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Tuesday, September 6, 2005


VATICAN CITY, SEP 6, 2005 (VIS) - The twentieth international conference promoted by the Pontifical Council for Heath Care Ministry is due to be held in the Vatican from November 17 to 19, 2005, on the theme of the "human genome."

  In his written presentation of the program of the conference, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the pontifical council, affirms that although "this is a very broad topic and to a large extent subject to new research and discovery," the conference aims to consider the subject "from the specific perspective of health," stressing its therapeutic aspects.

  The participants, world specialists in this field, will consider the theme "according to our usual method," writes the cardinal, "we will begin with a vision of the genome in the light of the Word of God, and from this we will develop our exploration of it in three stages: reality, illumination, action.

  "In the first part of our conference we will consider the current reality of genetics, genomic studies and post-genomic studies; chromosome aberrations and congenital disorders; ... genetic predisposition to cancer; ... medical care for patients with these diseases and their families; judgement, error and negligence in genetic aspects of maternal fetal medicine; ... human genetics and its international juridical status; genetic research and international cooperation."

  During the second part of the conference, reflection will focus on "the historical process of human genetics; ... the ethics of medical genetics; the path of liberal eugenics and the ethics of medical consultancy in the field of genetics." Attention will also be given to "the application of the knowledge of human genetics according to Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as genetics according to the thought of post-modernity."

  In the last stage of the conference, the cardinal concludes, "we will examine genetics and the new culture, the pastoral vision of genetic research, medical genetics and ethical committees in hospitals, law and genetics, ... education and the updating of pastoral workers in the field of genetics, and the prevention of genetic diseases from the point of view of pastoral care."
.../CONFERENCE HUMAN GENOME/CON-AVA                VIS 20050906 (360)


VATICAN CITY, SEP 6, 2005 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano has sent a telegram of condolence, in the Pope's name, to Bishop Manfred Scheuer of Innsbruck, Austria, for yesterday's accident on the cable car linking the Austrian localities of Rettenbach and Tiefenbachferner, which left nine people dead. The Holy Father gives assurance of his prayers for the victims, the majority of them children, and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.

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