Cloning? The problem starts with in vitro fertilization

Corrado Gnerre

Dear ones, I would like to ask you a question. Not so long ago news spread in China, that it would be possible to clone two monkeys. The news obviously caused quite a stir. And it disturbed me not a little, also because I am convinced that by now we are taking a ridge from which it is not only not possible to get out, but where one does not even want to stop. I am also convinced (and on this I would like to have confirmation from you) that, when the artificial fertilization of human life is legitimized, one cannot fail to arrive at these aberrations. Do you agree with me?

Dear …, we perfectly remember the news that they recently cloned two specimens of macaques in China.

In reality it must be said that there have already been cases of cloning, even not recently. But there is no doubt that this news is more striking for a certain “certain”, mind you) genetic similarity between these animals and humans. So the fear is that these operations can be done shortly even for the human generation.

It is clear, dear …, that it would be abominable. I do not talk about this because I think it is a topic available to all those who have at least some common sense.

However, I would like to remember an important thing to confirm your intuition. When the encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968) came out, the emphasis that in this document was made of the indissoluble union between the conjugal act and the generation of life was attacked. An underlining that was then endorsed also by subsequent documents with which any type of artificial fertilization was openly condemned. The principle was and is clear: life cannot be separated from the conjugal act, because it is something that man can propose, but not technically dispose of. If the generation of life were released from the conjugal act, there would be a mechanical reduction of the generation and everything could become possible. All! With regard to IVF, when some theologians objected that it could be admitted, because in the case of homologous fertilization there would still be the presence of conjugal acts within the married couple, the Magisterium rightly held firm on the condemnation sentence to the bitter end. All this for a very specific logic. Apart from the fact that homologous IVF also requires the sacrifice of embryos (which are life in all respects), apart from this – I said – freeing the generation from a very specific act of conjugal love, it means making life possible beyond and out of mystery and love itself; and therefore make it available to everyone’s will to power.

Now, dear …, all this confirms the fact that you have understood very well that there is a link between in vitro fertilization to generate new life and possible human cloning.

If the single marital act becomes an option for the generation of life, then this can “consistently” become a sort of crazy ball and generate everything that is technically possible to do.

(From La buona battaglia. Apologetica cattolica in domande e risposte, 2019©Chorabooks. Translated by Aurelio Porfiri. Used with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved)