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. Christina

    Seems to me the author is not as well informed about what the Church really teaches on this issue as he thinks he is. #1, the Church does not say that the babies from IVF are less than those created from the conjugal act in marriage. Rather, it says that “the generation of the human person is deprived of its proper perfection; namely, that of being the result and fruit of a conjugal act”.

    The key there is the ends do not justify the means. When we start thinking that the ends are justified by any and all means we jump into moral relativism. The Church teaches absolute truth…not relative truth.

    #2, he refers to IVF as a medical treatment, but how did IVF help to correct his wife's endometriosis? The Church encourages its members to seek alternatives for treatment. Not a way to get around a health issue, which is what IVF does. IVF does not correct any bodily function. It only gets around the problem to make a baby.

    How does he feel knowing that his babies are frozen?

    May 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  2. Goat of Evil

    If you need in vitro fertilization, either your God has already decided that you shouldn't breed, or evolution has decided that your genes are unworthy of being spread. Whatever you believe, it's not a logical thing to do. No, "me wantee baybee!" is not a logical argument.

    May 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  3. julie

    In response to Angela, I say Jesus did find the church. In Matthew 16:18, the verse says "Upon this rock, I will build my church. Notice again the personal pronoun. Sorry Angela.

    May 10, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  4. Joris

    I notice that in the article there is a request for a "new doctrine." Whoops, that will never happen. What needs to happen is the parallel to the Galileo case...a sense of a deeper doctrine, in the manner of John Henry Cardinal Newman's "Development of Christian Doctrine." The "need" is not for something new, but for an exploration of the old, of the business of "increase and multiply," of a sense that we are a community of faith, not of science (and therefore can use science to develop deeper faith and love), of the need to re-examine the nature of nature–that science which "helps nature" is as natural as "unfettered nature" and so on.

    May 10, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  5. Artist

    In the end China wins and becomes the Empire and makes a move to abolish religion. But of course fails because religion is like a co ck roach... a new one will pop up...supermodified which shares the dude on a stick with some muslim flare and native american. It will start from the USA area and slowly rise up. Population will grow and people will migrate. China will become fragmented and so on.

    May 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  6. Mick

    This story illustrates one of the primary differences between the Catholic Church, and the primary Protestant denominations – it's not just a matter of the "little man on the cross", as I've heard it described. From its very inception, the Catholic Church has insisted that it has the right to lead mankind -with consent or without – into the kingdom of Heaven, regardless of the actual desires, beliefs or wishes of the congregants. Protestant churches, on the other hand, more accurately reflect the society out of which they spring, and are therefore more able to deal with complex issues such as this, because they're not bound by doctrine that some crotchety old man laid down fifty, or a hundred or a thousand years ago. but are instead, living organizations that seek input from their membership! I predict that the Catholic Church will be, essentially "out of business" in another 100 years or so!

    May 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Artist

      Yes if they keep having popes like the most recent dead dude. The catholic church has an expiration date in the modern world. I supsect it will still thrive in 3rd world countries or lessor educated. The prots will survive longer until the collapse of USA. You will then see the final days of the dying christian myth. Of course if the ME plays its cards right and is out fo the dark ages by that time, they could rise up and be dominant to a certain extent. You will see the muslims go through the same pains the christians did in the middle ages. I suspect you will still have some die ha rd s in remote 3rd world countries (christians) but I suspect like the Roman gods....christ will join his place on the bookshelf under "myths".

      May 10, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • tommas

      All religion has an expiration date, sadly it may not be in our lifetime

      May 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Artist

      Of course let us not forget China. China will absorb most of russia and Europe the 2 new super powers would be China vs United Arabia. Untied States would simply be a resource to Mexico or Canada which would be the 3rd largest superpower.

      May 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Curious

      Artist do you have a job or are you retired? You post so much that I can't help but wonder if you have a life outside of CNN?

