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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. Jeanne

    Throughout history, humans have changed their thinking and knowledge with advancements in science. The Catholic Church makes its decisions based on human interpretations and advancements in science.

    At one time the Catholic Church "accepted" terminating pregnancy as long as a heartbeat wasn't heard or a child wasn't felt moving. As science improved, the Catholic Church changed its teachings. Personally, I do believe it is a matter of time before the Catholic Church becomes more acceptable of IVF as all procedures occur prior to implantation. (Both fertilization and implantation are needed for conception to occur. Fertilization in of itself only creates humanly genetic cells. Implantation allows the fertilized egg to grow into a beautiful child.)

    God is the giver of life. He is also the giver of knowledge. NaPro Technology and IVF exist because God gave us the knowledge but the procedures are successful ONLY if God grants life.

    May 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Bert

      "God is the giver of life. He is also the giver of knowledge."

      To bad the new knowledge of gays and lesbians then isn't taken to heart by this statement, people are born gay or lesbian.!

      May 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  2. another view

    what ever happened to just being happy and grateful for the two children you already had? sounds like you got yourself caught up in this moral dilemma due to your own greed.

    May 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Kira

      Wow, how arrogant of you to decide that they are greedy for wanting more than 2 children. How is that for you to say at all? How many children to have is a personal choice- and three kids is hardly "greedy". The opposite could also be said- that having only 2 or less (or no) children is greedy because you don't want to shoulder the cost/responsibility/etc.

      If you love and care for and can be financially/emotionally/physically/mentally responsible for however many kids you choose to have, then it is not greedy. If you choose to not have kids or are unable to and decide not to pursue adoption/IVF/foster/etc. that is also a personal decision.

      Quit being so arrogant and judgemental.

      May 22, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Kira

      Wow, how arrogant of you to decide that they are greedy for wanting more than 2 children. How is that for you to say at all? How many children to have is a personal choice- and three kids is hardly "greedy". The opposite could also be said- that having only 2 or less (or no) children is greedy because you don't want to shoulder the cost/responsibility/etc.

      If you love and care for and can be financially/emotionally/physically/mentally responsible for however many kids you choose to have, then it is not greedy. If you choose to not have kids or are unable to and decide not to pursue adoption/IVF/foster/etc. that is also a personal decision.

      May 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  3. Veracious

    Catholic teaching does not equal God's final word. Christianity in it's purest form is about a close and personal relationship not about papers and rules. If God really led you to your decision then that is between you and Him.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • myklds

      That's why there lots of people gave up Catholicsm.

      May 12, 2011 at 7:20 am |
  4. Charles

    "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?"

    No, the Church does not claim that any human is less.

    It might, however, claim a concern that your unconditional love for your spouse, your body and your daughter is less than if conceived in embracing your cross, having faith in God and hope in His Providence.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Scott

      Yeah, he's just arguing a straw man. The text he actually quotes says it's the *generation* of the child that less, not the child himself or herself.

      May 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  5. Jerry

    Having read through some of the self-righteous nonsense and blinkered dogma in these comments, it comes as absolutely no surprise to me that attendance at Catholic Mass and entry into the priesthood have both plummeted in the US, over recent decades.

    Who on Earth wants to listen to this self serving, contradictory garbage, let alone be obliged to teach it unthinkingly?

    As it says in their Bible – "You reap what you sow"

    May 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  6. Mark

    The church excommunicated Gallileo because he dared to claim the earth revolved around the sun. Guess what, religion isn't always right.

    May 11, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • solace

      That's right, Mark! Important illustration that "the Church" is made up of humans and as such, subject to the same flawed choices we ALL make at times. The same abuse of power we are all subject to if our ego goes unchecked.

      I believe GOD is way bigger than any one religion. I remain amazed that people continue to believe that they are "right"- that THEIR belief system is the ONE and all other beliefs are wrong. How sad to be confined to such small thinking...what an incredible waste of treasured time we spend in argument with one another over who is "right" and who is "wrong".

