US embassy cable - 01VATICAN6121

VATICAN CONDEMNS CLONING EXPERIMENT

Identifier: 01VATICAN6121
Wikileaks: View 01VATICAN6121 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Vatican
Created: 2001-11-28 11:46:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL PHUM SOCI TBIO VT
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


 
UNCLAS VATICAN 006121 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), EUR/PD/PA (HILTON), DRL/IRF (FARR 
 
FROM EMBASSY VATICAN MESSAGE NUMBER 209/01 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PHUM, SOCI, TBIO, VT 
SUBJECT: VATICAN CONDEMNS CLONING EXPERIMENT 
 
REFTEL: VATICAN 1745 
 
1.   THE VATICAN HAS REITERATED ITS UNEQUIVOCAL CONDEMNATION 
OF HUMAN CLONING FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY ADVANCED CELL 
TECHNOLOGY THAT IT HAD CARRIED OUT THE PROCEDURE. THE VATICAN 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  06121  281208Z 
DECLARED THE EVENT AS A "GRAVE" DEVELOPMENT. THE VATICAN 
INSISTS THE CELLS ARE HUMAN LIFE AND THAT SCIENTISTS SHOULD 
ACKNOWLEDGE THEY ARE DEALING WITH HUMAN EMBRYOS INSTEAD OF 
TALKING ABOUT CLUSTERS OF CELLS. 
 
2.   CLAIMS OF THE THERAPEUTIC POTENTIAL OF CLONED HUMAN 
EMBRYOS WERE OF PARTICULAR CONCERN FOR THE VATICAN, WHICH 
CRITICIZED THE HIERARCHY OF THE VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE APPARENTLY 
INTRODUCED BY THE THERAPIES. FOR THE VATICAN EVERY HUMAN LIFE, 
FROM CELL ONE TO NATURAL DEATH, HAS EQUAL VALUE. IF ONE 
PARTICULAR DEVELOPMENT STAGE IS SINGLED OUT FOR USE BY ANOTHER 
MORE MATURE STAGE, IT WARNED OF A NEW FORM OF DISCRIMINATION 
BASED ON "STAGE OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT" - AN EMBRYO BEING WORTH 
LESS THAN A FETUS, AN INFANT HAVING LESS VALUE THAN AN ADULT 
AND SO ON. THE VATICAN STATEMENT PROMOTED ALTERNATIVE STEM 
CELL RESEARCH AND THERAPY USING STEM CELLS FROM ADULTS AND 
SPONTANEOUSLY ABORTED FETUSES WHICH IT DECLARED SCIENTIFICALLY 
VALID AND MORALLY LICIT. 
 
3.   NOTE: POLOFF WAS TOLD BY A SENIOR OFFICIAL OF THE 
PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR LIFE (BIOETHICAL ISSUES) THAT HE FELT 
"BETRAYED" BY THE ADMINISTRATION WHICH HE EXPECTED TO PREVENT 
CLONING TAKING PLACE. THE PRESIDENT'S REMARKS 11/26 DECLARING 
CLONING "WRONG" WERE REPORTED BY VATICAN-BASED MEDIA. WE 
EXPECT THE VATICAN WILL APPRECIATE THE PRESIDENT'S REMARKS. 
END NOTE. 
 
4.   COMMENT: WE DO NOT EXPECT THE VATICAN TO CHANGE ITS 
POSITION ON HUMAN CLONING. HOWEVER, SHOULD THE PROCEDURE 
EVENTUALLY LEAD TO MATURE HUMAN "CLONES" TAKING THEIR PLACE IN 
SOCIETY THEN THE VATICAN WOULD URGE FULL RESPECT AND RIGHTS TO 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  06121  281208Z 
BE ACCORDED TO SUCH HUMAN BEINGS (REFTEL). THE VATICAN TAKES A 
SIMILAR APPROACH TO PEOPLE CONCEIVED BY "IN VITRO" AND OTHER 
WHAT IT DEFINES AS MORALLY ILLICIT PROCEDURES. END COMMENT. 
NICHOLSON 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
> 
 

 2001VATICA06121 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED 


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