Moscow region, Sergiev Posad, Lavra, Academy

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Head of a research center of bioethics and high technologies at the Moscow Theological Academy took part in a programme on “SPAS” TV channel.

Priest Vladimir Duhovich, PhD in Biology, Head of a research center of bioethics and high technologies at the Moscow Theological Academy took part in a programme on “SPAS” TV channel. He presented some controversies which exist between public and religious ethic.

Priest Vladimir highlighted such bioethical issues as cloning, surrogacy, abortion, contraception and stem cell therapy.

For centuries social and religious ethic corresponded with each other. Society considered any sinful deed as shame. In the last 20-30 years everything has changed. Nowadays a sinful and shameful act becomes the norm. And what was thought to be the norm in the past is obscured and openly stigmatized. In fact, it was impossible to imagine a family in any other form as it had. However, now there is a parent #1 and a parent #2 without any gender significance.». 

Priest Vladimir talked about modern scientific implications and some new potentials which did not exist in the past. So church activity in this situation is to evaluate how beneficial or damaging for souls they might be.

The priest also mentioned that at the time of creating The Social notion document it was impossible to imagine such potentials of intruding in a human gene which are employed now.

Commenting on gene-engineering technologies, the Head of the MThA research center of bioethics and high technologies said:

These technologies could be used for good if we try to save a deadly sick patient. For example, diseases evoked by mitochondrial DNA changes transmit from a mother to a child. There is a way of treatment when gene material is taken from three parents. So a child takes mitochondrial DNA from a mother while the rest of genetic cell nucleus material from his father and his mother.

Priest Vladimir pointed out that such actions are evaluated; all opinions given about them are a result of collaborative work which is done in the MThA research center of bioethics and high technologies. The main aims of the center are the following:

First of all, it is forming an expert committee which would present a topical issue. As even inside the church there is a wide spectrum of points of view regarding new technologies. So they could be evaluated by competent specialists not amateurs. Secondly, it is providing some forms of theoretical guide books for priests and parishioners to make them aware of actual state of facts..

In conclusion priest Vladimir Duhovich said that the true scientific aim was to show how wonderful God’s creation is. Being himself a man of science he expressed his deep misunderstanding of how people, who dedicate their researches to studying molecular biology and genetics, could believe that everything was formed accidentally.

The MThA Press Office/“SPAS” TV Channel

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