The Church teaches that cloning is morally wrong. Rather than cooperating with God’s will to procreate in the natural manner given to us (through the conjugal act of marriage), cloning involves the creation of life according to scientists’ will. In human cloning, scientists create life according to their own set of specifications. The creation of human life is treated as a manufacturing process, and life itself as a mere man-made commodity.
We are all the work of God’s hands, creatures He has made. When scientists create life according to their own will, they are undermining the dignity of the human person. The creation of life through cloning involves domination over life, controlling the very genetic makeup of the cloned person. Treating the creation of life as a manufacturing process demeans the act of creating. This is one reason why human cloning is morally offensive.
Yet there is another reason why human cloning is immoral, a reason that is equally grave. Life is created through cloning not so that it may thrive, but so that it may be killed in science experiments. Some scientists claim experimenting on human embryos yields valuable scientific information, and they need human cloning to create, and destroy, the vast quantities of human embryos needed for their experiments.
In his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”), Pope John Paul II spoke of the evil of killing human embryos. He referred to it as a grave act of disobedience to the moral law, and to God himself. “Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying.” John Paul said that “the use of human embryos or fetuses as an object of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings.” He also condemned procedures that exploit living embryos, sometimes specifically produced for this purpose, “either to be used as ‘biological material’ or as providers of organs or tissues for transplants in the treatment of certain diseases. The killing of innocent human creatures, even if carried out to help others, constitutes an absolutely unacceptable act.”