'Cloning ethically repugnant'
Influential Roman Catholic bishops in the Philippines Wednesday branded as "ethically repugnant" claims by a cult that it has produced the first human clone.
Reproducing human beings "is morally atrocious, ethically repugnant and socially dangerous," said Archbishop Oscar Cruz of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
"Bared of its noble claims, divested of its intriguing techniques and romantic pretences, cloning is unhuman and inhuman."
Cruz also warned scientists against playing God, saying cloned species would have no souls. Cloned humans would be nothing more than "something to examine, to tinker with, to play with."
"The human person is dehumanized. Human rights become nonsense," he said. "Cloning is clowning with humanity."
A cult known as the Raelians, which believes human beings were originally created by extraterrestrials and consider cloning a path to immortality, raised eyebrows across the scientific and global community with its claims of having cloned two babies.
Independent experts have been unable to verify the claims and a lawsuit and US investigation have been launched.
The Philippines have imposed no laws restricting human cloning.