Vatican to Issue Bioethics Instruction on Cloning, Stem Cell Research in December

By Kathleen Gilbert November 27, 2008 ( - Cutting-edge questions on human cloning and stem-cell research are among the topics to be addressed in a Vatican document due for release December 12 of this year, according to the Catholic News Service. The document, which has been in…

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Any1 know if this will address the issue of human-animal hybrid embryos which were almost greenlighted in the UK?

I am most concerned with whether these hybrid entities would end up being considered human or mere animals. If in the future food was created from these hybrids, then would eating that food be cannibalism? Even if Donum Vitae II addresses the penultimate sentence, as my question suggests, within a decade a Donum Vitae III would quickly become necessary.

It doesn’t seem as though Donum Vitae II would address expressly the philosophical question (whether a zygote has a spiritual soul) Donum Vitae I declined to directly address (though it addressed other philosophical addresses directly and discussed the discernibility of a spiritual soul and how natural science alone is not sufficient to establish it). But hopefully it will even if it doesn’t do anything definitive with it.

An unrealistic hope would be for Donum Vitae II to give a comprehensive theory that would apply spiritual souls as forms of bodies to hypothetical alien species. But since IIRC, Benedict XVI has actually (prior to being pope at least) commented on aliens, I will hope against hope that a future document will consider the implications of possible alien life for Catholic anthropology and theology in general.

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