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My Take: Catholic Church should reverse opposition to in vitro fertilization
Carolyn and Sean Savage with their kids.
May 10th, 2011
09:28 AM ET

My Take: Catholic Church should reverse opposition to in vitro fertilization

Editor's note: Sean Savage is coauthor of "Inconceivable: A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn't Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift" and a cradle Catholic who lives in Sylvania, Ohio, with his wife and three children.

By Sean Savage, Special to CNN

According to the Roman Catholic Church, the only moral route to conceiving a child is through sexual intercourse. As a Catholic, I find the church's position to be discriminatory against couples who have medical conditions that prevent them from conceiving in that manner.

I never intended to challenge the church when my wife and I pursued in vitro fertilization in an effort to expand our family after a decade of unsuccessful infertility treatments. We loved our two boys and we'd always wanted a big family. After a successful IVF procedure in 2007 brought us our daughter in 2008, we tried again so that we could fulfill our commitment to give every embryo we created a chance at life.

When a fertility center made a critical error by transferring another couple's embryos to my wife, we were thrust into an unusual pregnancy and eventually found ourselves at the center of an intense media storm. On September 24, 2009, the day Carolyn gave birth to a very loved baby boy, who was immediately turned over to his genetic parents, the Catholic Diocese of Toledo released a statement to The Toledo Blade condemning IVF as "morally unacceptable."

Because we were the focus of the news, we felt as though the diocese was really condemning us.

The statement hurt Carolyn and me tremendously. We had hoped for the church's support and prayer on one of the hardest days we've ever faced.

Carolyn and I have always believed in our stewardship responsibilities to the church. I'd given thousands of hours over the years to coaching youth through my local parish, have raised funds for Catholic churches and schools and have given charitably to church causes. Carolyn had dedicated her career to teaching and working as a principal in Catholic schools.

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Instead of support, the church branded us in a very public way with the apparently shameful letters IVF. Why couldn't the church recognize our journey for what it was - an affirmation of the sanctity of life? Their negative response motivated me to look closer at the issue.

I believe there is an ethical path a couple can take when pursuing IVF and I ask the Roman Catholic Church to consider adopting a new doctrine that provides moral guidance for Catholic couples on how to do so.

While I share many concerns with the Catholic Church about abuses within the science of IVF, I disagree with a number of points the church makes on the issue. The church spelled out its stance in Donum Vitae, a 1987 doctrine on biomedical issues released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - an office then led by Cardinal Joseph Ratziner, who is now Pope Benedict XVI - and in 2008's Dignitas Personae, another influential church document.

The original doctrine states that "even if it (IVF) is considered in the context of 'de facto' existing sexual relations, the generation of the human person is deprived of its proper perfection; namely, that of being the result and fruit of a conjugal act." Dignitas Personae echoes this position by stating "human procreation is a personal act of a husband and wife, which is not capable of substitution."

I am personally opposed to the intentional destruction and discarding of unwanted embryos and understand why this is condemned by the church. But to state that a child born of IVF is less perfect than a child created through sexual intercourse is absurd. Is the church truly claiming that our beautiful and innocent daughter, conceived through an IVF procedure, is somehow "less" because of how her physical life began? In her, Carolyn and I see God's precious creation.

Of course, the creation of a child through a conjugal act is the preferred method because it is the most natural, least expensive and least stressful. But that shouldn't mean it should be the only acceptable route to conception.

What about Catholic men and women who have legitimate medical conditions, like endometriosis, which Carolyn has and which caused infertility despite efforts at surgical intervention?

Carolyn and I would have been happy to save thousands of dollars and a decade of emotional ups and downs by conceiving the "old-fashioned way," but that wasn't possible. We turn to medicine for a litany of medical maladies and impairments, but infertile Catholics are supposed to avoid treating a medical condition which prevents them from building or expanding their family?

Yes, adoption is a wonderful option for the couples who decide it's right for them, but adoption should never be forced on anyone.

The Donum Vitae doctrine also states that "in vitro fertilization is in itself illicit and in opposition to the dignity of procreation and of the conjugal union even when everything is done to avoid the death of the human embryo."

