by H.G. Bishop Moussa
Are cloning and stem-cell
research approved by our church?
As you know, my dear friends, we
agree concerning cloning of plants and animals. You know, cloning started with
a sheep called Dolly in Ireland. They could have a typical copy, from another
sheep, not by having male and female cells, but from any cell of the person or
thing being cloned. The problem is that, if we agree concerning cloning of
(1) We are canceling the role of marriage, because we are saying we do not need the males. We are saying I can create a female or male baby using one cell from you, and no need for sperm at all. I will take any cell from your body, and then make the clone. Thus, it is canceling marriage, canceling how babies are created through God, and canceling the family role, because people will have sex before making human beings. Cloning may be from a need to unbalance males versus females, if we want to create more males to enter the army, or if we want to create more females to be done with the males (laughter).
(2) It creates a lot of disturbed family relations. For example, if a woman loves her brother very much, and she wants to clone her brother. She takes a cell from his skin or elsewhere, ovum from herself, and they will take her uterus out of her womb, place the cell in it (and create an embryo). It will not be put in her womb, perhaps, but in the womb of another woman, because she does not want to conceive or become pregnant. Then, the baby that is born will be the brother of his mother, because he will come from her ovum. Cloning creates confusion and such problems.
If mankind is able to successfully clone another human being, will it have a soul?
This cloned baby will be another human being, with a soul, body, and mind. The only difference is concerning the genetic factors. Instead of having half from the father and half from the mother, he will take all his genetic make-up from the cell by which he was created. But there is no problem regarding the soul. He is a human being with soul, mind, and everything.
What if embryonic cells are used from a baby that dies naturally, through a miscarriage, instead of through an abortion?
This is a complex subject. For us, as Christians, we believe that the fertilized egg is a human being, and anything to threaten this life – this fertilized egg – is not acceptable. George Bush tried to approve a compromise, in which they wanted to take embryos that had already died. Would it be OK to take their cells, or if there was already a stem cell line established, would it be acceptable to take their cells? Now, we are not threatening the life, because this life was already taken. Similarly, we only take organs from dead people – we do not take organs from living people. I can take the liver from a person who recently died, so I am not interfering with his life because he is already dead.
I think there are lots of details, and the church cannot go into all these circumstances. What concerns us most as Christian is:
(1) When does life start? Some consider that life starts at 3 months, 6 months, etc. For us, life starts at the moment of conception.
(2) Any interference that will lead to the death of the embryo is killing, just like abortion.
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