      May 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Artist


      Artist do you have a job or are you retired? You post so much that I can't help but wonder if you have a life outside of CNN?
      I am an artist...only 40..not retired yet lol. Make enough to enjoy life as I wish.

      May 10, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
  7. Reality

    Actually, Catholicism/Christianity is based on the embellishment and "mythicized" life of a simple preacher man aka Jesus. For example based on many contemporay and thorough reviews of his crucifixion, there was no trial for Jesus. The following update of the Apostles' Creed is summarizes said studies:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated and based on the studies of NT historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.


    May 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • gerald

      I see unreality is back with his long winded posts about nothing that noone bothers to read.

      May 10, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  8. Godplan

    God never promised that life would be easy. He only said that if you come to Him, He will be with you through the hard times. God doesn't cause bad things to happen to good people. Life on Earth is going to be tough. We, here on Earth, are still dealing with Satan who wants nothing more but to separate us from God. Bad things are bound to happen to good people. Satan doesnt just pick the "bad people" to hurt. Once we are in Heaven, we will experience ever lasting joy and comfort. This is God's promise. God should get credit for the good things in our lives and when the going gets tough, just realize that God has a plan. We may never fully understand His plan but there is usually GRACE to be found in all situations. God spills his grace out to us in so many ways and, yes, grace can even be found in the most tragic of events. Don't get me wrong, I have suffered. I have had a miscarriage, been through a divorce, been abused and will most likely lose my grandmother soon. I have been around the poorest of people. I have seen tough times. But what always amazes me is that God's grace comes shining through each and every time. You just have to let Him in and it will happen. Follow His plan, you cannot go wrong.

    May 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Linda

      The problem is your bible states God created everything including Satan and Earth so if he is as powerful as you all try to make him to be then he is choosing to leave you in pain. You have to admit creating Satan as part of the con really gives Christians an out for all the bad that happens, it's not God's fault it's Satan. The problem is God could stop it and he doesn't, over and over again. God could have stopped all the priest who represent him in the church from molesting all those children and yet he did nothing. He let hundreds of children to be molested over and over again. Get real, religion is pure fantasy for the weak minded that can't handle the reality of life on earth and it's limitations.

      May 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Artist


      Do you hear god's voice?

      May 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Godplan

      Linda, really it's not my bible. The bible was given to all of us. If God intervened and stopped all bad things from happening in the world, would that make you believe? If God reached down from the heavens and stopped all the crime and hatred, all the accidents, all the wrong...what then? Well, in all honesty, it would not be life on this earth anymore. In fact, it would be Heaven. Suffering is the divider between this world and the next. God knows there will be sinners. Unfortunately, there are some sins harder to stomach, like those priests. I agree that this is/was horrible. But, again, we are still in this world where we have to face evil head on, everyday. It's a challenge but if we build and maintain a relationship with God, we can get through it. It can be Heaven all the way to Heaven or it can be Hell all the way to Hell. It's up to you. And since this chat has really strayed from the intent of my original post about IVF, I am done here. These blogs do tend to do that. 🙂 Blessings.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  9. Ted

    It amazes me that so many people who claim NOT to believe in GOD could be so angry at and terrified of somthing they don't believe in. I am NOT a catholic but I am a christian. I choose not to judge another persons morals.The Bible tells me to "Judge not lest ye be judged." and " as ye judge so also shall ye be judged. "We all have a free will and I choose exercise mine as you are free to exercise yours.If you choose to deny God that is your privilege.

    May 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Eileen

      People aren't angry at God. They're angry at a certain church which constantly claims to represent God.

      May 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  10. Beth

    Sean, while your article is moving and I am very much with you on the rights to IVF and to having children, I think your biggest problem stems from putting the words "science" and "God" in the same sentence. These two do not mix. Science has created the method (IVF) by doing profoundly sinful (religiously speaking) things, like collecting sperm (which is forbidden by the church as well, the very act of masturbating is condemned, right?). So it is a bit like Anne said before: if you want to go by the church and have faith in your religious teachings, IVF is not an option. If you embrace your right to benefit from IVF, I think it is at the very least hypocritical to also keep your faith in the religious teachings. Science is based on facts, religion of blind faith. They just don't mix.

