A few hundred yards away from the Vatican, a fertility clinic has become both the top destination for desperate couples and the pope's most troublesome neighbor. As clients enter, they are greeted in the narrow corridor by a huge portrait of a pregnant Madonna. The towering image is an auspicious sign for the half a dozen couples who eagerly wait their turn for a consultation. As they sit, a man in a green surgical suit rushes from room to room, often yelling in a raspy voice on his mobile phone. His harried assistant witnesses the scene with dismay. "I'm going to die. I swear I'm going to die," she mutters.
The taskmaster in the scrubs is Severino Antinori, a physician whose reputation among infertile couples is far overshadowed by his international fame as the man who wants to clone a human being. Antinori's unapologetic stance has provoked worldwide condemnation that reached its crescendo last summer, when an eminent representative of the Catholic Church compared him to Adolf Hitler.
This article was originally published with the title Father of the Impossible Children.