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The Vatican has abruptly cancelled a controversial stem-cell conference that was set to be attended by the Pope next month.

The Third International Congress on Responsible Stem Cell Research…was to focus on clinical applications of adult and reprogrammed stem cells. But a number of the invited speakers, including Alan Trounson, president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine in San Francisco, and keynote speaker George Daley, a stem-cell scientist at Children’s Hospital Boston in Massachusetts, are involved in research using human embryonic stem cells, which the Catholic Church considers unethical…

The Catholic News Agency…quoted an unnamed academy member who called the cancellation an “enormous relief to many members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who felt that the presence on its program of so many speakers, including the keynote speaker, committed to embryonic stem cell research, was a betrayal of the mission of the Academy and a public scandal”.

I think the only interpretation is that we are being censored. It is very disappointing that they are unwilling to hear the truth,” says Trounson. He had hoped to provide a “balanced perspective” on the potential clinical applications of stem cells, both adult and embryonic.

Meanwhile, some European scientists, who had called for a boycott because they believed the conference unfairly maligned embryonic stem cell research, cheered its cancellation…

RTFA for all the thorny details.



  1. andycatus says:

    Stem cell walks into a bar. Bartender says “We don’t serve your kind please leave”. The stem cell then implants into the bartender and initiates replacement therapy. “Correction, we do now”.

  2. Matthew says:

    How hard is it to understand. Adult stem cells are OK. Killing humans to get stem cells is not OK. Good for Vatican.

    • dusanmal says:

      Everyone can agree with your statement. What they can’t agree (and either side won’t budge even with reason) is “what is human?”.
      But I take the whole slant to Eideard and the title, intentionally one-sided: It is Vatican. Not some International Scientific Conference. Vatican is interested in religious and spiritual aspects. Vatican by definition is not interested in science. Hence it makes perfect sense not to want any scientific meddling in things scientists have no clue about. Same as scientist wouldn’t want Pope showing on their conference and talking to them about religious aspects of centrifuges. In both cases it is proper refusal.

      • Chrisbap says:

        You say, “…it makes perfect sense not to want any scientific meddling in things scientists have no clue about. Same as scientist wouldn’t want Pope showing on their conference and talking to them about religious aspects of centrifuges”. Except if you read the 1st paragraph of the article more carefully, you’ll see it says they were invited to be speakers.

      • Juan says:

        Actually your very wrong.
        The catholic church has a long history of supporting scientific endeavors. The myth that the Vatican suppresses scientific advancement is a incredibly false.
        The catholic church has consistently worked towards advancing the understanding of the natural world as a source of inspiration to know God.
        As an example one of the initial formulators of the Big Bang is a Jesuit priest.

        • So what says:

          Galileo

          • Gildersleeve says:

            Galileo – Galileo. Sheesh, that is old news. No, ancient news. There is an astronomical observatory on the grounds of the Vatican, which should be viewed, if in no other way, as a great big “oops, we got it wrong, sorry” to the world. Also don’t forget John Paul II’s apology, and acknowledgment of Galileo’s importance to the advancement of science.

            Like a dog with a bone, you atheists.

  3. NewfornatSux says:

    So scientists wanted the conference shut down to begin with, but the headline you put is deliberately rigged to make the Vatican appear anti-science.

  4. Guyver says:

    Slow news day, eh?

    Or is it that there’s little interest in covering something a bit more important (i.e. Supreme Court looking into the Constitutionality of a federal mandate for every person in the U.S. to get healthcare insurance)?

    • NewfornatSux says:

      Or even the Pope visiting Cuba, and the regime sending a text message to dissidents that they will disappear once the Pope is gone.

      Tan pronto como se vaya el #PapaCuba los vamos a desaparecer a todos ustedes.

      But apparently the Church is to be bashed as an enemy of humanity.

    • NewfornatSux says:

      Or how about that the unions are paying $20 for protesters outside the Supreme Court? They couldn’t find people in a city that voted 90% for Obama that would come out in support of ObamaCare?

    • Dallas says:

      A solution to stem the rising costs of Healthcare is to have everyone insured. Seems like a reasonable law.

      I would agree with you that the Fed will next force all Americans to have gay sex and at least one abortion is likely. However, I bet clever loopholes will be worked in!

  5. blatherer says:

    The pope IMHO is an evil btard that should just GO HOME.

  6. Yaknow says:

    If it was a pedophile convention the Church would have been all over it giddy, with milk and cookies.

