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Archbishop hits out at embryo research.

Byline: By Jasbir Authi

THE Archbishop of Birmingham was using his Easter Monday Sermon today to wade into the fierce controversy raging over the new embryo research bill.

Parliament is considering fresh laws which would scientists to combine human and animal embryos.

The move, it is claimed, would boost research into genetic conditions like multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis.

If passed next year, the Bill could also make it easier for lesbian couples to become parents.

However, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has generated furious opposition from senior Catholics and MPS from all sides.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, pictured, was using his sermon to attack Labour's decision to refuse its own MPs a free vote on the subject.

He was telling a congregation at St Chad's Cathedral: "The present position of the Labour Party not to permit a free vote on the key moral issue in this bill is disturbing.

"We hear consistently the claims that the type of embryo experimentation being permitted by the Bill holds great promise for future cures of illness, like cystic fibrosis and MS. The evidence for this so far is sparse.

"Very little progress has been made through embryonic stem cell research. In contrast, work with adult stem cells is showing far better results."

The Pope marked Easter Sunday with renewed calls for peace in Iraq, the Holy Land and Tibet.

A white canopy on the steps of St Peter's Basilica protected the 80-year-old pontiff from downpours while thousands of pilgrims, tourists and Romans braved thunder and rain to attend Easter Mass.

Two protesters were arrested during the Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter Sunday sermon.

Two men with placards bearing the words "Support the persecuted church" and "No to Sharia law" stood in front of the pulpit at Canterbury Cathedral.

Christians braved the icy weather yesterday to take part in an open-air baptism conducted by Archbishop of York John Sentamu.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 24, 2008
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