    May 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  11. Nick

    We don't need to look very far back on the history of the Catholic Church to figure out that the Church is not infallible, and I'm sick of (some) Catholic's pretending it is. Good for this family for praying about it and deciding for themselves that the Church's position is not correct. More people need to consider and reflect on their personal relationship with Jesus Christ rather than blindly following the Catholic Church's teachings. The Catholic Church is also against Embryo Adoption. What do you think Jesus's position would be on those leftover embryos? Let them die, or donate them to an infertile couple so they have a chance at life?

    May 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  12. Dorianmode

    I see this as a t-i-tanic clash of civilizations, (and it seems pretty obvious to me which is going to win).

    Maybe the article should have been t-i-tled "The 21st Century meets the Middle Ages".

    Congratulations to the couple, hope you are very happy with your family, and have as many kids as you want.

    I however, do not feel sorry for you. Welcome to the real world. You are not the first sincere people who have come up against this power structure, and you won't be the last. Hoping they are going to change their views is a waste of your good time. Good luck with that. If they pull even one card out from under the House of Cards, the whole thing crashes down. There are, and have been, many other minorities against which they have discriminated, because of their anachronistic theological and authority systems, and they don't care what you think or say.
    Welcome to the next step on your faith journeys, they are far from over.

    The hierarchy of the RC church says they don't approve of "artificial", (and increasingly sophisticated) birth control. But the "real" church, the people in the pews, do approve. A majority of American RC women, in the appropriate age group, DO use birth control. The questions of moral consistency, in approving the rhythm method, where the intent is clearly to prevent a pregnancy, and saying one's intention is the important factor in a moral choice, are astounding.

    The technological floodgates have just begun to open. It will soon be a stampede. For example, does anyone really think RCs will wait for another "miracle", when stem cells provide a cure for Parkinson's Disease. The ruling class of this group are painting themselves into a philosophical corner by clinging to their anachronistic, non-biblical authority model.

    Reality check : Send a couple to 50 parishes to confession. Ask the priests what they think about IVF. The reported responses will be far in favor of it, than opposing it. The conclusions that could be drawn from this research are interesting, to say the least.

    May 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  13. Godplan

    I meant to post this to the article writer but instead replied on accident to another post: As difficult as this may be, we need to live our lives according to God's plan and not our own plan. We may not totally understand why we have certain medical conditions or why tragic things happen in our lives. We are not capable of understanding God's plan all the time. But if we put our faith in HIm because He does truly love us, then we cannot go wrong. There was a reason you were not able to conceive naturally. This reason in only known by God. As hard as it might be to see, it was part of his plan. Open your heart, pray and LISTEN to what He really wants you to do. That is what the Catholic church wants you to do. It's not about this church rule and that church rule. It is so hard to put our own plans aside and truly listen to God's plan for us. By doing IVF, you force YOUR plan into your life. And God's plan gets interupted. Now, because He is a wonderful god, He will never give up on you. Just dont give up on Him. Pray. Listen.

    May 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • BeRealistic

      Nope, I'm going to live my life the way that is best for my family. If there is a God then I will answer to him later but to me if there was a God then why does all this bad stuff happen every single day to good people? Why do we give God credit for all the good that happens but we can't blame him for the bad that happens?

      May 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • manyfaucets

      You think that you are a special person, that you are doing good. You are wrong. You live in a world of illusion where it is OK to hurt people. You promote a vile idea that on the surface is kind but hides a heart of profound darkness and emotionless cruelty.

      May 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Artist

      Are we to assume you "hear" god's voice?

