Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Friday, October 22, 2004


VATICAN CITY, OCT 22, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience seven prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Angola and Sao Tome on their "ad limina" visit:

- Cardinal Alexandre do Nascimento, archbishop emeritus of Luanda.

- Archbishop Damiao Antonio Franklin of Luanda with Auxiliary Bishops Anastacio Cahango and Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dies.

- Bishop Gabriel Mbilingi of Lwena.

- Bishop Paulino Fernandes Madeca of Cabinda.

- Bishop Joaquim Ferreira Lopes of Dundo.
AL/…/…                                        VIS 20041022 (80)


VATICAN CITY, OCT 22, 2004 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, spoke in New York yesterday before the Sixth Committee on Item 150: International Convention Against the Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings.

  Noting that this issue has been on the U.N. agenda since late 2001, he said that "from the beginning, it has appeared clear that, in spite of the agenda item's name, 'International Convention against the reproductive cloning of human beings', the purpose of this exercise has actually been to find a juridical framework that would allow and accelerate the advancement of medical science in the procurement and use of stem cells, and to identify and ban practices that would be disrespectful to human dignity."

  "From a purely scientific point of view," he pointed out, "the therapeutic progress already achieved with so-called adult stem cells, namely stem cells from bone marrow, cord blood, and other mature tissues appears very promising. Embryonic cloning, for its part, is as yet far from delivering the progress that its advocates suggest."

  The nuncio went on to say that "the distinction that is sometimes drawn between reproductive and therapeutic cloning seems specious. Both involve the same technical cloning process and differ only in goal. Both forms of cloning involve disrespect for the dignity of the human being. In fact, from an ethical and anthropological standpoint, so-called therapeutic cloning, creating human embryos with the intention of destroying them, even if undertaken with the goal of possibly helping sick patients in the future, seems very clearly incompatible with respect for the dignity of the human being, making one human life nothing more than the instrument of another."

   "If adult stem cell research has already demonstrated conditions for success and raises no ethical questions," emphasized Archbishop Migliore, "it is only reasonable that it should be pursued before science embarks on cloning embryos as a source for stem cells, something which remains problematic both scientifically and ethically."

  The Holy See believes that " the choice is not between science and ethics, but between science that is ethically responsible and science that is not. Thousands of lives have been saved by adult stem cells" and evidence shows that " that adult stem cell transplants are safe, and preliminary results suggest they will be able to help people with Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, heart damage and dozens of other conditions."

  In conclusion, the observer said that the Holy See is "convinced that the subject of human embryonic cloning can be best addressed by a juridical instrument, since the rule of law is essential to the promotion and protection of human life."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 22, 2004 (VIS) - Today, the 26th anniversary of the beginning of his ministry as supreme pastor of the Church, John Paul II received bishops from Angola and San Tome who just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  The Pope said that it was important that among the members of the episcopal conference there is "a fraternal exchange of ideas and collaboration that facilitates the distribution of resources, both material and spiritual, among the dioceses that are most in need. … In this way, you will be able to rebuild the communities destroyed by war, to console wounded hearts and help the people entrusted to you so that they may make progress on the path of the Gospel." 

  "Today more than ever," he continued, "Angola needs peace with justice; specifically reconciliation, rejecting every temptation to resort to violence. … It is time for a deep national reconciliation; we must work ceaselessly in order to offer future generations a country where all members of society coexist and work together fraternally. … I urge you to work tirelessly for reconciliation and to bear authentic witness through acts of solidarity and aid for victims of the decades of violence."

  John Paul II also spoke about the need to defend the family and to proclaim "the liberating message of authentic Christian love," urging educational programs to emphasize that "true love is chaste love, and that chastity offers us solid hope to overcome the forces that threaten the institution of the family, and at the same time, to free humanity of the devastating scourge of AIDS."

  Referring to young people, the Holy Father underlined that "through a life of prayer and a solid sacramental life, they will remain united to Christ in order to pass on the values of the Gospel in their environments and they will generously assume their role in transforming society."

  After emphasizing that Catholic schools are "an especially effective means to ensure" the formation of young people, the Pope said that the bishops must "promote religious and moral teaching, also in public schools, in order to create a consensus in public opinion on the importance of this type of formation. This service, which could come from closer collaboration with the government, is an important form of active Catholic participation in the society of your country."

  John Paul II urged the prelates not to neglect the formation of catechists and agents of the evangelization. In addition, he added, "candidates for the priesthood must be carefully selected and formed," as well as their professors, "with clear human and priestly maturity." Priests, he continued, "are called to give up material goods and consecrate themselves to the service of their brothers and sisters through the complete personal gift of self of celibacy. Scandalous behaviour must always be analyzed, investigated and corrected."

  In concluding, the Holy Father said the "flourishing number of vocations to consecrated life, especially to female religious life, is a magnificent gift from heaven to the Church of Sao Tome and Angola."
AL/…/ANGOLA                                VIS 20041022 (520) 

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service