The term "illicit" has such a grave connotation and to use it in this context seems quite out of place. Should a couple that seeks a child through IVF, and that does so with a commitment to allow every embryo a chance at life, be considered to be participating in an illicit activity?

The most perplexing and pejorative language from Donum Vitae is that "marriage does not confer upon the spouses the right to have a child... the child has the right, as already mentioned to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents and has the right to be respected as a person from the moment of conception."

Babies born of IVF are here because their parents loved, respected and longed for these children well before conception. These children could not get here through the conjugal love of their parents and it took a very deep love, respect, and commitment to pursue the medical treatment needed to conceive through IVF. There is no doubt in my mind that God is working through loving parents and ethical doctors to allow these children to come into this world.

Now for the ironic in Donum Vitae: "Scientists are to be encouraged to continue their research with the aim of preventing causes of sterility and of being able to remedy them so that sterile couples will be able to procreate in full respect for their own personal dignity and that of the child to be born."

So although there are solutions for sterile couples today, those should not be sought because they are outside of the conjugal act? If Carolyn and I were to wait until the scientific advances described in this statement before pursuing additional children, we would not have our daughter - or the opportunity to welcome two more children into this world this August.

If science can advance to the point that all procreation can happen within the confines of the conjugal act, that would be incredible. But what do couples do while waiting the years and probable decades before these advances come to fruition?

The challenge for the church is to see the beauty in the science and that there is a path within IVF that is worthy of God's grace and approval.

The church's presence in this field could help limit abuses and disregard for human life through advocacy, education, and support. Perhaps it could provide counselors as couples pursue IVF and face many technical and nuanced decisions. And maybe the church could help couples navigate even more complex situations, like embryo adoption.

Carolyn and I were victims of the worst IVF mistake on record. But we remain proponents of the science and understand the good that is done by God through ethical physicians in this industry. We value and support the sanctity of life, even if it's created with the help of IVF.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Sean Savage.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Opinion • Pope Benedict XVI • Sexuality • Technology

soundoff (1,281 Responses)
  1. Seenthelight

    So, Gino....if you end up getting diabetes at some point in your life, are you going to refuse to take insulin and allow yourself to die since that's "God's will"?

    May 10, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Denver

      Taking insulin to treat diabetes does not destroy a human life in the process. Your argument is irrelevant.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Denver
      OK – would you accept stem cell treatment?
      How about an organ transplant? Somebody destroyed their quality of life to give up a kidney. Would you take a new heart from a destroyed human life?

      May 10, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  2. Ms.W

    There are roughly 150,000 children in the US that are WAITING to be adopted. How can people so selfishly ignore these children??? And spend thousands and thousands of dollars on IVF procedures that MIGHT or MIGHT NOT work... I just dont understand. Just to have a child with your DNA? Now we have leftover embryos that are being "adopted"... while children are getting older and older still WAITING for someone to want them. Then they age out of foster care and have a high liklihood of becoming homesless, criminals, teen parents, all a drain on society and we blame THEM for the way they are... It makes me sick.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Robin

      MrsW, How many of those children waiting to be adopted have you adopted?

      May 10, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Question

      Robin-that is my question also. Mrs. W-why do you feel that adoption is only for infertile people. When a friend or family member tells you they are pregnant, do you congratulate them on the pregnancy or do you condemn them for not adopting?? Unless you practice what you preach I strongly advise you to keep your mouth shut.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Bananarama

      Unless you're going to loan people thousands upon thousands of dollars to adopt, I don't think their reproductive choices should make you sick. Frankly, the way you're shaming people to push your own agenda makes me sick.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Ms.W

      I have adopted two of them, and im only 26. I have no fertility issues. Adoption is and always has been my first choice. So you're assumptions about me are incorrect=) So yes I do practice what I preach!

