"Professor Julian Savulescu, uehiro chair in practical ethics at the University of Oxford, warned: "This amounts to religious persecution of scientists which has no place in modern liberal societies."
Yes, vigorous criticism and church discipline of its own members is the equivalent of religious persecution. And I am the pope.
If I were a pop-psychologist, I'd call this phenomenon the "Galileo Complex."
From a journalistic perspective, the church is in a weak position here. The press is stuck to bad "Enlightening Science vs. Obscurantist" Religion cliches. Moreover, the media won't find any embryonic stem-cell researchers who will defend the Catholic stance, for obvious reasons.