Cologne Cardinal Joachim Meisner has strongly condemned the release of genetic testing of embryos in pre-implantation diagnostics (PGD). "PGD always entails selection and killing," he said in a church service Tuesday evening at Cologne Cathedral. Whoever allows PGD says no to life and no to God.
This "no", however, causes, as it were like an avalanche, a further relaxation of the protection of life," Meisner warned. The human being has full dignity as soon as an egg is fertilized, Meisner explained. "From that moment on, not only is there new life that develops as a human being. From this moment on, we are faced with a new genetic identity, that is, a unique new image of God."No one has the right to make a choice here, the cardinal stressed on the Feast of the Innocent Children, which the Church will celebrate on 28. December commits. It is reminiscent of King Herod's order at the time of Christ's birth to have all newborn boys killed.
Herod also made a selection at that time, Meisner said.
The Gospel speaks of having killed all the boys up to the age of two in Bethlehem and the surrounding area, exactly according to the time he had been told by the astrologers. The criteria, then, had been: Place, age, sex and state of research. He added that PGD proponents "also have their criteria and they also take advantage of the state of research". While it is politically incorrect to draw this comparison, the cardinal conceded. After all, the proponents of PGD had struggled to reach their decision. "But this decision is wrong," Meisner said.
"This is indeed absurd"
At the same time, he also rejected the proponents' argument that an artificially created child could still be aborted later with impunity, while sorting it out before implantation, i.e. while it is still in the Petri dish, is forbidden. "This is indeed absurd," said the cardinal. This absurdity of the whole abortion problem can never be an argument for PGD. "For here one time of killing is brought into the field against the other."
PGD involves testing fertilized eggs created in a test tube outside the womb for genetic errors and destroying damaged embryos. In Germany, until the summer of 2010, it was considered prohibited under common legal interpretation of the Embryo Protection Act. At the beginning of July, however, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled that genetic testing of embryos is not prohibited by the wording of this law. The Bundestag is currently debating a new regulation; supporters and opponents are presenting various bills on the subject.