    The Church: See no Evil, speak no Evil, hear no Evil, but do a hell of a lot of it. They are against stem because their pedophile victims pool is dwindling. That is once people caught on to them that is.

    The sad thing is the Church has improved, it no longer (as far as we know) mutilates, tortures, beats, enslaves, horribly mistreats, and under it’s religious doctrine can kill a sinning child. In response to public out cry, and being against the secular law. Notice I left out rape, and sexually molestation, where it is still undergoing treatment in rehab.

    Michael Jackson, would have fit right in there with the Vatican.

    • Yaknow says:

      Per the Church’s current and past history, it clearly isn’t God speaking to them.

      I don’t understand how such a corrupt criminal and hypocritical institution that shames Christianity has so much power to say when life does and doesn’t begin, all based on when they say so. A decision not based on faith, or God, but on self-interest.

      I wouldn’t doubt the Pope or any one else high ranked in the Church isn’t benefiting from stem cell research right now. Thus, the alarm and over-reaction of the Church toward a scientist showing up is to keep the smoke screen up. They really don’t need that little secret from getting out.

      • NewfornatSux says:

        >to say when life does and doesn’t begin, all based on when they say so. A decision not based on faith, or God, but on self-interest.

        No, it’s based on science. Only the arguments over abortion have kept this as an issue, where the activists see all issues through that prism. Thus a man who has taken up with another woman and fathered children by that woman, is seen as a proper guardian for a woman who is being fed thru a feeding tube, and probably has no brain function. If this man’s name were Gingrich, the same people would see him as not the right person to be judging whether to take away the feeding tube. But because it was pro-lifers on one side, the issue became all about abortion, and the media took the side of death regardless of the facts. Same with stem-cells. Ordinarily it would be seen as corporations getting money for not very promising research, which even if successful could lead to growing people in labs, to be killed at will, like the movie The Island.

  7. bobbo, holding his nose as this is about the Catholic Church says:

    So the Church sponsors a conference and schedules the speakers and then cancels the conference because of who the scheduled speakers are?

    well…..that just doesn’t make any sense………..but then little the Church does, does make sense. Must involve an issue of doubt and faith?

    so many “issues” in the area of pro-life/choice are poorly discussed. The legal issue is always lost in the ruckas. Human Life is present at conception. The issue is—at what stage of development does the product of conception gain what level of legal protection?

    To that end–seems to me a adult human stem cell is every bit as much a “potential tax payer” as is a fertilized egg.

    Isn’t it just one cell? I know the source is different, but after that==whats the biological difference?

  8. Lou says:

    No stem cells for the Pope. He may need some soon.

  9. Dallas says:

    I can’t believe the Vatican aborted the stem cell forum.

    Animals!

    • The BAD Example of Grandchildren says:

      Probably the reason the ‘aborted’ the conference, is not the fact that there were going to be a few scientists there, but that there were going to be an abundance of scientists there, too many for them to refute or coerce into not gong against the Church’s ‘doctrine.’

  10. Glenn E. says:

    Is this a caption contest? referring to the photo – “Scientists? We don’t need no stinkin’ scientists.” 🙂

    Frankky all this controversy is bullcrap! The scientists have got to shut their traps, claiming there’s no god, just because they think the can whip of some life in a test tube. And religious authorities have got to shut up, pretending they know that God doesn’t approve of the latest lifesaving medical research, just because it might use the unborn to donate cells. Some had very little problem with child abuse, taking place, with priests and such. But make some possible use of those who fail to be born, because they project the fear that this will make abortions more popular. Is just utterly STUPID! That’s like saying not to vaccinate your children, because doctors’ needles will encourage kids to experiment with shooting up drugs. Hell, I grew up getting dozens of allergy shots. And if anything, it made me to never want to look at another needle the rest of my life. The assumption that stem cell research will encourage or make abortions more acceptable is total hogwash. And shows just how little priest know or understand what most women go thru in deciding whether or not to abort a pregnancy. Stem cell research isn’t going to influence their decision significantly. And if it ever really did, then said religion isn’t doing it job, dealing with human moral values. Opposing the advancement of medical research is, in some kind of “security thru obscurity” principal, is simply going to backfire, in the long run.

    And the research will get done, somewhere in the world. Like maybe China. And all the rich and politically connected will flock their to take advantage of some therapy they develop. Including the religious leaders who oppose the rest of us getting it.

