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. Paul C

    I am a proud catholic, and realize the frustration with infertility... but feel that even one aborted/unused IVF fertilized egg is too high a price for the church to approve of such a method. Unless you can guarantee that IVF will never result in the loss of a discarded embryo, then I stand with the church. I will continue to pray for you and all those struggling with infertility.

    As for those who suggest leaving the Catholic church for a more accepting christian church, I am glad that the heirachy of church does not bow to public opinion. I feel if they have a moral issue they have a duty to be God's words on earth.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  2. Irene

    Well all I can say is that the Catholic Church is condemning their own God as we know that the Mary was a virgin and yet the mother of Jesus – she certainly did not produce him using the normal conjugal act between married couples. What we have to remember is god makes us who we are by following his direction we learn to live and those same individuals learned this scientific technique to give people the honour and ability to conceive children when the natural way would not work. Who are we to condemn such a wonderful process – the gift of life is not something we should deny to anyone. The Catholic church needs to wake up and realise that God is directing us on our path and they should welcome the new world that we are moving into. The lived in such a closed environment they have no idea what the man or woman on the street think.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  3. Wanda

    When there are so many children in this world in desperate need for parents, why not adopt?

    May 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • MarkyMerlot

      Well said! Until people like the OP, realize that they are contributing to world over-population then, everthing else, such as food production issues and evironment protection, are meaningless.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  4. Jessica

    I don't really see how IVF to conceive is any different than taking a pill to not conceive. They are both interfering with the natural course of things. I'm not catholic, so I am not opposed to either, but I find the author's entire "but I wanted more babies" whine to be highly hypocritical in light of that fact.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  5. humtake

    Just more proof that you don't need a human being as the one in your life telling you what to do. If you truly believe in God, and you truly believe he loves you for everything you are an do, then there is no amount of condemnation from any person or organization that can bring you down. My faith belongs to God only, not to anyone else. Especially not to another human being who is born and seen with the same eyes as God. Any organized religion that condemns you for doing something you feel in your heart is faith is a religion that attempts to control you, not set you free to God.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  6. Jay

    The Church regards masturbation as a an evil that can never be justified. Since sperm for IVF is usually collected through masturbation, this is one of the reasons that the Church objects to the procedure.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • jim

      I guess they prefer a person to molest a child over masturbation?

      Did you know that the early reformers referred to the Catholic Church as the AntiChrist? Why do they now not mention this? Protestant means "Protest."

      Papacy is the AntiChrist.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Jay

      @jim–it's a huge leap to go from masturbator to molestor. Pretty sure there's way more people masturbating than there are people molesting children.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  7. Aracne63

    It is amazing to see these people's guilt under the spell of religion. And they thought all those hours of service and dollars to the church would buy them some sort of free pass...I'm surprised it didn't because bribes usually work!

    May 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  8. DBNY

    I guess going to church is all good and fun when they are pointing their finger at someone else for being immoral. Not so much fun when your actions are being questioned.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Dan

      That is, unfortunately very true. American Christians (and I am one) have a divorce rate, for example, that is the same as the general population, but condemn other people's sins. We need to get the beam out of our own eye.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  9. BW

    So let me get this straight, you buy into an immaculate conception that had nothing to do with conjugal love, but in this day and age when it's possible to overcome some forms of sterility with science IVF is not OK? Do what your heart tells you, not what some guy in a dress interpreting the word of the almighty from a book of ancient nomads who thought the world would end in their lifetime wrote.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • DC

      the immaculate conception was through the act of congugal love. Jesus was not the result of the immaculate conception.

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

      You're confusing the Immaculate Conception with the Virgin Birth. Please, know what you criticize.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  10. GoingThruIVF

    Wow, how ignorant people are. I have personally gone through one round of IVF. We had 6 embryos. Tranferred two back into me, They didn't take. We felt we lost two possible children that day, but we still had 4 frozen. We took those out, only 1 survived, so again we felt we had lost 3 more possible children. The one embryo left, didn't divide, so it wasn't transferred, as it wouldn't implant if it was. This was a very emotional struggle. We have decided to go forward with another round. If it wasn't for IVF, there would have been no embryos, so what we created thru science, nature killed. Nothing has implanted so far, so our travels would be similar to someone that had a embryo that didn't implant and died...without anyone knowing. As no late period, no missed period, nothing! Please do your research before you 'comment' about IVF, because the embryos are never implanted by science. That has to be done by nature. And if I am not able to have children, then fine, but tell me why there is IVF and I work for one of the few companyies in my region that provides infertility coverage. I feel that is God showing me my path, because I turned down my dream job to have this career, without knowing I would need infertility coverage or that it was provided. That is the path that was shown to me. I love being an Luthern, as they stand beside me in my very painful journey. And yes, we are looking into adoption, even if we are successful in our IVF process.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  11. Lila

