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"Ave Maria College is an academic institution that pledges faithfulness to the teachings of the Church [and] is known for academic rigor and faithfulness to the magisterium of the Catholic Church.... As an institution committed to Catholic principles, the College recognizes the importance of creating and maintaining an environment in which faith informs the life of the community and takes expression in all its programs."

However, according to Church & State, the journal produced by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, school officials may not be living up to their mission statement. The ultraconservative Roman Catholic school has been forced to return hundreds of thousands of doUars of federal education aid money, following a government finding of misuse. The Department of Education found that Ave Maria College filed inadequate documentation for students seeking financial aid and improperly distributed financial aid to students at the college's sister university in Naples, Fla. A financial official with Ave Maria College told the Naples Daily News that it had repaid $259,620 to the federal government.

Austin Ruse, president of the conservative New York-based group C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), said after the UN's legal committee adopted a declaration on cloning: "By adopting this declaration, the international community is united in condemning all human cloning as exptoitative and unethical. This should encourage similar bans in legislatures around the world including in the US Senate." [Friday Fax, February 18, 2005.]

The reality, as is so often the case when Austin Ruse speaks, is somewhat different.

The United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning is a non-binding resolution, meaning that individual states can choose whether or not to ignore it. Additionally, only 84 member states in the 191-nation assembly voted in favor of the declaration, with 34 against, 37 abstentions and 36 absent, meaning that the majority of states, lo7, failed to support it.

In fact, several countries have already stated openly that they will ignore it, including the United Kingdom, Belgium, South Korea and China. The UK's UN Ambassador, Emyr Jones Parry called the resolution "a weak, non-binding political statement" and that the UK would continue to permit therapeutic cloning research "because of the hope it offers of new treatments to benefit millions of people and their families."
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Title Annotation:IN CATHOLIC CIRCLES
Publication:Conscience
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2005
Words:374
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