  11. Grandpa says:

    Bring me that young boy. I have a hat he might like.

  12. Gildersleeve says:

    Snore. Wake me when the Tyrell corporation starts selling the Sean Young models.

  13. MartinJJ says:

    Good they cancelled it. Religion and science do not mix very well in the first place. Can we end the hypocrite Vatican also please? They already caused enough damage on this planet.

  14. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Gildersleeve spinning as a top and falling over says:
    3/29/2012 at 11:32 pm

    Galileo – Galileo. Sheesh, that is old news. No, ancient news.

    There is an astronomical observatory on the grounds of the Vatican, which should be viewed, if in no other way, as a great big “oops, we got it wrong, sorry” to the world. /// Or….they were busy looking for angels and only after 400 years did they give up and admit the stars weren’t hung on glass spheres.

    Also don’t forget John Paul II’s apology, and acknowledgment of Galileo’s importance to the advancement of science. /// Un-huh. Again, after 400 years the Vatican admits that the Earth is Round and goes Around the Sun…….and nothing else.

    Like a dog with a bone, you atheists. /// Science. Science deals with reality. Religion with something other than reality.

    I’d rather play with a bone than have a dog bite my ass. mmm–I would most rather NOT play with a bone and have the Pope bit in the ass. How many choices are there?

    • Yaknow says:

      You can have the Pope play with his own bone, and get bitten in his own ass – that is my favorite.

      Why shoot yourself in the foot? Why admit that the dogma you put out is purposed in an agenda of power and greed? Why admit all the tools used to play on peoples hopes, to manipulate their emotions and physiological state, is just made up shit. Facts are much harder to do this with, but myth is allot easier.

      All done for the sole purpose of power and greed. There is nothing like controlling the masses and taxing them so you can be unbelievably wealthy and powerful?

      • Yaknow says:

        Let’s give it up for evil dictatorships. Especially those who can brainwash. Three cheers for the Catholic Church…hip…hip…hooray!

  15. Yaknow says:

    Stem cell research isn’t evil. Scientists have found another way to harvest stems cells without harm.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=embryos-survive-stem-cell-harvest

    Wondering what the issue is with the Vatican and “no harm harvesting” of stem cells, it is a pro-life procedure. No worse that swabbing DNA, drawing blood, Biopsy or pulling a tooth. Hmmm……wonder why they are still making a fuss.

  16. NewfornatSux says:

    This hatred of Catholics will exist as long as there are Catholics. Putting this hatred into government policy is a bad thing. The upside is that Justice Kennedy saw the Catholic hatred in action, and it looks like it will spur him to strike down the whole health care law. We saw his question about how it changes the relationship of the individual and the government in a fundamental way, and this was revealed in how liberals used the health care law to show their hatred of Catholics.

    • Yaknow says:

      Agreed, Catholics are so important to our political process they must be protected. Their dogma must be preserved and function seamlessly and transparently in government and government policy. The health care law threatens the fundamental foundation and belief system of the Vatican, our society, and government. It strips the freedoms of all Catholics to have a choice. At the helm of this diabolical effort of hate, to stop the Vatican’s influence on our lives, in society, and in politics is Obama. I don’t want the Obama government to tell me to eat my Broccoli. I don’t like Broccoli, I like jelly beans, and the Pope. His Holiness really looks good for his age, surrounded by all that wealth gained as result from willingly giving him 10% of my earnings.

      The whole article was a twisted attacked on his Holiness and the Vatican. Upon their dictum of what we are to follow, and believe and not to believe. It was an attack covertly organized by the Obama government. A government that wants to tax us, and take our freedoms away. A government that wants to tell us what we can and can’t do.

      • Yaknow says:

        We need a flat tax too….just like the Catholic Church says. Those Catholic hating atheist liberals aren’t going to step on my beliefs. I don’t want my money given to free riders. The Catholic Church has it’s charities, I want part of my 10% of what I earn to be given the Catholic Church to feed the orphans, and the rest (most) to go to taking care of the Vatican. I know the Vatican will not raise the price of tithing.

        • Yaknow says:

          Lastly, I will be damned to allow women to make decisions, their own decision, over their own bodies. The Church says women should obey men. These Catholic hating liberals… boy in the old days the Church would have never tolerated this kind of things. Back then they knew how to deal with liberals.

  17. farmits says:

    Please leave the evil ass clown alone!
    The pope that is.


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