      May 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Ms.W

      Bananarama~ It is not MY agenda, but the plight of our country's abused and neglected children. If you saw their pain the way I have, I think you would understand why I am so passionate about the fact that they are being overlooked and abandoned.
      And the assumption that adoption costs thousands and thousands of dollars is false. To adopt from foster care is literally free. And even if you adopt privately, there are tax credits of $13,000 per child that you get back. It is sad that you are so misinformed, especially while there is probably a child out there who would LOVE to call you mom or dad.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Ree

      By that logic, nobody should have children of their own until all of those children have been adopted. Adoption can be a wonderful thing, but you shouldn't diminish the longing that many people, especially women, feel to have a child of their own – to feel your body growing to accommodate new life, to feel that baby move and kick, to bring a life into the world and experience that moment when you first hold him/her in your arms. I don't think longing for that is selfish.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  3. DJ

    You are not Catholic then. Maybe try a different church in a protestant denomination that better fits your beliefs.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  4. tom

    FACT - there is no shortage of children in the world

    Adopt

    May 10, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  5. Temple Watcher

    Render unto the Bishops the things that are Bishops', and unto God, the things that are God's.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  6. Seenthelight

    Oh yes, the old..."just adopt" solution. I love how people throw that out there as if you can just drive down to the baby store and pick one out. It's far more complicated than that.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Len

      yup, most people don't realize it can be a five to ten year struggle to a adopt a child.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Catherine

      Adoption is much more complicated than anyone who's never been faced with it can know. It is expensive and can take years to actually accomplish even gettting on lists for some agencies. In a lot of cases IVF is actually cheaper than adopting. Plus there is even more emotional tormoil that can go into adoption as to the fears of losing that child to biological parents one day. For those that have adopted that is amazing, but for some it's harder than just saying, 'we are adopting'. My husband and I have been faced with infertility and we were considering adoption, if it hadn't been for some of the other options we explored first. We are now expecting our 1st child in September and tried and IUI before exploring IVF. You don't just jump into IVF it's a huge process and it's very emotional and you have to be very strong to go through the process.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  7. John-proIVF

    AMEN!

    May 10, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  8. Gino

    This is simple. If you can't have children then you were not meant to have childen. You are going against Gods plan for you. When we go against Gods will crazy things happen like "fertility center made a critical error by transferring another couple's embryos to my wife". Please put God first before your own selfish desires. Thank you.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • musings

      Oh boy, I guess God would have wanted someone to have a harelip and cleft palate too. How about God wants you to weigh 800 lbs so you cannot get a gastric bypass. Oh, and God loves those cancers of the breast. Your god is sick himself.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • jayn

      So God has a plan for everybody? Even ones that died and suffered right? Even those "babies" that die in this process right?

      May 10, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Thinking7

      Amen!

      May 10, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • dom625

      Rock on Gino! I completely support your opinion, however unpopular others may find it.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > This is simple. If you can't have children then you were not meant to have childen. You are going against Gods plan for you. When we go against Gods will crazy things happen like "fertility center made a critical error by transferring another couple's embryos to my wife". Please put God first before your own selfish desires. Thank you.

      I thought your God was omniscient. That is all knowing. How can they go against God's plan if it's already been considered by God? How can one person subvert the will of an omnipotent being? I don't think they can.

      Please put some thought into your arguments. I mean seriously, this one is moronic even looking at it from a religious angle.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > So God has a plan for everybody? Even ones that died and suffered right? Even those "babies" that die in this process right?

      Of course not. Everything good is attributed to God. Everything bad we do. I mean, how else can the religious keep the concept of God otherwise?

      May 10, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Andrew

      So if you get cancer it is what God has planned for you and you will not go to the Dr to get help? I doubt it. IVF is medicine that helps people. It's easy for people to talk down about it that never have to go through the pain of infertility.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Magic

      Fie on those scientists who eradicated "God's" precious creatures, the smallpox viruses.... and how dare they kill divinely created tapeworms, malaria parasites and those dear-to-'His'-heart salmonella cutie-pies!

      May 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  9. Gina

    As a 30 year old female currently facing infertilty struggles, I appreciate this commentary and the hope it brings to couples having to seriously consider this route to have children naturally.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • musings

      My own sister-in-law, another Gina, is as Catholic as you can get. But faced with infertility, she conceived by IVF. I think only in the first instance was that necessary – afterwards, they came by natural means, and there are four of them. Good luck.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > As a 30 year old female currently facing infertilty struggles, I appreciate this commentary and the hope it brings to couples having to seriously consider this route to have children naturally.

      As a 30 year old female currently facing infertilty struggles, I appreciate this commentary and the hope it brings to couples having to seriously question what the catholic church tells them they can and cannot do.