      May 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Bananarama

      Get back to me when you or a loved one has a terminal illness, and see if you think it's God's plan.

      May 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  14. MLRT

    Seems to me that the church is judging people who use IVF, I thought only God could judge people? Some church goers are the most judgemental people I've ever met.

    May 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  15. Colin

    My favorite Catholic superst-ition is the whole believe or burn fantasy. Basically, the idea is that, if you don't elieve in the Catholic god, you will burn in h-e-l-l for all eternity.

    Think it through. You don’t have to kill, you don’t have to steal, you don’t even have to litter. All you have to do is refuse to believe in the Christian god and he will inflict a punishment on you an infinite times worse than the death penalty….and he loves you.

    Dark Ages nonsense.

    May 10, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Artist

      While it still keeps the current day ignorants in line. It was really designed for simplier thinking folks. Amazing that in this day and age, people still follow dark age thinking.

      May 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • CM

      Actually, that's more of an evangelical/Protestant belief. They say faith is all that matters... you believe in Jesus or don't. If you do, doesn't matter how awful a person you are, you go to heaven. If you don't, doesn't matter how great a person you are, you go to hell. Catholics doctrine says faith without works is dead (so you can't just believe, you've got to at least try to live up) and provides some ambiguity allowing for people like Ghandi to get in without Hitler.

      Not that that makes it any less a fantasy. Just think it's strange how atheists hate the Catholic church because they have apparently confused it with Pat Robertson-style evangelicalism, and evangelicals hate the Catholics for being too liberal and loose with the Bible.

      May 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Colin

      Artist. Agreed. It is beyond me how grown adults still believe this medieval hocus-pocus in the 21st Century. It is actually well worth going to a Catholic mass if you want to see humans behaving as sheep. It is hilarious. At one point, they believe that bread and wine becomes the actual (not symbolic) flesh and blodd of a dead ranting prophet from the Middle East 2,000 years ago because the preist makes some magic hand signals over it.

      They sign and pray (and, apparently, their god reads their thoughts using his telepathic powers) while the preists, dressed like women, say exactly the same thing week after week. Weird.

      May 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Colin

      CM. I went to 12 years of Catholic school and learened the former.

      May 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Eileen

      CM and Colin: Actually, I was Catholic for almost 30 years, attended Catholic elementary school, high school and even university. I think the Catholic church is a little bit of both. They pick and choose. They are very literal on things like Peter being the "rock" or the bread and wine being the physical body and blood of Jesus, but they believe just about everything else is symbolic (creation story, Noah's ark, etc).

      May 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • gerald

      Eileen, you clearly didn't learn much when you were Catholic. The cc does not take everything you claimed as symbolic. Those who believe in young earth can have that view and those who believe God took his time can have that view for instance. There are many other things they take quite literally. And clearly there are things in scripture that are symbolic. The book of revelations is full of symbology. If you read the catechism concerrning the interpretation of scripture you will see that the Church says that there are multiple senses to scripture. The literal sense is FIRST. Yet literality depends on the intent of the author. A parable is not a literal real life event. It is a literary type and has an intent to tell a story for instance. No, I think you either didn't pay attention in Catholic school or you likely had some liberal bad teachers in your schools.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  16. Artist


    Do you think the group that killed themselves because they thought an alien ship was behind a pssing comet's tail was delusional?

    May 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Artist


      Actually, that's more of an evangelical/Protestant belief. They say faith is all that matters... you believe in Jesus or don't. If you do, doesn't matter how awful a person you are, you go to heaven. If you don't, doesn't matter how great a person you are, you go to hell. Catholics doctrine says faith without works is dead (so you can't just believe, you've got to at least try to live up) and provides some ambiguity allowing for people like Ghandi to get in without Hitler.

      Not that that makes it any less a fantasy. Just think it's strange how atheists hate the Catholic church because they have apparently confused it with Pat Robertson-style evangelicalism, and evangelicals hate the Catholics for being too liberal and loose with the Bible.
      If you see a rambling fool and point out that they are a rambling fool, it does not mean you hate them.

