Vatican to Issue Document on New Reproductive Technologies

The Vatican will soon release a new document addressing bioethical concerns — in particular those relating to the personhood of the human embryo — in response to the scientific developments of the past twenty years, according to coverage by the National Catholic Reporter.

The document will act as a follow-up to the text Donum Vitae, released in 1987, that addressed the emerging technologies of artificial reproduction and embryonic research, said Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in an interview with the Italian bishops' newspaper L'Avvenire on January 28.

The new text will build on the foundation of Donum Vitae, expanding on the principles outlined in the original document to include issues current today.

"This ‘Donum Vitae II' has not been conceived in order to abolish the preceding document, but to confront the various bioethical and biotechnological questions which present themselves today, which at the time were unthinkable," Archbishop Amato said.

"Donum Vitae conserves all of its value, and in certain ways was prophetic. The problem is that despite being 20 years old, it's still little known."

The Archbishop refuted media speculation that the document would definitively address the use of condoms by married couples when one is infected with HIV, saying, "The question is not a revision of moral doctrine, for example regarding whether the use of prophylactics is licit, which does not seem to me to be on the agenda.

"Rather, it's new challenges which are in some ways much more grave and destructive of the identity of the human person, such as an embryo which is considered a biological product rather than a human being."

A second document, on natural law, will soon be released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Bishop Amato said, which is an essential theme because "it's the only possible foundation for fruitful inter-religious dialogue."

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  • Guest

    It's about time!  We need to spread the word about the atrocious attacks on human life that occur during these barbaric procedures.  This is a holocaust, and there are going to be repurcussions for it.  I am desperate for a child, but there is no way that I would jeopardize human life to get one, which is exactly what occurs in these procedures.

  • Guest

    Upon the death of the beautiful horse Barbaro, there was an interview yesterday on Good Morning America where the expert talked about why they don't use artificial insemination in breeding thoroughbreds – she said that they have known for a long time that it waters down the breed.  That there is no replacement for the natural way that animals breed.  So even though there had to have been a huge financial incentive to pass along his bloodline they did not do it because it is not good overall for the breed.  Why don't we apply the same knowledge to humans?

  • Guest

    Absolutely.  We dont' know what we're getting ourselves into when we plan God.