      Fixed your post for you.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Bobinator, I wish I could "like" your post.

      May 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  10. ForTheUnborn

    Sean, what you don't seem to understand that whether or not a couple has children, is "God's Will".

    Unless, as in your case, God's will contradicts what YOU WANT.

    When is comes to Catholocism, it really sounds like you want your cake and you want to eat it too...... That's not what it is all about, and I truly hope you learn that over time.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • tom

      it is wrong to eat the unborn

      May 10, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > it is wrong to eat the unborn

      Point and match.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  11. Callie

    Amen! As a devout Catholic I struggle with these same issues. I have a medical condition. It's just that. Are couples who are in a loving marriage accepting of children because they are merely thrust upon them by acts of God or are they too longing for a child? Why should I also not long for a child. God has given us science as a gift to use in a moral and ethical way. I thank God everyday that procedures such as IVF exist.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Gina

      Agree! Thank you for your post!

      May 10, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Patricius

      Callie: I sympathize with you on your medical conditions, but I will rebuke your post by using your own words. "God has given us science as a gift to use in a moral and ethical way". Most people who call themselves devout or holy are contradicting themselves by making that statement. I'm not saying that you are not these things, but I think those terms are used loosely. If you are truly devout to the Catholic faith your statements would scare the "hell" out of you. Pun intended.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Jonathan

      Gay couples also have a medical condition not allowing them to have children; being the same gender. If the Catholic Church said IVF was okay then they'd be saying non-natural means of conception are fine. It would be one less argument against gay marriage.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  12. Seenthelight

    Amen! I'm a former Catholic, and this is one of MANY reasons why. God uses skilled doctors, and advanced technology as his instruments to help fulfill his will. You could've done IVF 100 times, and if it wasn't meant to be, it wouldn't have happened! Infertility is a journey that is hard for anyone to understand, unless you've gone through it. I think the Catholic Church needs to take a look at what they've got going on in their own backyard before laying a guilt trip on those that are simply seeking to build a family, even if it's not the "traditional" way. Blessings to you and your family, thanks for writing this piece!

    May 10, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > Amen! I'm a former Catholic, and this is one of MANY reasons why. God uses skilled doctors, and advanced technology as his instruments to help fulfill his will.

      If you're relying on acts of man to define the actions of your God, then you have a man made God.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Denver

      God allows many things to happen. like IVF, because he has given us the free will to choose our own path: we can follow Him or we can follow the ways of the world. By choosing to support IVF, Catholics are choosing to not follow God's will. The same can be said for harmful drugs like meth (why would God allow meth to be created by humans, since it's so bad?) and so on.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Robin

      Bobinator, have you not noticed. MAN wrote the bible. Man told other MEN about God...MAN passed it on down through the ages and MAN continued it. All the MEN got together and called it a church. If someone walked up to you today and said that GOD sent an angle and told him that Jesus was coming back today you would call him a weirdo so you need to wake up and realize MAN did it all and I mean ALL. And NO ONE has any real PROOF of otherwise.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > Bobinator, have you not noticed.

      I have. My reply is in context to the poster. That is to say his version of God is indistinguishable from a non-existant God and that his God is manufactured mentally by him based on observations of reality.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  13. tom

    Obviously, a child born out of IVF is innocent and the same morally as any other child. Have fun judging the parents and the doctors anyway you want. But the child has done nothing and therfore there is no reason to judge the child.

    The Catholic Church has a hard time with this- they used to say that unbaptized children went to Limbo and were forced to dance bent over backwards for enternity.

    Sorry Catholics, I know there are many church people who do good things - But if you divided all Catholic ideas and acts into two piles - the Things Jesus Would Do pile and The Things Jesus Would Never Do pile -- The second pile would be bigger.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  14. The Bobinator

    > As a Catholic, I find the Church's position to be discriminatory against couples who have medical conditions that prevent them from conceiving in that manner.

    The roman catholic church is discriminatory? No. I won't hear of it. Clearly you want to live in sin and ignore what God has commanded you to do. It's not your position to question what the vatican interprets the word of God to be. You should simply follow it and be happy to be following it.