    I was raised Catholic and I don't agree with many of their positions so I am not a practicing Catholic but in fairness to them, they have been consistently pro life. They are anti war, anti death penalty, etc... they are a Church. If they accept IVF how can they explain away not accepting abortion? You can't have it both ways.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Jay


      May 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Dan

      Well said.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  12. Curious in CO

    Wasn't Jesus an artificially inseminated baby or did God have intercourse with Mary?

    Catholic Church has no right to pass judgement on anyone; judge not lest ye be judged.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      God sprinkled impregnating golden dust on Mary, just like his brother Zeus did to other chicks.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  13. jaym515

    Hey Daniel, I was born and raised Catholic, but I've pretty much had it with my "religion". When did Jesus say anything about IVF? I don't remember that. As with most of the Catholic Church's teachings, they were made up by warped control freaks centuries ago to keep the masses in their place. It's incredible what comes out of the Vatican sometimes. As for your point about not criticizing the church for the pedophile priests, they covered much of it up before ever admitting it happened and then stressed that we needed to forgive rather than condemn. From someone who was "taught" by 1960's-era nuns who loved to publically humiliate me and call me stupid in front of my classmates, I find little to follow from my church that God or Jesus Christ would have actually taught.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • s2kMATTers

      It is for this reason that I am a Lutheran Christian. No made up doctrine. Just saved by Gods perfect grace alone. Sola Gratia, sola Fide, sola Scriptura, sola Cristo.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  14. KS

    I love the comment that if you can't conceive it's obvious you shouldn't have kids. So the abusive parents, the molesters, the crack addicts...those are the people that SHOULD be parents? Why? Because their reproductive organs work? Infertility is a disease...you treat diabetics, cancer patients, arthritis patients. Do you tell them they should just suffer because that's the way the Lord wants it to be? NO you don't. You've never been infertile or this stupid dribble wouldn't fall from your lips. It's a disease that they can't cure yet, but can treat....which is what IVF does. It treats the problem. These are the people that deserve children the most, because they've gone through the most to get them. Unlike the idiots getting knocked up during one night stands and crappy marriages.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Agnostic

      I just love how when it's convenient, it's "God's" will, etc., etc. If you believe in your "God" wouldn't you understand infertility to be your "God's" will? If a crack head or an abuser is able to have children, isn't that also your "God's" will? Wouldn't that be that person's trial or whatever you call it survive and prosper such a terrible start in life? How many catholics have I known who keep pumping out the babies, saying only that they would have as many as "God" gave them. Hm.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      Well said KS. Well said.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  15. Todd

    Is anyone else noticing how CNN has turned off user comments on every news article or made the "comment" button disappear from even this section?

    May 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      How then, did you comment, Todd?

      May 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  16. slcota

    this is why.. i would NOT be Catholic anymore. I never was.. but am married to a "recovering Catholic" as he calls himself. All my life I have meet people who are/were Catholic's. MONEY MONEY MONEY... thats all the religon is about it. To each their own. If you think IVF is a sin.. and you feel the need to judge these sweet people.. remember.. God is the ONLY one able to judge.. You wil be judged for judging.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  17. The Jackdaw


    Look, more malarkey!! Stupid humans everywhere!

    May 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  18. JK

    I think what people need to understand, really understand, is that if you are part of the Catholic church, there is no choice. There are many Encyclicals which blatantly say that in the Catholic Church, and (in their view) under God, there is no self. You are one with God. There is no abortion, birth control, women priests, etc. etc. because that's what the Catholic Church says deems. Recent Pontiffs have complained about "a la carte" Catholicism in America. They can't seem to understand why Catholics refuse to refrain from birth control or advocate for women's rights.

