardinal wrote.

Cardinal Rigali noted that ethically sound research using non-embryonic cells has continued to advance. "It seems virtually every byproduct of live birth -- amniotic fluid, amniotic membrane, placenta, cord blood, and the tissue of the umbilical cord itself -- contains stem cells that may rival embryonic stem cells in their flexibility."

The cardinal told the senators: "Please support medical progress that we can all live with."