U.K Catholic politicians win opt-out on embryo legislation
London, U.K, Mar.19, 2008 (vaticans.org) - In a rare move, Catholic politicians in Britain’s Labour government have been allowed to opt out of government legislation that goes against the faith.
The decision was made after three Catholic members of Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s cabinet made it known they opposed legislation that would allow the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos, and loosen restrictions on in-vitro fertilization treatments for single women and homosexual couples.
The news was welcomed by England’s Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor.
“It means they recognised the importance of conscience and they shouldn´t force people on a Bill which touches very distinct and important moral issues to have to vote against their conscience,” he said.
The announcement came after strenuous lobbying of the government by the Church.
Cardinal Murphy O’Conner believes the Church’s view is finally getting greater prominence in the public square after years of pressure to push it into the private sphere.
The legislation, which has already been delayed in an attempt to reach a compromise, will be voted on in the next two months.
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