US Supreme Court Refuses Appeal on behalf of Human Embryonic Persons: Human Experimentation Continues
and yielding to a relativistic conception, according to which the meaning and interpretation of rights could vary and their universality would be denied in the name of different cultural, political, social and even religious outlooks. This great variety of viewpoints must not be allowed to obscure the fact that not only rights are universal, but so too is the human person, the subject of those rights"
It is in light of this fundamental moral criterion that the instruction discusses human sexuality and marital love, procreation and infertility treatments and the "manipulation of the embryo or the human Genetic Patrimony". The section concerning gene therapy and the therapeutic use of stem cells, distinguishing both the types of cells and the techniques used to obtain them, is one of the best explanations of the complex technologies which I have ever read. Thank God for the Catholic Church in this age of ghoulish research on human life.
The Catholic Church encourages the use of adult stem cells and stem cells which can be derived from non-lethal uses such as fetal cord blood. These technologies do not take human embryonic lives and have also been the subject of amazing scientific progress. No matter how many efforts there are to dismiss Catholic teaching in this fundamental area of ethics, the opponents of the truth which she defends will not prevail because her teaching is true, it is never right to take innocent human life.
The instruction made a vital historical point to consider, "Just as a century ago it was the working classes which were oppressed in their fundamental rights, and the Church courageously came to their defense by proclaiming the sacrosanct rights of the worker as person, so now, when another category of persons is being oppressed in the fundamental right to life, the Church feels in duty bound to speak out with the same courage on behalf of those who have no voice. Hers is always the evangelical cry in defense of the world's poor, those who are threatened and despised and whose human rights are violated".
"In virtue of the Church's doctrinal and pastoral mission, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has felt obliged to reiterate both the dignity and the fundamental and inalienable rights of every human being, including those in the initial stages of their existence, and to state explicitly the need for protection and respect which this dignity requires of everyone. The fulfillment of this duty implies courageous opposition to all those practices which result in grave and unjust discrimination against unborn human beings, who have the dignity of a person, created like others in the image of God. Behind every "no" in the difficult task of discerning between good and evil, there shines a great "yes" to the recognition of the dignity and inalienable value of every single and unique human being called into existence."
Sadly, the view of human rights in recent American judicial precedent and legislation denies the equal protection of the law to the human embryonic person. American law refuses to recognize that human embryos have a right to life and a right to a future. This approach to human embryonic persons is carried through in the treatment of the child in the womb. Until that child is born, he or she is treated as property to be used or disposed of if not wanted. The current positive law of the United States denies the Natural Law Right to Life. It has substituted a profane counterfeit in its place, a "Right" to abort the child.
There are a number of arguments used to try to defend the lie that fundamental rights are conferred by positive civil law rather than by the Natural Law. This is done to deprive entire groups of human persons from their protection. Most reserve the use of the concept of "person" to only those humans who are deemed to somehow be "independent" and/or "autonomous". They are being promoted by people who call themselves "medical ethicists". They hold academic degrees and professional pedigree and sit on Advisory Councils. Some of these "ethicists" make a distinction between "potential" and "actual" human persons and relegate the child in the womb to the category of being only a "potential" human person.
Others view interdependency as a negative and insist on independence and "autonomy" as a criterion for any human rights to attach. Some equate the human embryos dependency on the mother as a form of "non-personhood". Still others propose a progressive notion of consciousness as indicative of a growing presence of "personhood". A few concede that human embryos are human beings but deny they are persons. We find all of these ideas in the field sadly referred to these days as "Bio-Ethics" - even though such positions are anything but ethical. We find them in textbooks being used to teach the subject to future medical practitioners. (See, e.g., Singer and Kuhse, ...
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: stem cells, adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells, Pro-Life, Dignity of the Human Person, bio-ethics, Deacon Keith Fournier
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