How Does Church Stand on Cyrogenics?


I am doing my final paper on cryogenics and I would like to know how the church stands before this new science. I want to explain why death is something inevitable and nobody should be given the power to play with it. This science says that their goal is to "preserve life". Also, aren't the scientist and the people conducting this trying to play the role God? I would appreciate it greatly if you can get back to me as soon as possible. Thank you very much,

Carolina Montenegro


Dear Carolina,

Sounds like an interesting topic. As far as I know, the Church has not taken a position regarding cyrogenics. The first question would be scientific/medical: Is it really possible or is it a hoax to bilk rich (and credulous) people out of some money? When blood stops flowing to the brain (and other organs) can they be kept in suspended animation or do they slowly deteriorate? I don't know enough about brain chemistry, but I suspect death involves something like a computer crash - and, when the bodies are thawed out, it would take much more than a cancer cure to revive them. In my homily mentioning cyrogenics, I quoted from Shakespeare:

once put out thy light,
Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat
That can thy light relume. (Othello Act 5, Scene 2)

Do scientists know where the "Promethean heat" comes from? Will they ever?

But even supposing scientists one day are able to revive frozen corpses, would someone really want that? Think about it. It would make an interesting theme for a novel, waking from a dreamless sleep only to face again the pains, disappointments and inevitable deterioration of this life. And this time separated from the people who once gave some solace.

The most immediate argument against cyrogenics involves "stewardship." Every one of us has been entrusted certain resources and we are responsible for using them wisely. Given all the pressing needs in our world (children dying for lack of medicines, young people needing scholarships to attend schools, etc.) is it not a grave injustice to spend money and resources on something so questionable?

Of course, the people involved in cyrogenics begin with the assumption that man has no spiritual dimension (soul). So it is hard to get them to ask these sorts of questions. In that sense they are "playing God" because they assume there is no power or authority above themselves.

Those are my thoughts, Carolina. Once again, not an official Church position, but reflections based on some of the principles Jesus has given us. Prayers for you and your future. May it be filled with warmth and life until God calls us to our true goal.

God bless,

Fr. Bloom


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