7 March 2005
7 March 2005
7 March 2005 Three Catholic schools in Wales have refused to support Comic Relief because the fundraising body has a history of giving money to pro-abortion agencies.
A spokesman for the diocese of Menevia stated that schools had been advised against raising money for Comic Relief, commenting: "The Catholic faith holds all life as sacred."
[The Guardian, 7 March ] The Catholic Communications Service has issued a press release stating that the Bishops Conference of England and Wales 'has been assured by Comic Relief organisers that no funds raised by their events are used to support abortions.'
Bishop Mark Jabale of Menevia stated: "I want to reassure parishioners that they can give money to Comic Relief without worrying that any funds would be given to support something contrary to Catholic teaching." [Catholic Communications Service, 7 March ] SPUC has expressed concern at the bishops' stance, pointing out that in 2001-2002, Comic Relief gave over a quarter of a million pounds to the pro-abortion Reproductive Health Alliance Europe and £29,000 to UNICEF UK.
[SPUC media release ] The Times of London has obtained documents revealing that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) lifted a ban on taking bone marrow from 'designer babies' last year.
Previous regulations allowed the use of the umbilical cord because it was of no risk to the designer baby, but the extraction of bone marrow is painful, risky and invasive, requires a general anaesthetic and is of no medical benefit to the baby.
Josephine Quintavalle of Comment on Reproductive Ethics said: "We were categorically promised during all legal hearings that tissue-typing would result only in non-invasive applications, dependent exclusively on harvesting stem cells from the designed baby's umbilical cord blood."
The HFEA approved bone marrow transplants after the UK Children's Cancer Study Group showed that they were usually more successful than cord blood transplants.
[The Times of London, 7 March ] Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, has said that New South Wales Health Department Guidelines for Decision Making at the End of Life "lack the sort of clear safeguards necessary to protect vulnerable patients."
Bishop Fisher, who is spokesman on health ethics for the Catholic Church in Sydney stated: "Although the guidelines rightly oppose euthanasia, assisted suicide and other illegal practices, without sound ethical principles that promote respect for human dignity, people could still make decisions that caring for the unconscious, the severely handicapped, the demented and the less articulate is 'inappropriate'. The new guidelines could end up encouraging euthanasist thinking."
[CathNews, 7 March ] Researchers from Stanford University are planning to breed mice with brains consisting entirely of human cells taken from aborted babies.
The group awaits a government report on human-animal hybrids, but the project has been approved by the university's ethics committee.
[The Telegraph, 6 March ] Hong Kong's deputy leader has encouraged couples to have three children to counter the state's dramatically low birth rate.
Hong Kong had the lowest birth rate in the world in 2003 at 0.94, with couples apparently put off by the cost of living, expensive housing and lack of support from the system.
[The Telegraph, 6 March ] Four Massachusetts bishops have signed a letter opposing human embryonic stem cell research and have urged Catholics to lobby against a proposed bill currently being debated by the state's Legislature.
[Zenit, 6 March ] London Underground is to give badges to pregnant women to try to encourage commuters to give up their seats on the Tube for them. The badges will read 'Baby on Board'. [UTV, 7 March ]