Embryology Bill Demands Response, Says Cardinal

Urges Catholics to Write or Visit Parliament Members

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LONDON, FEB. 20, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor says now is the time for Catholics to tell Members of Parliament that human dignity must be defended, before a bill allowing animal-human hybrids is passed.



In a statement released today, the archbishop of Westminster encouraged Christians to react in fact of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill.

The bill completed its passage through the House of Lords and will be debated in the House of Commons in the coming weeks.

It extends the scope of scientific research on human embryos and allows the creation of animal and human hybrid embryos for research. It removes a provision to have regard for the child's need for a father when in vitro fertilization methods are used. Attempts to further liberalize the abortion law are also expected.

"Many people of all faiths and none are deeply concerned by the moral questions raised by this bill," the cardinal wrote. "Now is the time for our voices to be heard."

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor noted that the bishops' conference sent a briefing to every parish explaining concerns about the bill.

"This needs as many people as possible to write to -- and better still -- to go and see their MP and to register their deep concern about this bill," he added. "During this time of Lent we are encouraged to reflect on our own lives and to rededicate ourselves as Christians to serving the Gospel in our world.

"Taking action on this pressing issue now helps to remind us that our Christian witness can never just be personal but involves us too as citizens committed to serving the common good of society and to upholding the human dignity of all."