Pope warns scientists about genetic manipulation
Deutsche Presse-Agentur, February 5, 2002

Vatican City: Pope John Paul II issued Tuesday a new warning about genetic manipulation, telling scientists that "not all that is technically feasible is morally right". The achievements of modern day medicine and biotechnology could tempt man into wanting to modify the "tree of life", the pope said in his traditional message for Lent, which was published by the Vatican on Tuesday. But life, the pope said, should be viewed as "a gift from God" and not as "private property".

The Vatican traditionally opposes any form of genetic manipulation, human cloning and research using stem cells from young embryos. On Sunday, the pope had urged legislators to move towards the legal recognition of the human embryo. In his message for Lent - the period that leads to Easter during which Christians are called to fasting and penitence - the pope called on the faithful to "give freely",particularly towards the sick and poor, because we "have received freely."

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