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Why not admit it was a bad idea?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Mar 27, 2012

The Vatican has cancelled a conference on stem-cell research that had been scheduled for April. You already knew that; we reported the story yesterday. But today’s AP report adds a curious note. The conference has been scrubbed, Vatican officials say, because not enough people had registered to attend.

Our information was different. Vatican sources had hinted that the conference was cancelled because the Pontifical Academy for Life, which was sponsoring the event, belatedly realized that some of the featured speakers would be advocates and practitioners of embryonic stem-cell research. Thus the Vatican would be supplying a platform for prominent individuals promoting gravely immoral activities.

The conference won’t take place, so we can take comfort that a disaster was averted. But it might have been better if a straight-shooting Vatican official had explained the decision forthrightly: “We cancelled the conference because we realized we were making a terrible mistake.”

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