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Budget problems, not pro-life pressure, forced cancellation of stem-cell conference, Vatican body insists

April 04, 2012

The Pontifical Academy for Life has flatly denied that protests from pro-life activists were a factor in the decision to cancel a conference on stem-cell research.

Pro-lifers had voiced alarm that the conference, originally planned for April 25-28, had included presentations from some scientists actively involved in embryonic stem-cell research. When the Vatican announced that the conference had been cancelled, many observers concluded that the pro-lifers’ criticism had had its intended effect.

However, in an apologetic letter sent out to prospective participants, the Pontifical Academy for Life insisted that the cancellation was caused solely by a failure to find funding for the venture. The pro-lifers’ opposition was irrelevant, according to the letter, which was signed by Father Renzo Pegoraro, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy, and Msgr. Jacques Suaudeau, an organizer of the conference. “These people are well known,” the letter said, “and the Pontifical Academy and other bodies of the Holy See give them no credibility whatsoever.”

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  • Posted by: John Holecek - Apr. 04, 2012 6:45 PM ET USA

    These people are well known,” the letter said, “and the Pontifical Academy and other bodies of the Holy See give them no credibility whatsoever.” With friends like these, who needs enemies.