      I said it earlier and I will say it again. Choices (such as Sean and Carolyn's) are best made after thoughtful consideration and prayer. Such choices are between the individual (their conscience) and their God. At the end of the day (literally- our death)...we alone will stand accountable for our choices. I believe in a merciful God and if we are true to our conscience there is no need for judgement (and, IMHO, no need for a third party ie "the church" to interrupt right/wrong for me).

      May 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  7. eglaw

    No one can ever say they are a true Christian. There will always some teaching or rule that wont be followed for whatever reason. And the Catholic Church was founded by the apostles of Christ after the death and resurrection of Christ. The Churh is made up of human who make mistakes.
    If a couple can not have children naturally and are not willing to adopt why not using IVF. Whether that child was adopted or conceived naturally or via IVF what matters is that the child should be wanted and loved. Oh and by the way I am Roman Catholic.

    May 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Artist

      "And the Catholic Church was founded by the apostles of Christ after the death"
      .
      How soon after his death did the apostles write their books?

      May 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Artist

      In addition when (how many years after jesus's death) was the bible "assembled" in whole to actually become the bible?

      May 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  8. Katherine

    I'm a practicing Catholic, my beautiful daughter is an IVF baby and my conscience is clear. If you know anything about IVF, you know that you still need God for IVF to work. I went through 4 procedures, I have 1 daughter to show for our efforts. It's not a slam dunk. I once saw IVF described as 'throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing if anything sticks' and that's about right. This article is spot on.

    May 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • solace

      right on, Katherine! A very valid point.

      May 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Krys

      So you pick and choose what to believe in? I really don't get it. Is it the pretty little communion dresses?

      May 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  9. Chris

    The teaching is that everyone has a vocation and if you were meant to have kids then you would be able to have them. Notice the use of I & we this is about what they wanted not what God wanted. This is ironic because they actually already had children, they just wanted more. If you don't like the teaching you are free to attend any other church that has teachings that conform to what you want.

    May 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  10. Ohboi

    The way he feels about his daughter, is how I feel about my love. We have a deep, respectful committed love that is "illicit" and "wrong" in the eyes of our own government because we are both women. He can feel so passionately because he is in that situation, I wish people would step back and realize love is love and life is life. We all deserve our rights!

    May 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  11. CD6910

    It is reasonable and consistent to believe Jesus would not condone the creation of life outside of a marital act. If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with Christianity, not the Church for being Christian.

    May 11, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Jobie

      Please show me the Bible verse with a statement from Jesus that supports this. And, I'd also like to see folks on this site clarifying as not just "the church", but the Catholic church. Not all Christian denominations support an anti-IVF stance.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Bananarama

      Someone is drinking a little too much Catholic Kool Aid. As Jobie said, there are demoninations of Christianity that don't condemn IVF. You don't have to be Catholic to be Christian and I'm actually amazed that a so-called Christian would go around telling others they don't qualify. Not a Christian thing to do.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Jerry

      Is it consistent with his own conception? You know, the one where Mary's husband Joseph isn't actually his father?

      May 11, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Artist

      Jerry

      Is it consistent with his own conception? You know, the one where Mary's husband Joseph isn't actually his father?
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>....
      .
      Actually I believe jesus would fall under the definition of bas t ard, the father is not Joseph. Mary had a nice lie going about how a god po rked her and Joseph accepted it. She had other children after jesus and you have to wonder if they also had different fathers. Appears mary was lo ose as a go ose.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Nonimus

      I'm confused, why would Jesus have a problem with conception outside the "marital act" (as.suming this means se.x with your spouse)? I can understand some arguments against the loss of embryos that can occur during IVF, but all conception outside married se.x, why?

