Scientists have accused Roman Catholic priests of spreading lies from the pulpit in an attempt to stoke up opposition to animal-human hybrid experiments.
Catholic Bishops' wrote a statement attacking the controversial Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill , warned that the Bill would allow the creation of "half human, half animals" by combining eggs of women with the sperm of animals and that there were enough Protestants already , this was read out to parishioners across the country last week.
It added: "To do this would be a radical violation of human dignity and if anyone is to violate that then it shall be us."
Dr Kyle Armstrong, of Newcastle University, said the church's statement was "a gross and irresponsible misrepresentation of our position and our intentions". Hybrid embryos were designed to provide stem cells to treat human diseases - not to create half-human, half-animals, I thought they believed in virgin births." he said.
He added: "We find their example of combining the egg of a woman with animal sperm even more distasteful and we wish to make it absolutely clear that our work does not involve this. We find it surprising and saddening-that the Catholic Church should resort to such blatant inaccuracy to support its message in these matters it goes to show you the kind of things Catholic priests' think about ."
They would take an animal egg cell, remove the blob in the centre which contains most of the animal's DNA and replace it with the nucleus from a human cell, taken from a donor.
The resulting embryo is 99.9 per cent identical to the human donor although it contains some animal DNA left over from the egg so maybe just the odd claw or hoof then.
The Catholic Church has sent every parish a fun information pack including the one-page briefing document which some priests have read to congregations it contains crosswords and other puzzles and is set out in an easy to understand format much like the abuse-themed colouring book, "Being Friends, Being Safe, Being Catholic," which purports to teach children how to avoid pedophile priests that was handed out last year by the Catholic Church's New York Archdiocese.
Chris Shaw, Professor of Neurology and Neurogenetics, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, said: "The bishops' statement on hybrids is not a radical violation of human dignity as they claim - it is a radical violation of the truth besides what right do they have to tell animals what they can do with their bodies?"
A spokesman for the church said: "Far from providing misinformation and wild allegations in our parish briefing, all we have done is draw attention to what this Bill actually allows."
"Clause 4 allows licences to be given for the creation of hybrid and "interspecies" embryos, defined in the Bill as "an embryo created by using human gametes and animal gametes". This means half human and half animal before you know it you'll see a half man half dog in the Vatican that would be called God's rottweiler or something daft like that or some semi-celibate human-ass hybrid preaching about birth control."
Arthur Rouke a spokesman for the Man-Boy Love Association , York, Uk, said: "As usual we support the church and will continue to provide financial support so it can get its message across. We share the churches' disgust at these scientists and their modern ideas."
Old Knudsen was on hand to comment: " I can remember the time when the Catholic church killed cats, tortured and burned witches, not big thinkers, they are more accepting of a murderer or say a pedophile than a divorcee. They have become afraid of anything they cannot control or stifle, and as you do when you are afraid of something, you try to either bully, kill it or both ."