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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 March 2008, 11:51 GMT
Bishop condemns embryo study plan
Bishop of Durham Rt Rev Tom Wright
Bishop Wright said Dr Williams warned of dark tyrannies
The Bishop of Durham has attacked government plans which could allow scientists to create embryos combining human DNA and animal cells.

In his Easter Sunday message, given at Durham Cathedral, Rt Rev Tom Wright issued a rallying call to all faiths to object to the "1984-style" proposals.

He accused ministers of pushing through legislation from "a militantly atheist and secularist lobby."

The Anglican bishop also criticised the treatment of some asylum seekers.

As pressure from religious leaders mounted on prime minister Gordon Brown to allow a free vote on the issue of embryo research in the Commons, Bishop Wright warned that society was in danger of learning nothing from the "dark tyrannies" of the last century.

Gender-bending was so last century; we now do species-bending
Bishop of Durham Rt Rev Tom Wright

He told his congregation: "Our present government has been pushing through, hard and fast, legislation that comes from a militantly atheist and secularist lobby.

"In this 1984-style world, we create our own utopia by our own efforts, particularly our science and technology.

"The irony is that this secular utopianism is based on a belief in an unstoppable human ability to make a better world, while at the same time it believes that we have the right to kill unborn children and surplus old people, and to play games with the humanity of those in between.

"Gender-bending was so last century; we now do species-bending.

"It shouldn't just be Roman Catholics who are objecting. It ought to be Anglicans and Presbyterians and Baptists and Russian Orthodox and Pentecostals and all other Christians, and Jews and Muslims as well."

Bishop Wright also condemned the treatment of many asylum seekers, accusing "box-ticking" civil servants of unscrutinised bad behaviour.

He criticised the "careless and shabby treatment our supposedly civilised country now metes out both to bona fide people coming here as part of their proper work and to those who have come here validly seeking asylum."

He added: "The xenophobia which treats other people as inconvenient and disposable is unworthy of a country 70% of which describe themselves as Christian."

Pressure mounts over embryo bill
22 Mar 08 |  UK Politics
Bishop backs under fire Williams
12 Feb 08 |  England

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