I note lots of activity on the commentary front on IVF, the honoring of Nobel Laureate Robert Edwards, and the moral problems with this assistance to infertile couples. The CNS feature is here.
I adhere to church teaching where artificial means of conception or contraception are concerned. But that doesn’t mean that Rome is absolved, in my thinking, from having a lack of clarity in response to a need for charity. Too many clumsy expressions, too, that need a bit more refinement and thought and discernment.
Bishop Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life:
(Robert Edwards) opened the wrong door.
(He) has not modified the pathological framework and the epidemiological framework of infertility. The solution to this grave problem will come from a different direction — less costly and which is already advanced. It is necessary to have patience and have trust in our investigators and doctors.
These are good points. IVF will always be the domain of the wealthy, or of couples committed to a birth child at all costs. Four million “test tube babies” are far less than the number of orphans and abused children removed from families who all need forever homes. Would that the Church could buttress their pro-life witness with a stronger advocacy for adoption. The world’s infertile couples need alternatives, and in the case of adoption, an alternative carefully explained and witnessed by willing participants–kids and parents both.
There is an obvious problem with the statement referenced here:
A 2008 document on bioethics issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith repeated earlier Vatican condemnations of in vitro fertilization because it separates procreation from the conjugal act in marriage.
Another blind spot to adoption. Children of Catholic parents do not need to be the product of an actual sexual act of the couple. I do see where the emphasis is in the 2008 document. It needs more nuance to say just what it needs to say. And not something insulting or ignorant.