WASHINGTON (August 9, 2001) -- Following are the remarks of Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, regarding President George W. Bush's statement on stem cell research.
"President Bush has reaffirmed his support for a ban on human cloning and other policies that deserve support in their own right. However, the trade-off he has announced is morally unacceptable: The federal government, for the first time in history, will support research that relies on the destruction of some defenseless human beings for the possible benefit to others. However such a decision is hedged about with qualifications, it allows our nation's research enterprise to cultivate a disrespect for human life.
"Researchers who want to pursue destructive embryo research and their allies in Congress have already rejected such limits, saying that these limits will interfere with efforts to turn embryonic stem cell research into possible medical treatments. The President's policy may therefore prove to be as unworkable as it is morally wrong, ultimately serving only those whose goal is unlimited embryo research.
"We hope and pray that President Bush will return to a principled stand against treating some human lives as nothing more than objects to be manipulated and destroyed for research purposes. As we face a new century of powerful and sometimes even frightening advances in biotechnology, we must help ensure that our technical advances will serve rather than demean our very humanity."