Saturday, March 24, 2012

'Scandal' in Vatican Over Stem Cell Conference: Appearances by Trounson and Others Cancelled

The Vatican has cancelled a controversial scientific conference that would have featured scientists, including the president of the California stem cell agency, who support human embryonic stem cell research.

The conference reportedly created a "scandal" in the Vatican, according to a report by David Kerr of the Catholic News Agency. Kerr wrote,
"'I am infinitely relieved that the Church has avoided a major blunder which would have confused the faithful for decades to come,'” said one member of the Pontifical Academy who asked for anonymity in commenting to (the Catholic News Agency)."
The Catholic church opposes hESC research because of its belief that it destroys human life.

The conference would have taken place at the Vatican April 25-28 and included an audience with the pope. In addition to an appearance by CIRM's Alan Trounson, the key lecture was scheduled to have been given by George Daley of Harvard.

Kerr quoted the member of the Vactican's Pontifical Academy for Life as saying,
"The Holy Spirit has certainly shown to be present through those faithful members who drew attention to the ambiguity of the choice of speakers. I hope and pray that a review will be affected of the basis on which these congresses are planned."
Kerr also quoted another anonymous member of the academy as saying that the presence of speakers such as Trounson and Daley was "a betrayal of the mission of the academy and a public scandal." Sphere: Related Content


  1. Paul Knoepfler12:06 PM

    The Vatican is discrediting itself scientifically by inviting and then essentially un-inviting (via cancelling the whole conference) some of the best stem cell scientists in the world.

  2. Anonymous11:54 AM

    Peculiar comment- "[the conference] would have confused the faithful for decades to come". I'm no expert on this stuff, but I would think that faith and confusion are mutually exclusive.