A father, and committed Catholic, states his case for the Church revising its teaching on in vitro fertilization (IVF). His story began with a medical mixup, and turned into a moral and ethical quagmire.
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.
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.
Read the rest. It includes details on Church teaching on the subject, which many faithful people continue to have a hard time understanding and accepting.