Pope Francis Said to Bless Human-Animal Chimeras

Pope Francis Said to Bless Human-Animal Chimeras

A scientist sought the Vatican’s approval for mixing human cells in animal embryos. And the Pope said yes

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By Antonio Regalado on January 27, 2016 @ TechnologyReview.com/news/546246/pope-francis-said-to-bless-human-animal-chimeras

A Spanish scientist working at the Salk Institute in California told Scientific American that Pope Francis personally blessed his cutting edge research to mix human cells into animal bodies.

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a prominent stem-cell biologist, is engaged in efforts to grow human tissue inside of farm animals such as pigs, sheep, and cows. This type of research is sensitive because scientists have to inject human stem cells into early-stage animal embryos, then try to grow the mixtures inside surrogate animals.

Much of Belmonte’s work occurs in collaboration with a team in the province of Murcia in his native Spain, a sausage- and ham-loving country which is about 77 percent Catholic.

“Spain is a very Catholic country, so we had to go through the Pope. He very nicely said yes.” Belmonte told Scientific American. “Yes. The current Pope. So the Vatican is behind this research and has no problem based on the idea is to help humankind [sic]. And in theory all that we will be doing is killing pigs.”

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Vatican’s scientific body, did not respond to an e-mail seeking to confirm Pope Francis’s position.

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4 comments on “Pope Francis Said to Bless Human-Animal Chimeras

  1. Please tell me the pope did not actually approve of this, but rather some underling bureaucrat who neglected to read the details of this horrific research.

  2. Quote: “Please tell me the pope did not actually approve of this…”

    It is not at all clear that we can safely conclude that this is a hoax or a misunderstanding. The current occupant of the throne of St. Peter, a modernist Jesuit high school chemistry teacher from South America, has already demonstrated a woeful misunderstanding of the intersection of science, faith, and morality in the laughable encyclical on climate change (Laudato Si). However, it is unclear which is more absurd, that happy-clappy senile Pope Francis signed off on FrankenPig chimeras or that a prominent stem-cell biologist from Spain at a crackpot Illuminati research institute in California thinks that a senile Pope offering an opinion on such a controversy is sufficient to make it ethical and permissible. Maybe that is how he thinks Catholic teaching works in Spain, but the natural law reservations about such genetic tampering are a bit more complicated than that and cannot be oversimplified by a progressive modernist pretending to be a Catholic moral theologian. If the current Pope did in fact offer permission for such experiments this needs to be investigated and the pontiff is in need of fraternal correction by informed Catholic ethicists who actually know what they are talking about which, sadly, it appears, this Pope does not. There are many reasons why human and animal DNA should not be combined in Frankenstein experiments and any Catholic ethicist worth his salt should be able to delineate them without falling for the utilitarian arguments of secular scientists. If it is immoral and unethical from a natural law point of view to tamper with human DNA in this manner, no progressive modernist Pope can change that by offering a giddy, uninformed opinion on the matter. Next stop, they will try to grow human brains in FrankenMice and FrankenRabbits. These are traditionally known as “monsters” in the trade. If they weren’t teaching that in the Philosophy and Theology M.A. programs in Argentina conducted by the Society of Jesus in the 1960s and 1970s, there may be some serious deficits in the current Pope’s qualifications as a Catholic priest and theologian.

  3. The picture that accompanies this post should be enough to make any faithful Catholic puke. That an occupant of the Chair of Peter would champion such “experiments” is enough to disqualify him and send him packing. OK, hierarchy, the ball’s in your court now.

  4. If the current Pope is unqualified to be a Catholic priest or to speak on Catholic theological matters with competent mental authority, either due to mental defect, lack of proper orthodox Catholic training, or willful, obstinate heresy, can he be considered to be speaking as Pope when he wanders off the script on such opinions and pronouncements? Just sayin’….

    This leads to the larger question – can a progressive modernist heretic be validly considered a Catholic priest? How is such a modernist any different from any other heretical Protestant or neo-Gnostic other than nominally claiming “Catholic” institutional affiliation (despite the lack of sound doctrine or orthodoxy)?

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