Source Pravda.Ru

Are Clone Babies to be Baptized?

A theological discussion on the possibility of baptizing clone babies started in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday. As the Russian website Strana.Ru informs, participants of the discussion called into question the statements of the ClonAid company saying that the first clone baby has already come into the world.

Bishop of the city of Mostar Ratko Peric says that he would baptize a clone baby despite the prohibition imposed on cloning by the Church. In the words of Peric, “even if it is exactly proved that a baby is a clone, I will agree to baptize the baby on conditions that he has a head and looks like a human.”

The bishop added that he himself “considered cloning as an attack on life, but the Catholic Church has laws of its own. If someone brings a baby in church, and the baby has a head and looks like a human, we assume that the baby has a soul, even if he is a clone. Under such conditions, every clergyman is obliged to baptize the baby.”

However, this is just a partial opinion of this particular bishop. As is known, Christians, Moslems and Jews have already reported their protests against the first clone baby.

As the Russian news agency RIA Novosti informs, yesterday the Islamic World League (its headquarters are situated in Mecca) circulated a statement to confirm the ban imposed on baptizing of clone babies and appealed to all countries for imposing the prohibition as well. The Islamic organization decided to prohibit baptizing of clone babies in the Islamic countries four years ago. The Islamic World League Secretary General Abdullah bin Abdulmohsin Al Turki says that cloning of humans “contradicts the law of life created by Allah, causes damage to human beings and contradicts the Shariat.”

The League urged governments of all countries, religious, cultural and scientific organizations to outlaw experiments connected with human cloning. It also declares the necessity to establish legislative limits for researches in the sphere of genetic engineering.

Spiritual leader of the Egyptian Sunites Ali Abu al-Hasana thinks that “cloning will lead to chaos”, “the science must be regulated by laws for the sake of humanity and dignity.”

Earlier, Vatican press-secretary Joaquin Navarro-Valls declared that “the very statement saying about the birth of a clone baby which was declared questionable by the international scientific community, is the manifestation of brutal mentality, devoid of ethics and humanitarian sense.” A similar point of view was expressed by Israel’s Chief Rabbi Meir Lau: “For cloning and other methods of life creation, it’s important to determine the limits where the process becomes an encroachment upon the God’s plan.”

We would like to mention that representatives of the ClonAid company will have to appear at a court session dedicated to guardianship over the newly born girl named Eva. The problem of guardianship and the parent right of Eva’s genetic mother raised by Lawyer Bernard Siegel was considered at a Florida court session on January 10. In accordance with the court resolution, ClondAid vice-president Thomas Kaenzig and Eva’s mother (the woman is mentioned as "Jane Doe" by unofficial sources) must appear in court on January 22. ClondAid must confirm the fact of the girl’s existence and present evidences proving that the girl came into the world as a result of cloning.

Pyotr Bely PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://science.pravda.ru/science/2003/6/79/308/5532_klon.html

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