      May 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  17. Artist


    They have stopped being Catholic when they reject church teaching. Most of these people haven't even read the Bible or the catechism, yet make comments about what the Church teaches and what is right and wrong. Please leave so the Church can be like gideons army. It started at 10,000 and God whittled it down to 300 and said that's about right. Then clobbered he Philistines for them because the 300 had faith.
    And a whale swallowed Jonah and there were burning bushes and the Earth is only 6000 years old.
    Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations.
    As the illness continues, psychotic symptoms develop:
    • False beliefs or thoughts that are not based in reality (delusions)
    • Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)

    May 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • gerald

      Catholicism doesn't tech young earth creationism as a dogma, though it is an allowable belief smart boy. we don't know how God created the earth and how much time he could. Could have been instantaneous or it could have been over billions of years. But one must recognize the greatness and order of creation. Only a fool would say "THere is a building. It must have evolved out of nothing.". Likewise only a fool would see the order and beauty of a butterfly and say "Wow this evolved out of nothing". It's silly don't you see. No, you don't.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  18. scdad

    IVF = more kids for catholics to molest

    May 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Artist

      How true and their dead pope supported, condoned and protected the child rapists.

      May 10, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  19. Anne

    Sean and Carolyn are so emotionally invested (who wouldn't be) that they are being blinded by their emotions. The Church has good and true reasons for all of its teachings, but we are immersed in a culture that teaches us to do what feels right, and if we want it badly enough it must be right. We are taught to trust our own intellects and emotions, and that right and wrong are relative. The truth is that, while there is a subjective side to every situation, there really is objective right and wrong. Since we are easily deceived, it is wise to trust in the teachings of the Church that Jesus founded. When we try to figure it out on our own strength or when we try to usurp God's authority, or in other words "play God," we are falling into the deadly sin of pride. We won't recognize it as such, but that is because the father of lies is so good at what he does. I do believe Sean and Carolyn have not been well-counseled by the Church. Whether they have failed to seek out the correct (orthodox) counselor, or whether they have have not bothered to seek any Catholic counselor I do not know. But there are priests who will just tell Catholics what they think they want to hear and there are those who will tell them the truth, and it's sometimes very hard to find the correct one. Our generation of Catholics is notoriously poorly formed in the faith. Maybe it's time to humble ourselves and seek to form ourselves and our consciences. It's not too late.

    May 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Angela

      1) Please look up your HISTORY before you speak of God's Church. The catholic church was not founded by Jesus, it was founded MANY years after His death, by a MAN... So it is based off of a man's precepts, not God's. God would not love these children any less because of HOW they are conceived, anyone who actually thinks that, is not a true Christian. Otherwise, why would Jesus prefer the company of thieves & harlots? Why would He go against the teachings of His fellow Jews? Because He did what He KNEW to be RIGHT, to be God's WILL. IF we were meant to walk on nothing but Faith alone, then WHY would God allow these doctors the knowledge of how to save people, then expand that knowledge to include various ways to heal bodies to conceive & have children? Why are these gifts considered to be LESS than God's gift by the catholic church? Why does it matter so much HOW these Children of God came to be? Is it any less spiritual? And how would you KNOW without having gone through it yourself? Why do YOU JUDGE these people? Why do you condemn them for their choice? Do you even bother to read your scriptures? I could swear they say " Judge not, lest ye be judged." " Love one another, as I have loved you." And they should not need the official ok from the church to increase their family, it is an intensely PRIVATE issue. Or anyone else for that matter. And this has NOTHING to do with what satan will tempt us with. Bringing more children into this world is the LAST thing satan wants. That is why you find abortion is ok, numbering how many kids down to 1.83 is ok, more is not, it's why it's ok to kill your daughters if you are chinese, and just keep the 1 boy, because the family name must continue, and you are only allowed 1 child. If anything, buying into this thought process of whittling down our world's population is the only way to save ourselves is another fallacy of satan's creation... Our world is doomed to come to an inevitable end at some point, deal with it, and choose to LIVE instead...

