Politico columnist Michael Kinsley has a piece about the recent miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II. He questions whether the French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, really had Parkinson’s at all, and criticizes the Church’s position on embryonic stem cell research, which he believes has denied him his own miracle via science:
Congratulations to Simon-Pierre. It’s miraculous what a miracle can do. But I could use a miraculous cure for Parkinson’s, too, as could millions of others around the world who have the disease or will develop it. And the main force preventing such a miracle is the Roman Catholic Church. The most likely source of miraculous cures for all sorts of diseases, with Parkinson’s foremost among them, is stem cell research. The Church opposes stem cell research on the grounds that it uses, and in the process, destroys human embryos. These are surplus embryos from fertilization clinics that will be destroyed, or permanently frozen, anyway. They are not fetuses; they are clumps of a few dozen cells. But of course, none of this matters if you believe they are human beings. The famous test of that belief goes something like this: Suppose there was a fire destroying your house and you had the choice of rescuing either a real one-year-old baby or two test tubes, each containing an embryo. Would you really go for the test tubes and let the baby die?
I realize his words come out of a place of pain, but I would still expect more from a veteran journalist than simply sour grapes — like some interaction with real arguments beyond sarcasm.
It annoys me when supposedly informed and intelligent writers like Kinsley continue to say, “The Church opposes stem cell research.” It does not. The Church opposes one form of stem cell research — embryonic. And its reasons are clear. You might not agree with those reasons, but surely you can at least articulate them with some degree of accuracy.