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Pope Condemns Human Embryo Cloning

November 28, 2001

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VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope John Paul II, emphasizing the Vatican’s condemnation of human embryo cloning, on Wednesday criticized scientific experiments that threaten the dignity of a human life.

The pontiff urged doctors attending his weekly public audience to ``defend without compromise life and the dignity of people, operating with respect to moral law.

``True humanism can never allow methods and experiments″ that constitute threats against life, he said.

His comments came two days after the Vatican condemned reports that scientists in the United States had cloned a six-cell embryo. The scientists said they have no desire to create babies but only to create embryos as a way to obtain stem cells to fight disease.

The Vatican said promises of such ``sensational″ cures from cloning didn’t justify the experiments.

Monsignor Mauro Cozzoli, a professor of moral theology at the Lateran University of Rome, said it was not right to use a human being for the benefit of another one ``and then kill him.″

``A human embryo, even if obtained by cloning, always deserves the due respect,″ Cozzoli said. ``Those techniques which can be legitimate for animals and plants are not legitimate for human beings.″

Vatican teaching holds that life begins at conception.

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