Russian Church draft document declares inadmissibility of killing embryos, even for science

Moscow, June 1, 2021

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Life must be protected by law from the moment of conception, and it is inadmissible to kill embryos, even for scientific and medical purposes, a new document adopted by the Russian Church’s Inter-Council Presence affirms.

Meeting at Christ the Savior Cathedral under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill last week, the Inter-Council Presence adopted the document “On the Inviolability of Human Life from the Moment of Conception” following a thorough discussion by the Inter-Council Presence—a body of hierarchical, clerical, and lay representatives of the Church tasked with the discussion of issues raised at sessions of the Local Council of the Russian Church.

The document will then be considered by the Russian Bishops’ Council, tentatively scheduled to be held in November. It was prepared by the Inter-Council Presence’s theological committee and submitted to Church-wide discussion in 2017, reports RIA-Novosti.

“As the title of the document suggests, the Church raises the question before society and the state about the need to protect human life from the moment of conception to birth, because this area remains legally unregulated. At the same time, it speaks of the inadmissibility of killing embryos for any purpose. Society should do everything to preserve conceived life and let it come into the world,” commented Archimandrite Philip (Ryabikh), representative of the Moscow Patriarchate to the European Council.

“This document is an invitation to society to discuss how we define a person’s life before birth, how it can be protected, what rights it can have,” Fr. Philip added.

“Technology is evolving. And the practice of using abortive material for scientific purposes, medicine, cosmetology is increasingly spreading, and entire industries are being created in this area. From the position of the Church, taking the life of one human being, even for the sake of treating other people, is unacceptable. Can we allow one person to be killed in order to save another? This is, of course, a rhetorical question,” the member of the Inter-Council Presence said.

We must look for alternative ways of developing medicine and science that exclude the killing of human beings, Fr. Philip emphasized.

His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk spoke on the subject on the recent episode of the Church and the World, saying: “We recognize the same rights for the embryo as for the born person; we insist that the concept of human rights should also apply to embryos. Accordingly, we consider it unacceptable to manipulate embryos, we consider it unacceptable to use embryos as biomaterial. We believe that the life of the human fetus should be legally protected. And our task is to give the opportunity to be born to those who have every right to be born.”

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Gary Cox6/2/2021 11:27 am
Herman, this is an issue I have struggled with also. It involves the vaccine but it involves even more. Even some of the ingredients in our food, in the dyes that color our clothing, in soap, shampoo, make-up, bandage materials, and probably more items than we can imagine have been at least tested on cloned cells from murdered babies. This reaches into our everyday life far more than I think anyone of us realized. I think not only us but even the Bishops have been caught totally off guard by the enormity and scale of this evil that is in our world. Most of us are not able to grow all of our food, make our clothing from natural materials and live like 100 years ago. What can we buy that this evil industry isn't involved in? When I wake up in the morning- the bed covering is printed with designs made from ink which the manufacturer wants to be non allergenic so I don't get a skin rash and sue them. How do they test to see if it's non allergenic? They could pay people to be test subjects but it's cheaper to test their chemicals on cloned murdered babies. When I get in my car and touch the seat, steering wheel and anything. Guess what? It's made of plastic of various colored inks or dyes that have been tested to make sure no one has an allergic reaction to it. Any food with artificial ingredients, soap, underarm deodorant. In short, this evil is through out our daily lives. I personally don't know how to avoid it all. And focusing on the vaccine only and not the other aspects of the abortion industry is missing the bigger and more widespread issue. We need to pray for our Patriarchs and Bishops to guide us through these evil days.
Herman6/1/2021 5:53 pm
One would assume then that the current Sputnik V drug, which was developed in, produced with, and tested on embryonic human tissue, AKA aborted fetal cells, AKA the body parts of a murdered human being, would naturally be then a prohibited product for Orthodox Christians. But at least two of the bishops mentioned in this article have reportedly been vaccinated with this drug, and the Moscow Patriarchate has been publicly urging people to take these drugs for months on end now... how can they adopt this statement but ask people for proof of vaccination at the entrance to Valaam monastery, for example? If someone could explain this to me, I would appreciate it a lot. Is this another instance of "well it's wrong to kill the babies, but once the babies are already dead, we might as well use their body parts for research, you know we don't want to just throw them in the garbage, and after a few decades, with the passage of time, it'll be OK and not a sin for people to profit from the death of the infant(s), mostly because the United Nations needs to fulfill their Agenda 2030 and we've been asked not to get in their way, etc."? Why are they telling us that using embryos for science is wrong, but then telling us it's OK to participate in the process?
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