    If you are a Catholic, you really need to have an honest spiritual conversation with yourself about why you are Catholic. I did and decided that no one had control over God's grace. My salvation wasn't determined by sacramental rites, it was God's to give and his alone. No one, not the Pope, nor the saints, can grant it or take it away.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Nat

      I am a catholic but a middle eastern catholic. We are different than the American and European catholics. For instance, our priests all have the right the marry and bear children. Physical and blood tests are mandatory to determine if there are STD and prevent people from catching unwanted illnesses and to determine if they are likely to conceive challenged children. The problem is not the Catholic church but it's the people in America and Europe running it. They simply don't make sense.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Lisa

      @Nat – the "people running the catholic church" are in Rome. THose old white guys are interferiing in a billion peoples lives – the important question is why those people (like this author) LET THEM

      May 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Lisa

      Wow!! That was stated so awesome!! Yes, please do ask why you are Catholic!! If you think that you can get there by rituals, praying the same prayer over and over (how many beads on that thing?), worried about mother mary more than jesus and bowing down and kissing your cross and it just goes on and on.........those are called good works to get to heaven. Not a personal relationship with him. All works based religions do not receive the Kingdom of Heaven............only through him........Catholics............only through him!!! So throw off your stuffy shirts and kick up your heels (literally.) Try dancing and singing to the Lord you won't believe what you'll discover. He wants you to celebrate that he is NO LONGER ON THE CROSS. So for all the Catholic churches that still have him on one, TAKE HIM DOWN!! He has set you free!! Get out of your guilt ridden "I a poor miserable sinner" religion. Celebrate Christ, remain humble and share the feast!! Your communion rules are that only of a cult!! ONLY Christ knows our hearts not your Priest!! So if someone takes communion in your church and isn't Catholic, God will take care of that. Oh and remember that the veil came down in the temple? Therefore, you should no longer confess your sins to a priest, but take them straight to the Lord!! Your priest doesn't do anything!! God will!! Stop feeling guilty about sin and constantly asking for forgiveness. I know we are commanded to, but ask and move on!! All the dead saints you pray for? THEY'RE DEAD!! We are living Saints for Christ!! And last, but not least, really........purgatory????? There is no resting place as you are judged!! The judgement will come swift and no one, not even a million of you can pray someone to heaven!! Oh, it wasn't the last thought. What about the extra chapters in a Catholic Bible? Really? Read Revelations......anyone who adds or takes away from this book.................Celebrate God's grace and wonder!!

      May 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Nat

      @Lisa: You see that's what always amazed me since i moved to North America, I lived 5 years in Canada and since than I have been here in America. The Catholic church has no power upon anyone. My entire childhood i studied religion in school and never ever did i come across the non sense i come across here. Again these are recommendations, you could either take it or leave it. There are fundamental requirements you should meant to be considered a Catholic, using IVF or abortion issues, those are opinions of the current bureaurcacy in Rome. I'm sure the next Pope would have different opinions. As a middle eastern Catholic for instances, i dont understand why priests dont marry here, i received the shock of my life when i first heard of priest molesting children in the Americas and Europe. For me, Catholics here are not Catholics to me standards.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Nat

      oops sorry for the mis-spellings

      May 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Dan

      @ Nat: Do you expect me to believe that you're from the Middle East, but you are not used to religion interfering in your daily life? Really? You've only seen that here? LOL..What nonsense!

      May 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Nat

      @Dan: your answer lacks any knowledge of what the issues are in the middle east.
      1st: Islam manages the daily life of it's congregation not Christianity
      2nd: Middle eastern issues are rather political. As a Christian we are always in a defensive mode to keep some political power, so muslims don't end up imposing their Shariaa law upon all of us. Our church whether it's greek orthodox or roman are in a daily struggle to keep Christians in their homeland. Believe it or not, we don't have time for disguss if we should use protection or birth control pills or if IVF is ok. Which is why we have rules that fit in our society so we can survive. Last thing we need is child molesters and prohibition of IVF. Our Catholic Leaders are the best out there.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  19. Rev. Rick

    As a former Catholic, I believe the "church" should keep its theology out of the bedroom, and out of a woman's womb. The church hierarchy, run by males, is out of touch.

    Until fundamentalist religions (mainly the Abrahamic religions) stop being afraid of science, most churches will remain in the dark ages. In this modern age, mainly due to the fear-mongering of religion, man is shackled to a "donkey and cart" theology.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Nat

      Again these are recommendations and not enforced upon catholics. You changing is due to lack of faith nothing more nothing less.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Nat – You are incorrect. I have no lack of faith. In fact I am now an ordained minister, I am just no longer a member of a church that holds it's members hostage to a corrupt theology.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Atom Spectre

      All theology is corrupt. The corruption is the mass delusion it brainwashes it's flock with. It' holds us back, some day we will all be smart enough to let go of it.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Nat

      Ok so in this care let me ask you this, are with or against abortion?

