Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Archbishop Nichols: embryos of less 'value'

Action: expressions of concern, please, to Archbishop Nichols, over his choice of words: of the 'value' of an embryo, he said 'clearly it's not the same as we would give to [an] adult'. This is an extraordinary thing to say. Talk of 'value' here is not helpful in any case: the point is not the 'value' of the 'life', whatever that may mean, but what we are morally obliged to do in respect of it. On this the teaching of the Church is clear: we are obliged to give the embyro the same respect we give to any human person. We are obliged not to kill embryos, or put them at risk in experiments; we--and especially their parents--are obliged to look after them, to save them from avoidable harm, to give them medical treatment where necessary and possible, and so on: see the passage from the CDF's Donum Vitae quoted in Pope John-Paul II's Evangelium Vitae, below. Messages to Archbishop Nichols should go to his secretary.

See Fr Finigan on the grossly biased nature of the BBC interview.

From John Smeaton's blog: It is dismaying for pro-lifers, of all faiths and none, to hear the words of Vincent Nichols, the Catholic archbishop of Birmingham, today on BBC Radio 4's World at One. He said: “…What we’ve been trying to say all along is ‘What is the value that we give to human life in its first beginnings?’ Now clearly it’s not the same as we would give to another adult sitting next to me…”

... Elsewhere, quoting Donum Vitae, the Holy Father said: "'The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life'" (Evangelium Vitae 60)


miss book said...

You will, of course, be aware that the medico/legal definition of 'conception' was altered some years ago to mean the moment when a conceptus implants in the womb of its mother. This change happened in order to facilitate the so-called 'morning after' pill, as it was felt that women might object to using a 'contraceptive' that is in fact, an abortifacient.Hence when the medical world speaks of 'conception' it is not speaking of the moment when a mother's egg is fertilised by a father's sperm.But the Teaching of the Catholic Church is that 'conception' is that moment of fertilisation.

Joe said...

Readers might also like to see the article that Cardinal Murphy O'Connor wrote for the Telegraph. The full text can be found on the Westminster Diocese website, and it is a useful thing to read in the light of the criticism of Archbishop Nichols.

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen