Pope Meets Convoy from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Stem cell research on human embryos are "morally contradictory"
( [email protected] ) Nov 12, 2003 10:10 AM EST

ROME – Pope John Paul II denounced any stem cell research based on human embryos as “morally contradictory,” during his speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 10.

Stem cell research, performed with the hopes to find cures for fatal ailments such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease – with which John Paul is inflicted. Nonetheless, the pontiff held onto the Vatican position that life begins at conception, and accordingly, "stem cells for purposes of experimentation or treatment cannot come from human embryo tissue."

"Any treatment which claims to save human lives, yet is based on human life in its embryonic state, is logically and morally contradictory, as is any production of human embryos for the direct or indirect purpose of experimentation or eventual destruction," the pope told participants.

Research, instead, should be conducted on adult human tissue or "tissue superfluous to normal fetal development," the pontiff added.

The pope nevertheless mentioned during the same speech, that faith and science shares a mutual relationship in revealing the truth.

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, originally named “the Accademia dei Lincei,” was established during the reign of the Pope Clement VIII in 1603, making it the oldest of its kind in existence.