    Or, perhaps this is a clue. A clue that will lead you to conclude that everything the church says isn't true. Maybe then you'll start to read the bible, you, know, the parts that aren't said in mass, and then start thinking whether those are true. Then maybe you'll say "Why is it that I believe this without question?" or "Is what I believe really true?"

    Maybe then you'll take a step into reality and put the idol worship and magical incantations of Christianity behind you.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Thinking7

      I am Catholic. I do not worship idols or believe in magical incantations.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Huh?

      . . . its funny cause I read the bible, and go to Mass, and there isn't parts that are "left out." But since all you know about the Catholic Church is from your pastor or parents telling you its evil, maybe you should go do some research yourself and stop getting all your facts from someone else (gee, I feel like someone just tried to use this argument).

      May 10, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > . . its funny cause I read the bible, and go to Mass, and there isn't parts that are "left out."

      Really, open up your Sunday Missal and find me where they talk about all 613 laws from the book of law.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • VishaNu

      Catholics cut out parts of the Bible? Uh...I've got a word for you...Deuterocanonical.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > . . . its funny cause I read the bible, and go to Mass, and there isn't parts that are "left out." But since all you know about the Catholic Church is from your pastor or parents telling you its evil, maybe you should go do some research yourself and stop getting all your facts from someone else (gee, I feel like someone just tried to use this argument).

      You know what would help you? Not assuming you have a clue on a person's motivations. I was a member of the Roman Catholic Church for most of my life until I actually started to do research. Hell, I was considering becoming a priest.

      The fact is that the roman catholic church cherrypicks bible verses because they know what people would think if they were all brought up. Nonsense like not eating shellfish, or it being an abomination planting wheat and barley in the same furrow. Or how about it being against God's will to wear polyester.

      When was the last time they talked about the evils of polyester at mass? If they didn't, they're clearly leaving parts of the bible out, which proves you wrong.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Christian Fools

      Great work Bob- you can blindly spew the propaganda your cult has brainwashed you to believe – but when your wife needs medicine or surgery to survive ask yourself – did God make this?

      May 11, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  15. Randy Irelund

    Ring the bell again for the Catholic Church, for another absurd position. If the Church is supposed to be the link between God and man, the connection was broken long ago. God lies in our hearts, not some super size multinational corporation.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • tom

      the Church's position is very consistent - if destroying accidentially fertilized eggs in abortion is wrong then OBVIOUSLY destroying intentionally fertilezed eggs in IVF is equally or even more wrong

      May 10, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Robin

      Finally, a smart post!

      May 10, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • VishaNu

      ***"God lies in our hearts..."***

      The problem is that most humans no longer take the time to contemplate what their "heart" is telling them. Instead of meditating and really listening to what our own heart is telling us, we oftentimes make impulsive choices that fulfill our immediate desires without really thinking about the impact our decisions have down the road.

      If people honestly took the time to learn why the Catholic church hangs onto its hardline stances regarding social dilemmas, I think they might start to see their point. Unfortunately, it's easier to shrug off and condemn than to make an attempt at understanding.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • David, CA

      "If people honestly took the time to learn why the Catholic church hangs onto its hardline stances regarding social dilemmas..."
      do you mean social dilemmas like when for 20 years the RCC has been telling poverty stricken uneducated people in Africa that condoms cause AIDS?

      John Paul will be burning for that one as well as ignoring the crimes of his priests against children.

      May 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Christian Fools

      They don't seem very consistent to me -why is IVF so wrong when its OK to take man-made medicines and have surgery performed by man?

      May 11, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  16. tom

    I have no dogma in this fight. Throw out emotion and theology. IVF is a procedure in which several eggs are fertilized with the intent to implant the most viable ones (2 or 3) with the hope that one will survive. IVF deliberately creates fertilized eggs knowing that they will intentionally be destroyed. Abortion destroys one (usually one) egg that has been accidentally or unintentionally fertilized. Abortion destroys fertilized eggs that were created unitentionally. IVF intentionally creates fertilized eggs and destroys them. If you are anti-abortion you cannot logically be pro-IVF.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Jay

      "If you are anti-abortion you cannot logically be pro-IVF."
      Spot on!

