Cloning and the Catholic Church
The Age of Frankenstein
In past issues of "The Hammer" I have had articles describing new medical procedures and developments that I have entitled "The Age of Frankenstein" due to the unnaturalness of these experiments, as well as, the medical establishment attempting to play God. If ever there was an issue that fits into the Frankenstein category it is the issue of cloning. Man has always sought to usurp the rightful position of God, to control his environment, and to create a secular Godless utopia on earth. Adam wanted to be God and rule over his own life so because of his prideful disobedience we, his descendants, have inherited his tendency to want to be our own gods; not having to be accountable or having to answer to anyone but ourselves.
What is Cloning?
Cloning is a completely clinical, unnatural manipulation of genetic material in order to produce life. Instead of the natural means of sexuality scientists in an attempt to reproduce life in their own fashion have used the elements that God created to twist and manipulate them in ways they were never meant to be manipulated. Basically, the process of cloning takes the egg of a goat, chicken, sheep etc. and removes the genetic material of the mother and replaces it with DNA from another animal of the same species. The result is an egg that has no genetic DNA of the mother but that only has the DNA of a single donor. The egg is then deposited into the uterus of a female whose system has been hormonally manipulated to accept the egg. After the gestation period the resulting creature that is born has the exact genetic qualities of the donor DNA and none of the mother's. The creature is in actual fact the exact duplicate of the gene donor.
In other words, they have created their own creature with science exactly as Frankenstein attempted to do. Mary Shelley for all her lack of faith still understood the simple truth that when man plays God the creation of his hands will become a monster that will ultimately turn upon him and destroy him.
The Natural Law
According to reason as well as the inspired understanding of the Catholic Church the Natural Law which governs human behavior in light of the Eternal Law of God, prohibits the use of scientific knowledge to separate the natural elements of procreation. This does not hold true for plants and animals. Man has been given dominion over all God's creatures to do what is best for the common good. Therefore, man is permitted to graft different species of trees to create new kinds of fruit. He can artificially inseminate his cows in order to produce more offspring. He can manipulate certain genes in order to create bigger cattle, fruit or vegetables to feed more people. Man is permitted to do these things for the sake of the greater good. However, he may not abuse animals, torture them, experiment with them in hurtful or cruel manners in order to further the common good. Cruelty, abuse and torture are intrinsically evil even when done to plants and animals who are without rational souls.
When it comes to human beings the whole picture is different. Because we have rational souls and immortal spirits unlike the plants and animals our dignity and position in creation is infinitely higher. Man has no right to usurp the position of God concerning human sexuality and reproduction particularly when it comes to manipulating these laws unnaturally and artificially. Therefore, it is not permitted to use artificial birth control because it frustrates the very reason for the sexual act as God intended it. In like manner it is not permitted according to the natural law to separate the functions of human sexuality and negate the other essential reason for sexual activity and that is the full expression of spiritual unity by the act of physical union. Therefore, even when science has the ability to fertilize a human egg in a petri-dish with the sperm of the woman's husband and then attempt to implant it within the uterus of the egg's own mother it is totally against the natural law and a complete frustration of the will of God regarding the very nature of human sexuality. Both the procreative and unitive elements must be present for human sexuality to be authentic and according to God's intention.
Understanding God's Permissive Will
God created man with a rational soul and therefore free. Man has the ability to choose good or evil, right or wrong, truth or falsehood. This freedom of will is essential to our nature as rational beings created in God's image. God also established the physical laws of His universe which in 99.9999% of the time He will not suspend or violate even when it is to stop the free will of man from doing a terrible evil, (Just look at Hitler, Mao, Stalin and thousands of other evil men and women through history).
God, therefore, allows men to manipulate creation and because He will not violate the natural laws of the physical universe he will actually continue the line of cause and effect even when it means innocent lives will be lost in the process. This does not mean that God approves of man's violation of the natural law but He will not suspend the results of that manipulation. So scientists taking all the elements that naturally produce life, the egg, the sperm, the uterus, can reproduce human life in the laboratory. And God acting within the parameters of His own laws will instill a human soul within that artificially fertilized egg even though the very act of artificial fertilization is against His intended will; just in the same way that men will kill, rape, steal, and molest the innocent and God doesn't change the consequences of their actions.
Now we know that artificial birth control is against God's will because it frustrates the very purpose of sexuality, procreation and artificial insemination is against God will because it frustrates the intended purpose of the unitive aspect of human sexuality. So any activity by man which falls within these categories are unnatural to man as man and forbidden by the moral law.
The Horror of in vitro fertilization, genetic engineering and cloning is not only that life is being artificially manufactured, or that man is usurping God's rightful position, or that human existence is cheapened or even that science can produce genetically superior and inferior humans but ultimately that thousands of innocent humans are destroyed by the artificial process used to reproduce them.