Philippine Raelian sect claims more clones expected, Jan. 9, 2003

Filipino members of the Raelian Movement have said they are ready to serve as the booking agent for childless Filipino couples who are interested in having babies cloned.

The movement, which believes aliens created life on earth, has close links with the company Clonaid, which is surrounded by controversy over its recent claims that it had successfully cloned a human being.

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Founder of the Raelian movement in the Philippines, Engineer Cesar Caparros, said the group was getting constant updates from Clonaid about the progress of its cloning programme.

Caparros, however, said that Raelians see cloning as the key to eternal life.

He said there were now 200 Raelian members in the Philippines, up from just three when the group was founded there in 1993.

Caparros said Clonaid had cloned 10 couples – five were miscarried, two were born successfully, and the remaining three are due to be delivered next month.

He adds that more are expected.

The Catholic Church in the Philippines – now in the midst of preparations for the fourth World Meeting of Families, scheduled for later this month – has expressed concerns about the claims of cloning, and its repercussions.

In the absence of proof, Secretary-General of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Monsignor Hernando Coronel, said he was skeptical about this issue.

He said the church objected to cloning because it goes against their teachings of family values.

Coronel said he did not take the Raelian’s claim that human life comes from another planet seriously.

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