April 20, 2024


In the middle of the controversy over his ruminations on Islam, Pope Benedict XVI took time out to deliver a stern message about the ethics of using human embryonic stem cells. (The English translation was released only recently.) “No one can dispose of human life. An insurmountable limit to our possibilities of doing and of experimenting must be established. The human being is not a disposable object, but every single individual represents God’s presence in the world,” he said.

He linked social pathologies to work in the laboratory. “In the face of the actual suppression of the human being there can be no compromises or prevarications. One cannot think that a society can effectively combat crime when society itself legalises crime in the area of conceived life.”