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The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece warmly welcomes the greatest and probably the most significant discovery of human science and technology: the decoding of human genome.

She admires the achievement, supports the thirst for knew knowledge and is deeply sympathizes with the anticipation of revolutionary progress in diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic medicine. She glorifies the omniscient God for this gift, and prays and hopes that a more profound knowledge of our biological and genetic identity will facilitate the course towards spiritual self-knowledge as well as the knowledge of God.

Nevertheless, the Church of Greece perceives, that along with the great promises, genetic revolution includes dangers which are based on the fact that knowledge is less than our ignorance; prudence is more scarce than our unreasonable desire; and values are weaker than interests.

For all these reasons, She calls for our attention so that the human genome be protected in every possible way from all kinds of interests and profits, financial exploitation, eugenic orientation and arrogant dominance. The genome by itself does not give value to man, neither does the achievement of its decoding; rather, it is man who gives value to his genome.

Our responsibility towards future generations, towards the rights and dignity of man, the value and freedom of the human person, the free progress and research and the preservation of social stability makes us deny categorically every act which reduces man to a genetic parameter or a deterministic unit, as well as any form of racist discrimination based on eugenics. Simultaneously, it obliges all of us to work for the prevalence of respect for man upon every form of research objectives and achievements, for the confidentiality of genetic information and for the protection of the genome from any kind of abuse.

Moreover, we consider necessary the formation of independent Committees of Bioethics and Deontology and the commitment of all countries to promote education and updating on Bioethics and relevant discussions, which must definitely be open to the various religious trends. In addition, the "International Declaration of Human Genome and Human Rights" should be adapted in accordance to the above principles.

Finally, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece has the pleasure to announce the organization of an International Scientific Convention under the title "Orthodox Christian faith before the challenge of the 21st century science and high technology," which will take place on October 4-8, 2000, in Athens. In the fifth session of the said Convention, world wide known Greek Orthodox scientists, specialized in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, have been invited to analyze in depth the problems related to the scientific and social dimension of the mapping of the human genome.

Commitee's Structure  |  Activities - Texts  |  Commitees  |  Holy Synod.