      May 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • mandee

      completely agree with Rick on this one...

      May 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @NAT – Whether I am for or against abortion doesn't say anything about my faith. According to the Bible, even God killed children when it was in His best interest. (Exodus 11: 4-6)

      May 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Nat

      And what bible is that? Last time i worked in a library i came across 11 different versions of bibles. The only ones that concern our faith are not the old testament nor are the letters and revelations. After all those have nothing to do with the teachings of our lord Jesus christ but those are the experiences of his followers. I grew up in a covenant in Lebanon (middle east), i was raised by nuns, some nuns are cranky but i had some great nuns too. One of the things i took from there was faith is blind, teachings by the church are recommendations to live a better life and you will be judged on judgement day. But again middle eastern Catholics are way different than American and European Catholics.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Dan

      Rev. Rick

      Umm, just a guess, but I'm pretty sure you're not God. God takes life, because he is God and is "the author and finisher." Man has no right to try to do what God reserves for himself.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Dan. Ummm, you're correct. I'm not God. I doubt He would post here anyway. But as you and I both know religion, and God, has been used to justify war, slavery and slaughter. By default, it seems God has given man the right to interpret and apply scripture as he pleases, so it doesn't seem like God has reserved much of anything for himself. He certainly hasn't prevented us from taking a life over the centuries, or at minimum God has remained quiet on the matter.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Nat said – "And what bible is that? Last time i worked in a library i came across 11 different versions of bibles. The only ones that concern our faith are not the old testament nor are the letters and revelations."

      Nat, thanks for proving my point for me, with your own words. 11 different versions of the bible? You must have quit counting. There are more than that. And each "religion", or each denomination, claim they have the only correct bible. It's the same with Muslims. They claim the bible has been pre-empted by the teachings of the Quran, and the Mormons claim they have the only true word of God. All of the Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, suffer from the same problem. They believe in a bible that was written thousands of years ago by ancient men who were barely educated, had no understanding of science, and thought that earthquakes, floods and all natural phenomena were "signs from God" (or Gods in some cases). Don't misunderstand me. I still believe in God, it's just not the crusty old God of the bible who rules through fear and punishes us for our "sins". That God never existed.

      May 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  20. Lynne

    Why on earth do you want to remain Catholics after this? Try the United Methodist denominatinon! We don't care how you conceive!

    May 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Yay, Church Light! The BS that’s easier to swallow!

      May 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Nat

      I'm Catholic and a believer, but i also recognize that some of these recommendations by the church are opinion based. They are not mandatory but are simply recommendations and advices. You are free to take it or leave it. Methodist church? sorry, but no. Faith is not a supermarket where you change brands.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Mei

      Many people wish to MOLD the Church (and God) into what THEY WANT, not what GOD WANTS. There are very good MORAL reasons why the Church opposes IVF. I invite others to read HUMANAE VITAE on the Vatican website, as well as the writings of Christopher West who talks about the "marital embrace" and what it all means. It will make more sense if you get BOTH SIDES to the subject. If someone is truly religious, they say the prayer that Jesus said, "Gods will be done..." not "my will be done." That is what is at the essence of this debate.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Carol

      We don't abandon our Church for another, simply because we struggle to understand its wisdom. Being Catholic is different than attending a protestant church. That said, what a wonderful article. I hope His Holiness considers your experience. Congratulations on your beautiful family. Blessings.

      May 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Lisa

      But @Nat – if faith is not a supermarket then why are you allowed to pick and choose among their "opinions". Sounds rather hypocritical....I'm going to remain catholic but just ignore what I don't like/.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Jay

      I find beauty and truth in my Church. Part of my faith journey is to reconcile my experiences with the teachings of the Church and to grow closer to God. I'm Catholic and I can't change that any more than I can change the fact that I'm American.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Lisa

      You also don't care that you marry gays. Open doors, open minds, open fists............run from the Methodist

      May 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Nat

      @Lisa: You see that's the difference between being catholic and other sects. You have the room to analyze things yourself. there's a difference between the teachings between what's wrong and right and recommendations. do you take every advice your parents give you? no. Does it make you not their kid? no. same with the church, their job is to open your eyes on certain topics and let you make the decision. certain things are fundamentals to be a catholic, others are not.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
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