      May 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Obsserver

      I have to agree with Jerry: Jesus does not qualify as a good christian, nor do Mary and Josef. They did not conceive Jesus through the natural marital act. Jesus' existence violates the rules of the catholic church!!!
      Never mind that Jesus offended this authority before it was created. Outch, this gives me a headache, this self serving catholic "holier than thou".

      May 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  12. Nancy D Odrent

    I think I would second guess my religion and start looking for one that supports your morals/beliefs/values better.

    May 11, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Shannon S

      First of all I want to point out I am Catholic, divorced, and have infertility. I am think about going through IVF as a single women, obviously completely against the Church stance. But that is the key word, the Church. It is a political stance human beings running the Church are taking not the religious side of the Church. I will never leave my faith because I completely believe it is the right faith even if I don't believe in the political stances the humans of the Church take. I can not "window shop" for a church that believes in what I believe. That is just absored. In the end if IVF is a immoral choice, it will be me to answer to God and not anyone else. It is hard not to be politically inline with the Church but I hope my family and my Church family will accept me and my baby(s). It is no my choice to be infertial. All I have ever wanted was to be a mom. For the Church to say its a privalige and not a right is crazy. Even through IVF, God has created a beautiful child.

      May 11, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • CD6910

      The Church was established by Jesus. If you reject the teachings of the Church, you reject the teachings of Jesus. Hence, you are not a Christian. The people who lead the Church are sinners like everyone else; they will err. But the teachings are true to Him. It is reasonable and consistent to believe Jesus would not condone the creation of life outside of a marital act.

      May 11, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • civiloutside

      Cd6910: Careful how broad a brush you paint with there. I'm sure you didn't mean to suggest with your last sentence that Jesus was opposed to his own conception 😛

      May 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  13. Bananarama

    I'm very curious as to why infertile people are the only ones being accused of having kids for the sake of ego. I fail to see how any of the alleged motivators of infertile couples don't also apply to fertile couples. Can someone explain this?

    Additionally, I would love to know how much the anti-IVF camp or "just adopt" camp actually knows about either adoption or IVF. Neither is easy, and to choose one or the other is a very personal decision based on many elements, not the least of which is finances.

    For people who feel so strongly about adoption, are you doing anything to make the process easier or less expensive? Or are you just offloading responsibility for a cause you claim to feel passionately about onto a group you feel should clean up the mess?

    May 11, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Angela

      Thank you, thank you, thank you soooo much for your comment!! I live in a mormon community, and having a big family is very common. Just in my neighborhood, the average child per household is between 6 – 12 children in a family. In some of the comments people are saying that wanting 4 children is an overpopulation because we are using IVF ??? Well, I think having 6 – 12 children naturally is an overpopulation!!

      I am so sick of people making comments about infertility and IVF when they know nothing about the subject!!!!

      May 11, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  14. Aggie Justice

    Carolyn and Sean ~ Bless you for what you did. To carry a child (that you wanted so badly) only to have to say good-bye soon after his birth, is INCONCEIVABLE. I cant imagine anyone willing to go thru that, but you both did. Regardless of how many children you already had. You had a choice. You could have aborted another Mother's unborn child, but your heart was too good for that and you chose to let this child live. You gave this child an opportunity at life. Meanwhile, Carolyn had to recover, watch her breast swell and her body heal. I wish you all the best. Hugs. It was not an easy choice.

    Aggie

    May 11, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  15. Reality

    The RCC should reverse itself on a number of fronts starting with a rewrite of their flawed theology and history.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • CD6910

      The teachings of the Church are the teachings of Jesus. Jesus cannot be wrong since He is Truth. Hence, the Chuch's teachings are not wrong. Priests have made mistakes, some terrbible ones, but the teachings remain true. Just like in school: teachers can be wrong but the facts can not.

      May 11, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Jerry

      My goodness. Your logic is all over the place.

