Pope John Paul II warned in a statement released Sunday that humanity's speedy progress in science and technology risks overlooking moral values, citing with particular concern experiments in human cloning.
The pontiff -- in a message written Aug. 6 but released Sunday for the start of a Church-organized meeting on the theme of progress -- insisted that advanced research must not become an end in itself.
"The results achieved in various fields of science and technology are considered and defended by many as a priori acceptable," he said. "In this way, one ends up expecting that what is technically possible is in itself also ethically good."
The pontiff continued: "There is no one who does not see the dramatic and distressing consequences of such pragmatism, which perceives truth and justice as something modeled around the work of man himself. It is sufficient, as one example among others, to consider man's attempt to appropriate the sources of life through experiments in human cloning."