The Zavos Organization



Media Release from
The NSW Council of Churches

Churches outraged at human cloning revelations

Church groups angered by news of human cloning experiments have condemned the research outright, saying that human cloning is an affront to God and to human dignity.

"It is irresponsible and immoral for Professor Severino Antinori and Professor Panayiotis Zavos to announce their expectation of success in human cloning," said Mr Ray Hoekzema, President of the NSW Council of Churches. "The arrogance of their claims is unbelievable.

"They have declared that they intend to break the laws of nature - laws which God has put in place for our good. What they are seeking to do is an affront to God - they're effectively saying that God's creation, God's choices, and God's wisdom are not good enough for them or the rest of humanity.

"And just today we've heard that Australian scientists are also involved in secret cloning experiments. Where is the ethical regulation for this sort of activity?

"Human cloning is the grossest distortion imaginable. It is a huge offence to God, who reigns over life and death."

The churches believe that cloning research will destroy life rather than preserve it. Scientific data reveals that problems in pregnancy, foetal abnormalities and early deaths in newborn animals are the hallmarks of the cloning procedure to date.

"Humanity has a special role in preserving life in our world," Mr Hoekzema said. "However, animal clonings have only been achieved through the loss of hundreds of embryos through miscarriage and other means of disposal.

"Are we to expect the same scale of loss in terms of human life, with the advent of a human cloning program? If this is the case, then the end - a cloned child in the arms of a childless couple - doesn't justify the means."

Mr Hoekzema expressed special concern for infertile couples already experiencing grief over their inability to have a child. This recent announcement will only cause more disappointment and heartache for couples who peg their hopes on conceiving a healthy child via human cloning techniques, he said.

"To suggest by inference or implication that human cloning is the next great cure for infertility is outrageous. It is a callous thing to raise unrealistic expectations in people with a deeply felt desire to build a family, but are unable to do so.

"It's a shameful publicity stunt on the part of the scientists involved, driven by their need for attention and adulation, rather than any truthful concern for those experiencing infertility."

Not only will human cloning threaten the stability of the family, it will bring heartache to those couples involved in the experimentation, Mr Hoekzema added.

"Death and deformity are the likely outcomes in the immediate future. The churches, upholding the sanctity of life, will never endorse anything of this kind.

"And the cloned children face unimaginable futures, with a disturbed sense of identity. We have already seen the emotional and cultural dislocation of the stolen generations and children who grow up never knowing either their biological fathers or mothers.

"We must learn from history as we build our future. The churches want to see an end to this kind of research."

The NSW Council of Churches, representing The Anglican Church (Sydney Diocese), The Baptist Union, The Churches of Christ, The Fellowship of Congregational Churches, The Presbyterian Church, The Salvation Army, and The Reformed Churches in New South Wales, Australia.


Elizabeth Scott - Media Office
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