      If the teachings of the church cannot be wrong, how can the teachings of the church change? – Which they do. Popes have contradicted each other repeatedly throughout history.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  16. heycarrieann

    My friends tried for ten years to have a child, and it was awful to watch them suffer over and over again. They went into massive debt going from fertility doctor to fertility clinics, and finally gave IVF a try. The results? A beautiful daughter that is now a college freshman (on a full scholarship, I might add) My husband and I have always believed that the church had absolutely no right to judge how someone brings a child into this world, and every time we look at her and her happy, proud parents, we belive it even more.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • CD6910

      Consider this: Just because you believe something does not make it true. Additionally, the ends never justify the means. The Church represents Jesus and God on Earth. Do we honestly believe that Jesus and God, in all His mercy and justice, would condone the creation of life outside of the marital act? The evidence in the Bible and Tradition suggests no.

      May 11, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Jerry

      CD6910

      Consider this: Just because you believe something does not make it true.
      ------------------–

      Hilarious. So, why doesn't this apply to your faith?

      Evidence is objectively testable. There is no 'evidence' in the Bible.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Nonimus

      So the suffering that we as humans go through really isn't justified by it's supposed development of a love and need for God and the paradise He promises?

      May 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Obsserver

      @CD69... tradition suggests? Tradition is man made, by centuries of habit and changing habits, it's secular, it's got nothing to do with the evidence in your bible. It used to be a tradition to buy a bride and pay with cows or sheep. Don't think we are doing that any longer. Women traditionally wore long dresses, long hair, ehmmm I think that has changed too, and a few thousand other traditions. Your argument is helplessly lame.

      May 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  17. Cary

    also, you may want to reconsider your assertion of catholicity if you are so openly and ACTIVELY participating in actions that go against church teaching on a moral issue. having an opinion on it or understanding it as a wrong and being sorrowful/penitent for it are different from openly and defiantly acting in opposition to the church

    May 11, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • JohnR

      Opposing the catholic church on moral issues is generally a pretty safe bet.

      That said, the human addiction to having kids is pathetic.

      May 11, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Malkav

      At least they aren't practicing pedophiles. Of course, pedophilia was sanctioned by the Church. IVF isn't. Tell me which is the greater sin. Also, questioning the Church isn't new and it isn't a sin. Didn't Jesus, your Lord and Savior, question the Church of the day? Did he not bring radical views and changes to it? Where would you be religiously if that never happened?

      May 11, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • CD6910

      The Church has obvious issues but those issues do not take away the authenticity and authority of the Church as established by Jesus Christ during the Easter Triduum and upon his Ascension.

      May 11, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Jerry

      CD6910

      The Church has obvious issues but those issues do not take away the authenticity and authority of the Church
      -------------------–

      Yes they do. Unless you are a mindless, unthinking zombie.

      When an organization, claiming to be a moral authority, repeatedly makes appalling lapses in judgement, it loses that authority in the eyes of any rational person.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Obsserver

      If I were a protestant, Baptist, Methodist, presbyterian, Seventh Day Adventist, Hindu, Muslim, Buddist, Maoist, ... you get my drift.... I would give a flying cheesecake about the law of the catholic church and its "authority". Everyone of the christian denominations mentioned above would say: "but Jesus told us something else. Jesus isn't owned by the catholic church...

      May 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  18. Cary

    Do not forget the need for BOTH the unitive and creative purposes of the marital act. Also, the ends do not justify the means, regardless of the good that is eventually done.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • CD6910

      spot on

      May 11, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Nonimus

      So justifying the means of procreation, i.e. se.x, by the ends, i.e. babies, is okay? As long as you don't have se.x for the enjoyment of se.x, because that is wrong, you must have an ulterior motive, be it unitive or pro-creative.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  19. HH

    I wish everyone would stop thinking that it's the responsibility of the infertile to adopt. "We, the fertile people, are superior to you by virtue of our fertility, because you'd be able to conceive if you weren't defective. You defectives need to take the cast-offs we, the fertile people, don't want." Some of us ARE adopted, and that's why we don't want to adopt ourselves. I despise the system, and never want to see another nosy social worker or preachy family court judge again. Don't assume all the kids in foster care WANT to be adopted. Many of them remember and love their families, and don't want to be in yours.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • true sage

      It is not necessarily "the responsibility of the infertile to adopt" – it is, however, their responsibility to accept their station in life and realize they were simply not meant to produce children biologically.

