George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
RIGHT WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #26
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Cardinal Gives Support to Adult Stem Cell Research
Explains Vatican's Investment in International Project
ROME, APRIL 30, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican wants to support
scientists searching for cures to various illnesses, but not at the
cost of human embryos who are killed for stem cells, says Cardinal
The retired president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
stated this on Vatican Radio in response to an announcement by the U.S.
University of Maryland that the Holy See was agreeing to donate
€2 million ($2.7 million) to its research with adult stem
The university clarified Wednesday that the money for this type of
research will be channeled through the Holy See's Bambino Gesù
Pediatric Hospital in Rome, which will distribute the funds to various
participants in an international project to study adult stem cells.
On April 23, an agreement was signed in Rome between various parties
interested in this research, including the Holy See, the university, a
children's hospital in Europe and Italy's national institute of health.
Cardinal Martino stated, "The Church wishes to contribute to the
progress of science and research but, of course, in defense of the life
of the sick and avoiding the use of embryonic stem cells for this
To date, much of this research has involved the use of embryonic stem
cells, and as the cardinal pointed out, "when an embryonic stem cell is
used, what remains of the embryo is eliminated, a life is destroyed."
"Instead, with adult stem cells, no living being is killed," he added.
The prelate explained that this initiative "proposes the search for
adult stem cells taken from the patient's intestine, to cure different
illnesses such as Alzheimer's, among others."
He noted that the Church's first contribution is "to have a place where
this research can be carried out," for which reason the Bambino
Gesù hospital is offerings its laboratories.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office,
also affirmed that "the permissibility of research and of the use of
stem cells from adult tissues has always been recognized, as happens in
He added that "the distinction -- between this type of cells and those
that come from embryos -- is fundamental from the ethical point of
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