Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

From the February AD 2003
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin

    Question: Do clones have souls?

    Answer: When I was a little boy, I heard about a woman who was not married having a baby. To a six year-old, that sounded more impossible than walking on the Moon (it was 1953); God just wouldn't send a baby to a woman who had no husband. Over the years this writer has learned that babies can indeed be born to unmarried women, and can be conceived in any number of inappropriate ways. While God would like all children to be conceived by a loving husband and wife, He is supremely compliant in allowing man to use His raw materials of procreation to bring forth babies. God was serious about giving mankind dominion over the His material creation, creating a soul to match each successful human effort of procreation. Those efforts may be sanctified by the Sacrament of Matrimony, or conducted under the most sinful and demeaning conditions, or even detached from any sort of "normal" human relationship. In vitrio conception (in a glass dish) or cloning may seem as unholy as a "Black Mass," but just as a priest who has given himself over to Satanism can bring the Body Of Christ down to an altar of blasphemy, God cooperates with His human agents no matter how they pervert their abilities to engender new life.

    Souls cannot be cloned -- but clones would have souls, just as identical twins or triplets each possess a soul distinct from their original common embryo. The life principle of every living being is a soul; in the case of a human, the soul is rational and immortal. Some of the confusion comes from poor terminology: Human beings do not "have" souls, more correctly, they "are" souls with bodies; a composite being. It would be better to say that the soul that "has" the body, and not the other way around, for the body without the soul is dead.1

    In some ways cloning is similar to the process by which identical twins are produced in nature. With twins a single human embryo divides into two genetically alike human embryos, each with its own soul. In cloning, the nucleus of a cell from one person is made to develop within an embryo from which its own proper nucleus has been removed. The cloned embryo is then expected to develop as a separate person within the womb of its surrogate mother. If this successfully takes place, and clones are raised to maturity, we will know that they have souls if they generally demonstrate intellect and will, for the rational soul is the seat of these two faculties.2  (We say "generally" because even in naturally developed human children physical defects sometimes diminish the intellect or the will.)

    The idea of cloning human beings is fraught with immoralities. The host embryo must be created by in vitrio fertilization, along with many "useless" embryos -- all of these tiny human beings will be destroyed if not selected as hosts. The one selected will have its nucleus ripped from it, essentially dying in order to make room for the clone nucleus. There is a serious possibility that all of this micro-carnage will take place only to develop a clone who is monstrously deformed, or who does not develop at all.3 Beyond the immorality of unnaturally and murderously bringing deformed human beings into existence, there is at least one school of thought that the clone would be used to provide spare parts for its ailing twin -- a concept more horrible than canniballism!

    This is being written on the day it was claimed that man had successfully cloned man. The scientific testimony is yet to come in, but, at least in theory it is possible. The claimants are wealthy lunatics who claim also to travel by UFO:

Raelians, who claim to number 55,000 people worldwide, believe the first humans were cloned by aliens who visited the Earth in flying saucers 25,000 years ago. They believe these aliens, or Elohim (a Hebrew word referring to God) will return to Jerusalem when there is world peace and an embassy has been built for them.

Vorilhon, the movement's founder, is a former French motoring journalist and racing car driver, who renamed himself Rael after supposedly being visited in 1973 by a member of the Elohim. He described his visitor as being about 3-feet tall with long black hair, almond-shaped eyes, olive skin and exuding "harmony and humor."

He says he discovered through this meeting that his father was an alien, and claims he was taken in the flying saucer to meet Jesus, Buddha and Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons. Rael, who lives in Quebec, now describes himself as a prophet and claims that cloning will enable humanity to attain eternal life.4

    Lunacy may, in some way, mitigate their sin, but it does not undo its terrible damage.


    Question: If, as the Raelians claim, humans were clones of people from the UFOs, wouldn't that prove religion false?

    Answer: At the risk of indulging the lunacy . . . it really makes little difference where the human race originated; in biblical Iraq, Chicago, or Alpha Centauri. If he came here in a space ship or a rubber boat; if he was the natural product of his parents or a clone; he and his descendents are still beings originally created by God somewhere at some time. Cloning, no matter how successful, and even if it were moral, depends on previously created genetic material -- ultimately material created by God in accordance with His image and likeness. We might have to take the geography in Genesis a little more figuratively, but that wouldn't be any different from finding out that Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden were actually on Antarctica.

    1.  Saint Thomas reminds us though that the body and soul are a composite; the soul is not trapped or contained in the body. The soul is the "life principle" of any living body. Summa Theologica, I, Q75, a.1, 3, 4.
    2.  Summa Theologica, I, Q75, a.2
    3.  "Sheep Scientist Warns Against Human Cloning," The Sydney Morning Herald, December 29, 2002.
    4.  Worldnet Daily, December 26th, 2002.


Dei via est íntegra
Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
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