Vatican says scientists who do embryonic stem cell research will be excommunicated

Tough stuff from the new Pope

Boy is this ever going to cramp the style of those involved who don’t happen to be Catholic.

(I don’t suppose the Pope is aware of the fact that you can acquire embryonic stem cells without killing the other cells involved…)

Yeah, but I think that the original quote means that only those who acquire cells from aborted etc. embryos are subject to this. It’s still pretty serious, considering they don’t hand out excommunications very often.

“It’s still pretty serious, considering they don’t hand out excommunications very often.”

Isn’t part of the reason they don’t do it anymore that it’s quite often utterly irrelevant? The RCC could excommunicate me tomorrow. I’d be a little surprised, but it’s not the societal suicide it used to confer. There’s more than one church out there, and not one controls things enough to mean the effective end of your life if you go against the RCC.

I was going to add “Like anyone cares”.

As iampunha says, the Catholic Church isn’t the only major religion out there- I’m sure a Muslim or Anglican or Hindu doctor or lab technician really couldn’t give a flying toss what The Pope has to say on any particular subject, be it religious doctrine, international politics, or the best way to make coffee…

This is probably relevant. Excommunication today tends to happen to those who make themselves “conspicuous pest[s]” (Adams, 1998). It hardly happens to those who get divorces or disbelieve certain dogmas. And excommunication certaintly didn’t stop Frederick II. Nowadays, it’s permission to become atheist or Anglican.

I have to give Pope Palpatine a bit of credit for putting his money where his mouth is even if I don’t agree with him. Excommunication is no joke for deeply-religious Catholics. The ruling could have further effects than just the scientists who are doing the actual disection and the like.

There are also things you can do that are so egregious that you have ex-communicated yourself. So it doesn’t have to be a public or official thing to have happened anyway.

Damn. I miss out on all the fun. Where do I sign up to do the research?

So do they presently excommunicate people who get / perform abortions? Considering their point of view (which is not mine), a plain old abortion would be more wasteful than the stem cell research thing (because of the benefits of said research).

There is potential for huge businesses to arise out of stem cell research. The research will be done. Money is the god that matters. We should encourage it and fund it. The pope is an important historical figure with no power.

Makes me want to convert to Catholicism and take up stem cell research just so I can be ex-communicated. If I had a son, I’d forbid him from being molested by the Pope because of things like this.

I kid! I kid! AFAIK, the Pope’s not a pedo and has never condoned or lended his support to such a thing.

I’m curious about this as well. Seems to me stem cell research is tantamount to abortion, if one warrants excommunication it would be inconsistant for the other not to.

Yes, they do. Here’s an article discussing it:

When discussing stem cells with a Roman Catholic molecular biologist, he mentioned that he’d signed letter to the Pope along with a large group of other Catholic scientists. They weren’t concerned with money so much as in being allowed to follow their conscience and help people. I can’t see my friend picking money over his faith. I have seen him tell me that the Holy Father is in error and that disobeying him in order to do research that will help humanity is the right thing.

IIRC he’s blamed Church pedophilia on American social liberalism and denied it’s a Church problem. I’ve heard the same about nun rapes by priests that are seen in Third World countries ( the nuns are younger and prettier, I guess ); it’s just a local problem, a few bad apples, etc.

Huh. So now I have two reasons to become a research physician.

Kind of like one of my former professors. He was a Jesuit, that is until he began to use his weekly sermons to preach Buddhism.

Moving thread from IMHO to MPSIMS.

As a practicing scientist, and non-practicing Catholic, I think I’ll take my chances.

Is there a target for this issuance? Is there a particularly well known/publicized Catholic Doctor or Scientist that is prominent in the field of Stem Cell research. I figure this must be against some person, or modeled as a warning?