      May 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Agree

      I agree... I do not have children and I may not ever have the ability to be blessed with my own children. However, I am against abortion because I believe life begins when an egg and a sperm connect and a life is then conceived. I don't see how abortion and IVF are medically different and therefore IVF will not be an option for me. If we're not blessed with our own child through other procedures to fix any present medical problems, adoption will continue to remain an option for us. Beliefs shouldn't change over time because society changes OR because of an individual's current heartbreak over their situation (and my heart does break for any couple who has trouble conceiving their own baby).

      May 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  17. Catherine in Tulsa

    He's living in 2011, but the Catholic Church is still living in 1000 AD. What is shocking is that he isn't aware of this. Maybe he ought to find a religion that doesn't condemn a person for wanting to be happy in this lifetime.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Ben

      That's the American way. Rather than searching for Truth just find the "religion" that fits their lifestyle. Avoid conflict, avoid critical thinking, avoid suffering at all costs. Continue to walk through life with blinders on.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Patricius

      Morals are not bound by time.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Robin

      Ben, you are walking through life with blinders on. You don't think for yourself, you ask the church first. If it says NO then you don't. the "church" is your grown up mama....you don't have to take responsibility for yourself cause you just did what the "church" did.....

      May 10, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Len

      Wow Ben, last I checked there were religions in placed OTHER than the United States. Also, finding a form to worship god has nothing to do with being Catholic or protestant. It just depends on where you put your money.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • David, CA

      You can safely assume you have created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates the same people you do.” –Annie Lamot

      May 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  18. JennyTX

    I'm sure glad I don't have a religion to control me and make me feel guilty, the way the Catholic Church makes its people feel.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Ben

      Yeah they're mean.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • tom

      Jenny : no one needs the Catholic Church to make them feel bad after an abortion. it is just natural to feel bad

      May 10, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > Jenny : no one needs the Catholic Church to make them feel bad after an abortion. it is just natural to feel bad

      If you classify this as abortion, then God's the biggest abortion master of all. How many "babies" are lost because they don't full attach to the placenta due to God's cruddy design of our reproductive system.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Thinking7

      The Catholic Church teaches morals. If we'd all heed those morals, we wouldn't have to feel guilty. The laws of the Church are for our own good. It is just that we are a bunch of selfish people.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Patricius

      Actually, there is no control. It is free will. The Catholic Church believes that it has the fullness of truth and sometimes the truth hurts. If you call yourself a Catholic you take on the understanding that you may not know everything and you look to the Church for guidance. Then when something the Church says goes against what you want to do you feel bad. The Catholic Church doesn't make people "feel" bad, that is called your conscious and it is trying to tell you that something is wrong. Rather than listening to yourself you say the Church is wrong. No doubt a little good can come out of the results, but it is never justified to do evil for the cause of good.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Len

      Actually, if you look at history, the Catholic church is all about control. God didn't come down and give his word to a Bishop in the 21st century saying this is wrong. It is a MAN's decision. God gave us free will and his religious writing to think for ourselves. The Catholic church creates guilt in it's members to control the sheep. It has worked for centuries, why stop now?

      May 10, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Patricius

      @Len: This is where most people do not understand the Catholic Church. The Word was given to man by God in the form of the Bible. The Church has to guide it's people in the modern world. By your statements God died after the Bible was written and no longer speaks to us. Anything that didn't exist back then, i.e. IVF is just up for your own interpretation. The Catholic Church, which was started by God the Son, Jesus Christ, still guides his Church through the Holy Spirit. I don't expect you to believe that I just expect you to understand why the Church takes a stand on these issues.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • The Bobinator

      @Len: This is where most people do not understand the Catholic Church. The Word was given to man by God in the form of the Bible. The Church has to guide it's people in the modern world.

      Actually, the church has been brought kicking and screaming into modern times by the modern world.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • David, CA

      @ Patricius- This is where most people do not understand the Catholic Church. The "Word" was written by flawed men, and the "words" fitting their needs for power and control were assembled by flawed men, voted upon and assembled in to a book in the form of a Bible tailor made to support their belief in their own superiority. The Church is completely out of touch with people and society in the modern world.

      May 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Typical of the non-believers blaming their thoughts/beliefs, writings, actions on God. YOU own what you believe, what you write and what you do. Stop blaming everyone, especially Jesus for your bad behaviors.

