Detroit’s Archbp. Vigneron stands up! POLL ALERT on STEM CELLS!

This comes from Freep… Detriot Free Press. NB: POLL ALERT!  There’s a poll in the right-hand column of that article, asking whether you favor or oppose embryonic stem cell research.

My emphases:

Even in petri dish, life merits protection

Archbp. VigneronI started out as an embryo. So did you and everyone else who shares this planet with us. And there is great significance to this irrefutable fact beyond the shared experience.

Time magazine’s cover story this week about the influence of life in the womb states the case: “We are the way we are because it’s in our genes: the DNA we inherited at conception.” Yes, upbringing and environment have a huge impact on our lives, but one thing never changes until our last natural breath: our DNA. Each human embryo is unique — it does not have the same DNA of the mother or father. That cell not only becomes us, it is us.

This reality is critical context as the World Stem Cell Summit meets in Detroit. Progress in research on umbilical cord blood cells and adult stem cells is to be saluted and supported. Patients and advocates alike can look to the growing number of cures and treatments discovered through research that does not destroy the living human embryo. Conversely, experiments on human embryonic stem cells deserve our scrutiny and scorn. If not us, who will speak for our fellow citizens-to-be?

We are blessed to live in a country with some of the most extraordinary founding documents in history. If, indeed, we believe we were “created equal,” doesn’t that belief extend to the indefensible living embryo in a petri dish? “Unalienable rights” means they can’t be taken away by the state.

Doesn’t that apply to science as well? And what of “life” in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”? First, it must begin.

Embryonic stem cell researchers will attest that it is imperative to preserve an embryo because it is a living cell. It is after the living embryo is preserved with its human DNA signature that it is dissected, cloned, destroyed or discarded. True democracy is built on life, not death.

Ours is not the first country or culture to selectively pursue a moral calculus that justifies taking a life to enable scientific experiments. We know from sad experience that dangers follow when we put human hands on the switch of life and death.

Embryos are the genesis of human life, and it is morally unacceptable to intentionally destroy them, even if the scientist is trying to cure a debilitating disease or parents are responding to a difficult challenge in their family life. The country we live in defends human rights at home and abroad. That defense must extend to the laboratory.

In Michigan’s Compiled Laws, the fetal protection act is precise on punishing individuals who harm or kill a fetus — or embryo! — during an intentional assault.

How can there be such a disconnect with what happens in an assault case and what occurs in a laboratory when a human life is destroyed? The person who harmed an embryo in an assault is charged with a felony. The person who destroys an embryo in a petri dish is held harmless and likely considered some sort of medical pioneer. Yet the results were the same: two fewer people in the world who had no power to stop what was happening to them and had no voice in their demise.

The question is called.

Allen Vigneron is the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit.

There is a poll:


I voted “NO.  It is morally unacceptable.”

Right now…






UPDATE 5 Oct 1212 GMT:


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Emanations from Penumbras, Our Catholic Identity, POLLS, The future and our choices and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Patrick J. says:


  2. Martial Artist says:

    The question is indeed called, at least in Detroit. Would that every Catholic bishop would take up and use the law of non-contradiction as unambiguously as Abp. Vigneron has done today.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  3. SK Bill says:

    POLL ALERT!!!!

    There’s a poll in the right-had column of that article, asking whether you favor or oppose embryonic stem cell research. Currently, the “Yes, such research will save lives” is ahead of “No, it is morally unacceptable” by 236 votes to 135.


  4. irishgirl says:

    Bravo to the Bishop! Would that all of our shepherds speak out as he has done!

  5. No — and I would ask the “yes” crowd: a) What lives will it save? b) What do you know about non-embryonic stem cell research and the lives it HAS saved?

  6. doanli says:

    Voted “no”.

    Even if it is proved to be effective (which it has NOT), I’d rather suffer the disease than have a murdered baby’s blood on my hands.

  7. Just voted. The “no” bar is catching up!

  8. Charivari Rob says:

    The poll question, as phrased, unfortunately comes close to a common distortion of the issue.

    Whether or not there has ever been or ever will be any successful therapies developed from embryonic stem cell research does not make any difference to the moral question.

  9. wanda says:

    Voted. Elsewhere today, the man who invented IVF gets a Nobel Prize, while the Japanese man who created stem cells from human skin cells get the thumbs down.

  10. jmhj5 says:

    Right now I want to cry! Look at the yes votes.
    Need I say…I voted NO!

  11. milano_rossonero says:

    Though we loved him as our bishop in Oakland, we happily sent him home to Detroit knowing that the Church which struggles there desperately needed a strong pastor to shepherd the flock. E’ un’esempio per tutta la Chiesa ed un’arcivescovo che merita, senza dubbio, il pallio e la BIRETTA ROSSA.

  12. shadowlands says:

    Before we even became cells, God knew us. Jer 1:5

    “I thank you for giving the soul a place far removed from
    the din and clamor, where your friend is a strange
    poverty, You, immeasurable, take but a little cell,
    you love places uninhabited and empty.”

    “At the End of Shores of Silence” Pope John Paul 11

  13. mike cliffson says:

    Bishop bishoping.Good!
    -BTW: Beware THEIR arguments from:
    the putative twin (lay science) and ensoulment ( liberal catholic) and (utterly immoral if done with humans)odd testtube fertilization results, as well as unwished for spontaneous miscarriages and sad “misconceptions ” (In this vale of tears, the Lord may allow things to go wrong from conception to death): bogus red herrings,( even if taught in some seminaries.)
    Eg..Just one thing about “identical” twins: Genetically even they are not absolutely identical. Not quite. I didn’t discover this myself until recently.
    That 1% of conceptions lead to twins would not of itself lead to it being moral to consider all 100% un-persons and unensouled and till past the time for the very latest point for “turning into twins”.
    God knows which, and there are strong indications that so does the first cell, at a physical-chemical level.
    And so forth.
    Does anyone know a good website where the question is clearly thrashed out?
    I don’t want to troll , only you can get caught out with people on this one, it’s happened to me, and it’s as well to be prepared.

  14. Patrick J. says:

    Do you, good Catholic, think that the Great Physician would allow His precious children’s cells/body parts to be used in such a macabre way — as an assist to sustain octogenarian lives, and those who don’t value nascent life to boot..?… Not going to happen. Why do you think there is, (and never will be) any progress in this (psuedo) science?

  15. Archbishop Vigneron has also been on the front lines at abortion clinics. All of my emails to some of the most popular prolife sites apparently got buried because there was no coverage. I tried in vain.

    Here was my photostory. Over 500 showed up to pray with him in front of that clinic last month. IRS a shame it never made the news…

    Abp Vigneron leads over 500 in pro-life prayer vigil

    He did the same thing the prior year with well over 1000 showing up for the Mass and over 700 on the 8 Mile Blvd. See that photostory here

    I should add that he has initiated Corpus Christi processions again, leading them from the Cathedral. He held a special day for priests of the diocese in the Feast of the Sacred Heart, renewing devotion to it. And has done well to pitch Marian devotion according to the teachings of the Church, especially to Our Lady of Perpetual Help to whom he is deeply devoted.

  16. Supertradmum says:

    Voted this morning and saw the article on the Nobel prize given to the scientist who invented IVF. The Vatican has a very clear statement on this.

  17. pewpew says:

    Taliban Catholics strike again

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