Catholic Church has not changed life positions, Vatican official says
VATICAN CITY (CNA) – The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, responding to statements by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, said the Catholic Church has not changed its position on fundamental issues, such as the right to life from conception to natural death.
In a conversation with the Catholic News Agency, Msgr. Elio Sgreccia said he preferred not to directly address the statements by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, retired archbishop of Milan.
“At the Vatican, we do not consider it necessary make a controversy out of something that does not merit it.”
Referring to an interview he gave on April 22, 2006, to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Msgr. Sgreccia said the “union of the feminine chromosome and the masculine chromosome contains in itself two pro-nuclei, and it is a fertilized ovum in which the process of fertilization has already begun.” This fusion of the nuclei in the cytoplasm of the ovum, he continued, is what results in creation of a new individual or individuals, in the case of twins.
“This beginning,” Msgr. Sgreccia pointed out, is “precisely the beginning of an individual life and leads to an irreversible process towards successive development, containing already at that point a unique [genetic] patrimony.”
Msgr. Sgreccia also spoke about in vitro fertilization, pointing out that “in artificial procreation-fertilization, the unitive dimension of the spouses, expressed through the gift of self in the conjugal act, is missing.”
“This anthropological dimension has been considered essential for the legitimacy of the procreative act since the teachings of Pius XII on insemination and successively with Paul VI and John Paul II,” he said.
Regarding the use of the condom, even in order to prevent the spread of AIDS, Msgr. Sgreccia said, “Let us remember that scientifically it does not offer complete protection,” and therefore “the most effective method of prevention is in the correct use of sexuality, which consists of chastity and fidelity.”
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Founded in continued response to Pope John Paul II’s call for a “New Evangelization,” the Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world.
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