(LifeSiteNews) — The United Kingdom has seen its first baby born using the DNA of three parents, using a process that carries grave ethical ramifications.
The BBC reports that the anonymous child was born to two parents with the aid of DNA from a female donor, which comprised 0.1 percent of the baby’s genetic material. The child is believed to be one of fewer than five to have been conceived in this manner worldwide since 2016.
Mitochondrial Replacement Technology (MRT), meant to prevent children from being born with mitochondrial diseases, uses in vitro fertilization (IVF) to replace the unhealthy mitochondrial DNA from the parents’ egg or embryo with a healthy substitute from a donor. Eventually as many as 150 babies could be born in this manner in the U.K., according to the BBC.
“It will be interesting to know how well the mitochondrial replacement therapy technique worked at a practical level, whether the babies are free of mitochondrial disease, and whether there is any risk of them developing problems later in life,” said Professor Robin Lovell-Badge of the Francis Crick Research Institute.
The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) has described assisted suicide as sometimes being the “greatest common good concretely possible” contrary to the Catholic Church's strenuous condemnation of the practice.
This betrayal of the Catholic faith by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is not for the first time, with the PAV repeatedly causing scandal under his watch by:
- recently appointing a notorious pro-abortion atheist to the organization
- claiming contraception and artificial insemination are sometimes acceptable
- insisting that priests could accompany people through assisted-suicide, and
- that Italy's pro-abortion law is a “pillar” of the country's social life.
SIGN: Pope Francis must remove Abp. Paglia from the Pontifical Academy for Life
“Personally, I would not practice suicide assistance,” Archbishop Paglia told an Italian journalism conference last week, “but I understand that legal mediation may be the greatest common good concretely possible under the conditions we find ourselves in.”
Accepting an anti-life Italian court ruling that specified when assisted-suicide is permitted, the archbishop claimed “it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible that would allow assistance to suicide under the conditions specified by Constitutional Court Sentence 242/2019...”
From the outset of his presentation in Perugia, Paglia also undermined the authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, stating: “First of all, I would like to clarify that the Catholic Church is not that it has a ready-made, prepackaged package of truths, as if it were a dispenser of truth pills.”
SIGN: Abp. Paglia must be removed from the Pontifical Academy for Life
The PAV issued a statement on Monday trying to clarify the archbishop's remarks, insisting that Paglia “reiterates his ‘no’ towards euthanasia and assisted suicide, in full adherence to the Magisterium”.
However, far from denouncing Paglia’s words, the PAV unsurprisingly supported its president. Referencing the Italian court ruling which partially decriminalized euthanasia by outlining exceptions to its illegality, the PAV stated it was in the context of this ruling that Paglia had made his comments.
In this precise and specific context, Msgr. Paglia explained that in his opinion a ‘legal mediation’ (certainly not a moral one) in the direction indicated by the Sentence is possible, maintaining the crime and the conditions under which it is decriminalized, as the same Constitutional Court has asked Parliament to legislate.
The PAV’s fudging of the issue was met with consternation from several Catholic commentators, with liturgist Matthew Hazell, who had highlighted Paglia’s original comments, asking “How hard is it for the @PontAcadLife to just say ‘sorry’ for scandalising the faithful? Indeed, how hard is it to actually adhere to the teaching of the Church on life issues? Are you so incapable of reading the signs of the times & interpreting them in the light of the Gospel?”
The Pontifical Academy for Life has tried & failed to explain @monspaglia's remarks. Paglia had spoken about the “accompaniment” needed for the dying, saying “in this context, it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible …” https://t.co/C3LU601aA2— Michael Haynes 🇻🇦 (@MLJHaynes) April 24, 2023
Sorry guys, not good enough. Nowhere near good enough.— Matthew Hazell (@M_P_Hazell) April 24, 2023
Archbishop Paglia's "opinion" on the possibility of "juridical mediation" regarding euthanasia is still contrary to the Catholic faith, as has been explained already. https://t.co/qMATq0UZrL pic.twitter.com/W8s4zLvkj7
Archbishop Paglia's comments about assisted suicide being "feasible" are wrong and harmful. It's the kind of "crack in the wall" that opponents of human life will run with to promote their agenda. The teaching of the Church is clear: Euthanasia is "morally unacceptable." Period.— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) April 24, 2023
SIGN: Abp. Paglia's presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life is untenable
It's vital that the Church and PAV push back against the culture of death, rather than trying to accommodate it and accept a world that where the vulnerable are helped to kill themselves.
Be part of pushing back against the tide and making it clear that there is no room for confusion or betrayal when it comes to the sanctity of human life and the infallibilty of Catholic teaching on the matter.
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Abp. Paglia defends assisted-suicide as 'greatest common good possible' for dying people - LifeSiteNews
While the process may sound innocuous, this mitochondrial donation can be performed one of two ways, before or after fertilization, and if done after, it entails the destruction of an already-conceived embryonic human from the donor.
Catholic News Agency adds that the U.K.’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority insists that it “oversees a robust framework which ensures that mitochondrial donation is provided in a safe and ethical manner,” but the ethics remain far from settled. “The human embryo is a new human life, and it should be respected and protected from the moment of conception,” the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has said on the subject.
In vitro fertilization is fraught with ethical peril, as it entails the conscious creation of scores of “excess” embryonic humans only to be killed and human lives being treated like commodities to be bartered over. The same destruction of human life is true of MRT, with added ethical dangers that even some liberals recognize, as LifeSiteNews has previously covered.
“[M]any secular and actively pro-choice scientists, bioethicists and women’s-health advocates have voiced grave and detailed concerns about the safety and utility of mitochondrial replacement,” according to Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society in Berkeley, California, “and about authorizing the intentional genetic modification of children and their descendants.” She warns that MRT crosses a “legal and ethical line” that “genetic-engineering tools” should not be used “to modify gametes or early embryos and so manipulate the characteristics of future children.”