      May 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Leone

      Two words – Spanish Inquisition.

      May 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • gerald


      Which man founded the Catholic Church? I can give you names of people who founded each of your protestant Churches. Luther, Lutheranism, Calvin – presbyterians and other calvinist groups, Wesley -Methodist, Zwingli – Baptists.... Shall I go on. Your protestant denominations are founded in man. Jesus said "thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church."> There is only one church that he could have been speaking of. Only one that can trace back to Peter, except through the CC (which your protestants trace back to Christ through). IVF and it's methods are the equivalent of abortion. It is clear that you are ignorant of this. Dozens of embryos are created so that one can become a child. The rest discarded or frozen. This is moral to you? Judge not? The scriptures make it clear that we are to judge moral evils in the world. Otherwise the condemnations by Paul in 1 Cor 3 and by John in Rev 3,4 among others are contradictory to your claim. No it is you that needs to stop practicing amature theology without having the teachings passed down through Christ to his Church.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • gerald

      Leonne, are you protestant? Protestants had inquisitions and killed people as welll. The anabaptists drown baptists. Luther had 100,000 peasants killed by the German government. Over 200 Catholic priests will killed in England. The KKK was largely a protestant organization. A man named Calvin participated in the Geneva Inquisition. Ever heard of it? It wasn't Catholic and a man named Servetus was burned at the stake. Calvin participated. He is a founder of your Churches.

      We could study the history and purpose of the inquisitions. I will readily admit that alot of it got carried away. But it was illegal to teach heresy in protestant and Catholic countries and both sides dealt with it harshly as they believed it was akin to killing the body in that the soul was killed.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      Anne is not judging the souls of Mr. and Mrs. S., only God can rightly do so. If we do not look at actions and judge whether it is a good or righteous action or whether it is not, how can we decide to choose the right path?

      Obviously, there are Catholics who do not wish to follow the teachings of the Church if it goes against their way of thinking; that is a choice they are making just as the rest of us have to make choices. When they consider adoption as something being forced on them if they couldn’t ‘do this their way’ sounds like they really do not have an open heart to loving their neighbor as themselves.

      Because the Catholic Church is the Church that Jesus Christ founded and He promised to guide and guard it until the end of time...and in John 16:12-14…told His Apostles:"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you”….I would have a tendency to listen to what the Church has to say about faith and morals.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Anne

      No, I am not judging Sean and Carolyn, just pointing out that the relativist mentality is so prevalent today. And I am most definitely not saying that God loves these little babies less than those conceived through intercourse. They are as loved as any other life that He has created. And causing this kind of chaos is exactly what satan does. I am referring to the loss of life due to discarding embryos that are not used, and to the confusion that is obvious in this discussion.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  20. scdad

    Child molestation is normal, and child molestors are covered up for , by the catholic church all the time. They are preaching about the immorality of IVF? morons

    May 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • gerald

      Bigots are morons. If the shoe fits and I bet it does for you.

      May 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Artist


      Bigots are morons. If the shoe fits and I bet it does for you.


      That is your response to the biggest cover up attempt of hundreds/thousands of children being r a p e d. Aaaaamazing. Its bad enough that you follow dark age mentality but it seems you support what the church did...why is that??

      May 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • gerald

      Hundreds of thousands? Thanks for proving my point.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • gerald

      And no it was not the Church but some in the Church. The wolves among the sheep. More bigotry claiming I support child abuse. Guess what, people in the dark ages hated the Catholic Church as well. So People of the dark ages displayed their ignorance against Christ's Church as well and a total lack of understanding of anything moral and spiritual.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
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About this blog

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.