Cardinal on YouTube Urges End to Hybrid-Creating

Notes Human-Animal Embryos "Appalling" to Majority of People

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GLASGOW, Scotland, APRIL 11, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A Scottish cardinal is appealing through YouTube for a stop to the creation of human-animal hybrids.



Cardinal Keith O'Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh has a five-minute video to warn about the dangers of the "Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill."

The bill is to be debated in parliament in about a month. But attention on the bill is already high, especially after the BBC reported April 1 that scientists at Newcastle University created part-human, part-animal hybrid embryos for the first time in the United Kingdom.

The embryos survived for up to three days. They were created by inserting DNA from human skin cells into eggs taken from cows, which have had nearly all their genetic material removed.

Cardinal O'Brien's video is being sent to all the United Kingdom's members of Parliament, and reiterates the Church's opposition to the creation of animal-human hybrid embryos.

It further highlights recent opinion poll findings on the subject, showing 67% of people questioned found the creation of human-animal hybrids "appalling."

The cardinal's message follows a letter sent Wednesday to MP's in the Diocese of Paisley by Bishop Philip Tartaglia, urging them not to vote for the bill.

In the text, Bishop Tartaglia provided detailed ethical objections to the legislation pointing out that "we do not need this embryo-destructive research either from an ethical or a scientific-medical point of view."

He added, "I have become aware that the scientific community already knows that, contrary to what the Prime Minister has asserted, research on human embryos is not required to have access to human stem cells as the basis of therapy for serious medical conditions."

In conclusion the bishop advises the Parliament members, "I intend to share the contents of this letter, together with details of your answer with the Catholic population in the Diocese of Paisley."