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November 24th, 2009
Health justice, Christianity and stem cell research
All human life is surrounded by a profound mystery of being. Rev. Prof. Vasileios Kalliakmanis suggested that while Christianity needs "holy rules", it also needs the "ecclesial economy" which allows for "a temporary divagation from them". Flexibility may be present in particular pastoral situations. This idea is rooted in a theological tradition of the Divine Economy, knowing God as one whose holiness is always tempered by love and mercy.
Overall the mood of the consultation was that of shared struggle. Stem cells, including the most recent technologies such as induced pluripotent stem cells, symbolize a thin end of a wedge. Other bioengineering methods involving nanotechnology are already on the horizon.
Participants agreed that if the church is going to speak into this public sphere then education is vital. We need determination to dig deep into the wisdom of religious traditions in order to inform complex decisions. In as much as practical wisdom means deliberation, judgment and action, all religious traditions cannot afford to stand still, for inactivity amounts to acquiescence.
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