      Amen.

      May 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  19. Michael from Omaha

    If you want to be parents so badly, please adopt. The Church's stance can't be changed because the church has spoken definitively that IVF is a moral abomination. It's quite simple, the Church teaches that life begins at conception, or in other words fertilization. The IVF process requires several eggs to be fertilized, frozen, and implanted if and when it works out to do so. In the process, many babies are indefinitely frozen and/or killed. Also, when several eggs are implanted, the odds of having multiple births increases dramatically which means than many of the babies end up being selectively aborted in the process. The evils of IVF are not so much the life it creates, as the life that it creates and then systematically destroys.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Thinking7

      Exactly! You are right on target with what the Catholic Church teaches. There is a reason for everything, and in vitro fertilization is wrongfor all the reasons you stated. If one stands back and thinks about it, it really does make sense what the Church teaches. However, if one is in the situation of having fertility problems – it may be hard to see that. Sometimes we want something so badly that neither reason nor Church teaching stands in the way. It really all comes down to selfish desire to have one born of ourselves. I know so many beautiful adopted children. They should be given the chance.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Larry Bobaloo

      You are obvioously an ignorant idiot who has never been through this painstaking emotional rolller coaster and you are also wrong your facts about IVF !!

      May 10, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > The IVF process requires several eggs to be fertilized, frozen, and implanted if and when it works out to do so. In the process, many babies are indefinitely frozen and/or killed.

      You mean many clusters of cells with no conciousness.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Len

      Yay for the backwards teaching of the church! You do realize that the female body ABORTS most pregnancies, correct? By the reasoning of the church, women should be condemned for their body acting as god intended, as well as any miscarriage or other unfortunate accident that happened during the pregnancy. Try using a brain, please.

      Also, the church is very ignorant about most technologies, and eventually does change its stance. It just may take them decades or a hundred years. The Catholic church should be more concerned about getting the sheep in it's doors who are unable to think.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Chris

      You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. You need to research the facts about IVF before opening your judgmental mouth. You may then be able to come up with an educated reponse. I am thankful everyday that I serve a loving and amazing God who has led these doctors to find ways to create life.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Len

      I agree with Chris. If you believe that god gives a soul to all life, then this procedure is no different than conception. It is just the backwards thinking of the church. It is our drive to reproduce, no matter if you believe it is god's will or evolution.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Thinking7

      Larry – no one is saying your pain is not terrible. What we are saying is that our selfish motives will cause us more harm if we do not obey Catholic teaching. There are very good reasons to avoid IVF. If you choose to ignore those reasons, then you will be hurting yourself more in the future than you hurt at the moment. I realize it is hard to see that when you are suffering so much. It takes faith and opening of the mind to the reasons we believe IVF is wrong. Open up to the will of God, try to understand why the Church believes it is wrong, and you will see the light. Blessings to you!!!

      May 10, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Robin

      What a bunch of bologna....obviously you guys have never faced infertility...did you ever stop to think that the Catholic Church doesn't know what God is really thinking. I say God used those wonderful people to have a beautiful baby for two people who needed that help..and obviously, GOD picked the right people because they gave the little boy to his real parents. I have stuggled with infertility and didn't have the funds to pursue IVF. My daughter had a child which she decided to give up for adoption to a very loving family, so I have been on both sides. If GOD didn't want them to have more children then IVF would NOT have worked for them. So, I see GOD at work for them and with them. And the Catholic Church should look at their own Moral conduct before condeming others. What happened to Judge NOT...

      May 10, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • tom

      "the femal body aborts most pregnancies" Are you saying most pregnant women have miscarriages?? I do not think you are right. Who thinks most pregnacies end on a miscarriage?

      I am pretty sure most people die - that is the way the world works -- However it is still wrong to kill

      The fact of miscarriages does not make abortion OK

      May 10, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > What we are saying is that our selfish motives will cause us more harm if we do not obey Catholic teaching.

      Yes, like not using condoms to stop the spread of AIDS. Woe be unto us if the overpopulated regions of Africa, riddled with AIDS actually started to use condoms. Imagine the damage we could have caused.

