Theologian refuses UCC debate invite over decision on stem-cell research


A FORMER professor of moral theology at St Patrick’s College Maynooth has turned down an invitation to take part in a debate held by the UCC Philosophical Society next Monday.

Fr Vincent Twomey said it “evidently supports the policy of your university to allow stem-cell research on human embryos which, of its nature, involves the killing of children in the earliest stages of their development”.

The invitation last Tuesday said the motion for debate would be “That this house would allow homosexual couples to adopt” and that society members would be delighted if Fr Twomey was willing to speak in opposition.

Fr Twomey said: “I gather that you hosted a ‘debate’ on this topic soon after the governing body announced its decision [to allow stem cell research at UCC] by a majority of one.

“At that debate one of speakers, I gather, was Dame Mary Warnock, the main advocate of destructive experimentation on human embryos in Britain.

“You boast of her as one of your patrons.

“Such ‘debates’ are but exercises in propaganda and with no concern for the truth . . .”

He continued: “Just as I am not prepared to be associated with any debating society that would embrace Nazi or Marxist ideology, so too I am not prepared to be associated with a philosophical society that supports the killing of children even for the most noble of motives.”

A spokesperson for the UCC Philosophical Society was unavailable for comment yesterday.