Catholic World News

Dispute over true reasons for cancellation of Vatican stem-cell conference

April 10, 2012

A member of the Pontifical Academy for Life has disputed the claim that the Vatican cancelled a conference on stem-cell research for purely economic reasons.

The Pontifical Academy for Life announced last week, in a letter to would-be participants in the conference, that a failure to secure funding was the only reason for the decision to scrub the conference. But a second letter has emerged, conceding that sharp criticism of the choice of scheduled speakers had also been a factor.

Speaking to the Catholic News Agency, one member of the Pontifical Academy, who insisted on anonymity, said that the “attempt to explain the cancellation of the Congress as required for purely economic reasons is an obvious lie.”

The conference had become controversial because some of the invited speakers were actively involved in embryonic stem-cell research, which the Church condemns. In its official explanation of the decision to cancel the conference the Pontifical Academy had dismissed critics in remarkably strong language, saying that they had “no credibility whatsoever.”

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  • Posted by: Jim.K - Apr. 11, 2012 11:11 PM ET USA

    …“attempt to explain the cancellation of the Congress as required for purely economic reasons is an obvious lie.” Isn't it a tragic sign of the times that priests, Bishops and Cardinals can't simply tell the truth when asked a question. I am so sick of Church leaders acting like businessmen and politicians instead of Catholic leaders. I don't pretend to know the "truth" about this controversy, but why should there two stories? Why not just the simple, unwashed "truth?"