VATICAN CITY, FEB 21, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received participants in the 10th General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life which has just dedicated two days to studying the problem of artificial procreation.
After emphasizing that the theme that they are addressing "is rife with problems and implications that deserve careful examination," the Pope said: "Basic values are at stake, values not only for faithful Christians but also
John Paul II emphasized that the conjugal act in which husband and wife become father and mother "through total reciprocal gift of self makes them cooperators of the Creator while bringing a new human being into the world who is called to eternal life. This beautiful act which transcends the life of the parents cannot be substituted by a mere technological procedure which is devoid of human value and subject to the dictates of science and technology."
"The duty of scientists is that of researching the causes of male and female infertility. . Precisely for this reason, I want to encourage scientific research in order to naturally overcome sterility in married couples and I also want to urge specialists to rely on procedures which are effective for that purpose. My wish is that on the road to true prevention and authentic therapy the scientific community - this appeal goes out particularly to scientists who are believers - may be able to obtain comforting progress."
After affirming that the Pontifical Academy should do everything possible to promote initiatives that avoid "dangerous manipulations in the processes of artificial procreation," the Holy Father concluded by asking all faithful "to commit themselves to facilitating authentic ways of research, resisting in decisive moments suggestions of a technology that wants to substitute true paternity and maternity and therefore that does harm to the dignity of parents and children alike."
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