Vatican Media Watch

Vatican Condemns Plans for ‘Dual Mother’ Embryo

AFP, Sept. 9 — The Vatican condemned plans by a team of British scientists to create a human embryo using genetic material from two women, Agence France Presse reported.

A team of scientists at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom were granted government approval Sept. 8 to create a human embryo using genetic material from two women, raising the future prospect of babies with a pair of mothers.

The scientists will transfer the components of a human embryo nucleus — made by one man and one woman into an unfertilized egg from another woman.

“This is a real experiment whose success remains to be proved, but which, from the moral point of view, violates at least three prohibitions, Bishop Elio Sgreccia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told Vatican radio. “A real clone will be produced, the embryo from which the nucleus is taken is destroyed and they then create a new embryo implanted in a woman who becomes a substitute mother.

Bishop Sgreccia added, “All this constitutes a string of violations that is morally reprehensible, and not only from the Catholic point of view.”

Ethiopia and the Vatican Establish University

ETHIOPEA HERALD, Sept. 13 — The Ethiopian and Vatican governments yesterday signed an agreement providing for the establishment of an international standard Catholic University in Addis Ababa, AllAfrica reported.

The agreement was signed by Education Minister Genet Zewde, Ethiopian Catholic Chruch Archbishop Abune-Berhan Surafel and Foreign Affairs Minister Seyoum Mesfin and Vatican Ambassador Archbishop Ramiro Ingles.

The Church has five colleges in Ethiopia, according to the archbishop.

Zewde thanked the Ethiopian Catholic Church and the Holy See for their efforts in contributing to the development of the education sector in general and establishment of the university in particular.

Vatican's Invitation to China Is Rejected

THE CHINA POST, Sept. 14 — Beijing has rejected a Vatican invitation to four Chinese Catholic bishops to attend next month's synod in Rome, citing advanced age and poor health of three of them as well as the Holy See's continuing official ties with Taiwan, the China Post reported.

Pope Benedict XVI invited bishops Anthony Li Duan (78) of Xian, Aloysius Jin Luxian (89) of Shanghai, Luke Li Jingfeng (85) of Fengxiang and Joseph Wei Jingyi (47) from Qiqihar. The latter two are from the unofficial Church, which is in communion with the Holy See.

Catholics on the mainland were divided from the universal Church, and each other, in 1951 after Mao Zedong established the patriotic association to oversee Catholic churches. The association rejected papal authority and placed Church affairs, including appointments under government control.

According to the report, Taiwan has long prepared for losing the Vatican's diplomatic recognition to Beijing, whose procrastination on accepting the Holy See as the sole authority on Catholicism prolongs its image as an atheist communist state. China's modernization drive will remain incomplete without official ties to the Vatican.