United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Bishops’ President Says Cloning Turns Human Reproduction into a Manufacturing Process

Date: 11/27/2001

November 27, 2001

WASHINGTON — The President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said that “human cloning does not treat any disease but turns human reproduction into a manufacturing process, by which human beings are mass-produced to preset specifications.”

“Once again, a technical ability to manipulate and exploit human life is outdistancing society’s ability to understand and respond to its frightening implications,” said Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Il.

“While cloning may never produce any clinical benefit, its attack on human dignity has already begun,” Bishop Gregory stated. “The House of Representatives, anticipating this threat, has already overwhelmingly voted to ban human cloning. We urge the U.S. Senate to do the same without delay.”

Bishop Gregory commented on reports that a Massachusetts biotechnology firm has cloned human embryos for research purposes.

This is the text of the statement by Bishop Gregory:

“The Catholic Church encourages efforts to find new ways to reduce human suffering and treat life-threatening illness. However, human cloning violates fundamental ethical and moral norms, and is to be condemned unequivocally. Human cloning does not treat any disease but turns human reproduction into a manufacturing process, by which human beings are mass-produced to preset specifications. The cloning procedure is so dehumanizing that some scientists want to treat the resulting human beings as subhuman, creating them solely so they can destroy them for their cells and tissues.

“The fact that U.S. scientists have now created human embryos by cloning should serve as a wake-up call to Congress, and to all of us. Once again, a technical ability to manipulate and exploit human life is outdistancing society’s ability to understand and respond to its frightening implications.

“While cloning may never produce any clinical benefit, its attack on human dignity has already begun. The House of Representatives, anticipating this threat, has already overwhelmingly voted to ban human cloning. We urge the U.S. Senate to do the same without delay.”