      Maybe, just maybe, the catholic church is wrong about stuff sometimes? 😛

      May 10, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Len

      actually, there is only a 1 to 3% chance of a pregnancy last the first trimester. it is why most doctors say to wait a year before you start going for fertility testing. Yes, the human body does miscarry most pregnancies. It was how it was designed. The female body destroys most of the eggs that are fertilized and they never attach. Pick up a biology book, you may learn a thing or two.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Mia

      M From O – If you are a Male you will understand the pain when your wife is infertile, or if you are a female you will understand the pain when you are infertile for som reason or your husband is infertile. If you already have kids, then i am sure you dont know the value of your childrens.

      If a couple wants to have babies via IVF they have all the rights to do what is perfect for there family. An egg or a sperm is not a baby. only lifes comes in when a heart beat is seen. If you dont like the technology just shut up & you dont have to reply to these stories. at the east dont discourage other couples.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • tom

      Larry Bobaloo - thank youfor teaching everyone the imortance of name calling -- Some of us may have forgotten our kindergarten thinking

      May 10, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Jon

      If life begins at conception, but the church doesn't consider IVF to be true conception, what's the problem? It's just the churches way of forcing their ideals on everyone else. Who's to tell anyone they can't have a family.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • R

      Priests uses only natural born kids. Only organic. Back in old days, it was fun for them as they got all organic Kids to abuse. Nowadays its all unhealthy IVF Kids. Think about priest's health and have organic kids only.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • mkjp

      I assume that everyone here who is claiming that everyone else should just adopt is lucky enough to have had at least one child naturally. So I say to you, if adoption is good enough for me, it is good enough for you and how dare you continue to overpopulate this planet just because you can? If all those children need to be adopted to be raised properly and loved, then rather than preaching to the rest of us do your part and adopt instead of having your own kids. practice what you preach!

      May 10, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Dorianmode

      Thank you Pope Michael. If YOU want to adopt, great, do so. Otherwise, others are perfectly capable of deciding what is best for themselves.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Batman

      R: That is an awesome point. Ahhhhhh, I wish I would of thought of that.

      May 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Car

      @Mia- "If you dont like the technology just shut up" I agree. and I have to add... If you don't like the Catholic church's teachings, Well then find a new church! Don't try to change it to suit your personal needs. The religion is there and they have their teachings. If you don't agree with it. Then don't practice it.
      If you are truly a faithful person to God. You will have an open heart to adoption just like you would have an open heart to a biological child. A child is a child.

      P.S. I am Catholic... and I am infertile. So I know the pains. I have one biological child that took years to have. I am open to adoption or to another biological child. I pray that God knows what's best and either the perfect child will be given to me through either method. And I am happy with that because that was God's plan for me.

      Who am I to say what other ppl have to believe? I might have an opinion on a hot topic that differs from someone else but it is not my right to JUDGE or to FORCE my opinions on to others. I have the right to STATE my opinion and you have the right to IGNORE it if you want. The Catholic Church STATED their opinion on this matter. That is their right. But the we have no right to FORCE the catholic church to change their opinion. That is wrong.

      May 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  20. jayn

    Introducing reason and science into religion is a slippery slope. Ultimately, if you continue, you will have no choice but to excuse yourself from all religion. ANything worth doing is worth doing well!

    May 10, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • tom

      LOGIC says if abortiobn is wrong then IVF must be wrong - both procedures destroy fertilized eggs - IVF destroys more

      May 10, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Len

      News flash, the female body does this too. Millions of women are aborting children in their body and didn't even know it.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • tom

      Len if what you say is true - it is certainly not intentional -– I know for a fact that you are going to die - it is God's way or nature's way if you like. Even though I am 100% certain that you will die, I still think I would be wrong to kill you.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • arrell

      Your leaders asked God which rules to make. Your leaders made these rules and now you question your leaders and ultimately God. How can you possibly question the "rules" of your religion, when these "rules" were developed by your leaders who are your representatives of God? Is it more convenient for your to follow the "rules" that you see fit. If you were a true believer would you question God about your church's "rules". Faith is blind, not picking and chosing what you want to fit your wants. Why don't you start your own church with your own "rules" that best fit you, as many have done before?

      May 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • gerald

      Obey and submit to your leaders who have concern for your souls...Heb 13:17

      May 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.