February 15, 2001
volume 12, no. 46

Genome Project Eyed by Cardinal

Says Science Must Be at Service of Man

    MADRID, Spain, FEB. 13, 2001 ( Research to decodify the human genome is praiseworthy, but science must not assault the human person, says Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco.

    In statements to El Rotativo, a publication of San Pablo-CEU University, the archbishop of Madrid made it clear that "research that pretends to know how man is genetically [constructed] is always something good. To know the truth in its totality is good, and the more man is known in his physical and empirical aspects, the better."

    "However," he added, "the question becomes a problem when this knowledge is used for ends that go against the good of the human person, or when attempts are made through methods that include aggression against man. ... Methods cannot be used that imply the destruction of man in order to know man better."

    Regarding the specter of cloning of human beings, Cardinal Rouco said that "there are financial interests of the first order related to the biochemical production, which drive researchers and society to travel on that road, because what matters is financial success."

    Cardinal Rouco quoted philosopher Julián Marías, who believes that "the most serious thing that occurred in the 20th century was the loss of conscience on the part of society, of the evil implied by abortion, 'the social acceptance of abortion.'"

    "This should be applied with greater severity to human cloning," the cardinal said, "because it implies a further step in man's manipulation of man at the expense of life. Moreover, if that manipulation is protected by a legal system, one arrives at a moral crisis of the first order." ZE01021309

February 15, 2001
volume 12, no. 46
News from the Universal Church
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