      May 11, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Jerry

      I really want to throttle some of these sanctimonious morons.

      So, true sage, is it just your "station in life", if you contract a terminal illness? Tough crap that you've got breast cancer, that's just God's will, no chemo for you? How about wounded soldiers? No prosthetic leg for you, it's just your fate to hop around for the rest of your life.

      Utter utter drivel.

      May 11, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Nonimus

      @true sage,
      Not entirely certain what you were attempting to say, but sometimes accepting your situation (station has too many class-based overtones) in life, means knowing when things need to change. I'm thinking of a "true sage" named Gandhi, who accepted that his situation was to change things, partially by not accepting his station in life.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • gerald

      The problem with IVF is that many embryos are discarded or frozen with the procedure.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Obsserver

      Afterthought: this little girl is probably a much closer image of the beauty of god (if he / she / it exists) than those old men in robes.

      May 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Magic

      gerald

      "The problem with IVF is that many embryos are discarded or frozen with the procedure."

      Nature discards embryos quite often. If you are to be the guardian of embryos you must isolate and monitor every fertile woman who has unprotected s.ex every month to ensure that an embryo will not be discarded.

      May 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  20. Marc

    Entering the Navy's Boot Camp in the late '70's, a group of us were sat in a classroom and were told a story about opportunity that, I think, some of you may have missed.
    The exact wording, I have long since forgotten, however, it involves a religious man sitting on the rooftop of his house that surrounded by high rising water as a result of a flood. A Coast Guard vessel comes along and tries to save him – however, he declined saying that "No thank you, God will provide, I will be saved". He said the same when helicopters and other vehicles from the Army, Navy and Marines came in and tried to save him.
    Water levels rise and cover the rooftop and the man drowns. Arriving in heaven, he asks God why he did not save him. God replies that he tried – he sent in the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marines and the Air Force and all were refused.
    It is up to us to recognize the miracles as they come upon us – the miracles of science should not be overlooked.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • CD6910

      Just because you have the technology does not mean you should use it. The Church stands on firm moral ground when it affirms that proper procreation is between a husband and wife in the conjugal act. There are many ways that fertility and pregnancy can be achieved through natural means including NaPro technology.

      The Church still affirms that life created by mechanical means is still human life 100% protected by human rights and having dignity. The ends however do not justify the means.

      May 11, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Jerry

      How about saving life CD6910? Does your church approve of using technology to save lives? Just looking for some consistency in your mumbo jumbo..

      May 11, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Jesse

      Nice story Marc – I like it. The Christians' argument boils down to "just because". They are inconsistent – these people would not refuse to take the medicine that keeps them alive, or the surgery that saves them.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Thomas

      There is nothing wrong physically or spiritually with a child born through IVF, the child is innocent of the actions of the parents in the eyes of the Church. If as Catholics we belive that God puts us here as we are for a reason then maybe the parents should ask themselves if God brought the husband and wife together so that a child would be adopted. As Catholics we need to remember it is not about our will but God's will for us.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • gerald

      Jesse,

      So your an expert on the Christian perspective? Really? do you know John Paul II's Theology of the Body? Have you read out Catechism? I doubt it. Why don't you do a simple search for "why is the catholic church against IVF". You will find that there are reasons. You may not agree with them but at least you won't be speaking in ignorance again.

      May 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • gerald

      By the way your argument that we don't take medicine is very broad brushy. Very poor method of debate. Remain in your ignorance if you like. Let prejudice against Christians reign.

      May 11, 2011 at 4:20 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.