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Rome Reports

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David Alton, an English Lord who defends life in all its phases

Lord David AltonHouse of Lords (Liverpool, UK)“Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said to me, you?re not called upon to be successful. You are called upon to be faithful. I think that?s the challenge for us who are involved in public and political life. Not to worry about being defeated. It?s great when you win as well, but you won?t always win.”Fighting for human rights is a mission for Alton. He?s the Chairman for the British Parliamentary Committee on North Korea. He recently visited the country to attend a Science and Technology conference at the Pyongyang University, which opened about a year ago, with help from Christian based groups. ;Even ; though the country is making progress, he says there are still over 300,000 political and religious prisoners. Catholic priests haven?t been allowed to minister in the country in over 60 years. Hunger and poverty is also a dark reality. Back at home, stem cell research is one of his main concerns. Especially since animal and human embryos are now being combined for ; experimental purposes. David AltonHouse of Lords (Liverpool, UK)“There are 80 cures worldwide using adult stem cells that do not require the creation of human embryos. ; So good science and good ethics where they matched in hand, can deliver good cures. But it?s unethical to create and destroy human embryos.”When it comes to speaking out against euthanasia, he says, ?dignity? is often confused with convenience. David AltonHouse of Lords (Liverpool, UK)“So you end up, first of all, the right to die, becoming the duty to die and all financial pressures on the things like the National Health Service play into that. You are a ?bed blocker? because you?re elderly, sick, disabled. Where is the dignity in that?”The politician is also involved in opening a International Christian Heritage Center in England. He says, it fits in perfectly with the speech Benedict XVI gave a year ago in Westminster, where he urged locals to not loose their identity or Christian roots. KLH FFJM-PR