Posted by: DD | March 13, 2008

no. 618 – Going To Hell

I happened to be doing some "research" (I use the term loosely since I have no intent of suddenly writing a dissertation) on the Catholic’s view of IVF. Shall I just cut to the chase and give you the actual summary of their view?

"In summary, the Catholic Church condemns as gravely evil acts, both IVF in and of itself, and stem cell research performed on IVF embryos. "

Gravely Evil, people. Gravely.

LolembryosWhile they did actually include some researched data from the science of Human Embryology, it was this statement that had my grey matter firing in confusion and anger:

     "IVF violates the rights of the child: it deprives him of his filial relationship with his parental origins and can hinder the maturing of his personality. It objectively deprives conjugal fruitfulness of its unity and integrity, it brings about and manifests a rupture between genetic parenthood, gestational parenthood, and responsibility for upbringing. This threat to the unity and stability of the family is a source of dissension, disorder, and injustice in the whole of social life."

I bet the person who wrote out that little tidbit of double-talk was once an attorney (no offense to those of you in the legal field…you’re already going to hell, too).

Now the statement doesn’t even take into consideration us hellions here on earth who have pursued third-party (donor/surrogacy) reproduction. Let’s just say we are also going straight to hell; do not pass GO; and don’t even think about Purgatory.

During my aforementioned research, I stumbled upon an infertility blog being written through the eyes of a Catholic – assumed devout – woman. An RE was out of the question for her and her husband because of the Catholic church’s stand. She also mentioned that one of the few places she could go for treatment of any kind was right here in Nebraska! Pope Paul VI Institute!

While I found myself a bit chuffed that her description of the institute and their goal was to actually find a cause for her infertility as opposed to all those hell-bound REs who just are trying to gloss over the causes, the clincher in the blogger’s life was that her recent updates include the fact that she and her husband are divorcing.

Soooo….it’s OK for this couple to seek divorce, but not reproductive assistance? Now I understand that obviously if they had actually went against the church originally and sought an RE that it wouldn’t have saved the marriage. I just find a certain irony to that whole thing since it’s  encouraged for the couples to believe that their infertility is something they should accept, but a crappy marriage? Pfffftt! Nothing a little "annulment" can’t fix so that the Church will welcome them both back into the fold, while at the same time don’t you dare go about IVF so you can raise your child to be a threat to the unity and stability of the family as a source of dissension, disorder, and injustice in the whole of social life.

That would just be wrong.

Now where’s my handbasket . . .

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Responses

  1. Are you Catholic?

  2. I knew there was a reason why I never got around to converting. Articles like this make me not want to. 😉

  3. Um…eh…in case I didn’t make it clear, yes I am Catholic.

  4. I sometimes wonder whether my grandmother (dropped out of the convent when she was sick, and then met and married my grandfather) would think differently about a great-grandchild conceived through IVF.

    Then again, she probably already figures that we’re going to hell since we’re Jewish. But I’m sure she’s sad about it.

  5. So do I need to have a little chit-chat with my ill-begotten child about how already I’ve violated his rights by–what was it again?–depriving him of his filial relationship with his parental origins? I’ll be sure to get right on that…
    As for IVF depriving “conjugal fruitfulness” of “its unity and integrity,” I’m thinking that infertility does that, not so much IVF. Then again, I’m a Lutheran heretic, so what do I know?

  6. Lordy lordy…another reason I’m not Catholic. An outsider like me would think that the Church would be all for the making of more Catholic babies, through whatever means necessary…isn’t the Church also anti-birth control? Seems kinda silly to say “don’t you dare prevent pregnancy!” then in the next breath “but you can only make babies with sex.” I could go on and on, but I’ll just get mad.

  7. Oh, yeah… one of the many reasons I’m not a Catholic. To each their own, but when the church rules on the “new” deadly sins (social injustice? being obscenely rich? Jeez, Marxist much?)… I just can’t take it seriously. It’s nice to see them finally declaring pedophilia a deadly sin, although it’s a little after the horse has left the barn.

    Growing up an Episcopalian, I have no problem with organized religion – it does much good, but the judemental attitude I could do without. I always thought God alone had the duty to judge, and I believe the true nature of God is unconditional love. So I wouldn’t worry too much about what the Church says about your baby. I honestly believe God is fine with it, even if the Church isn’t. And isn’t that what’s most important? (Well, aside from you being okay with it, too).

    Now breath deeply… 🙂

  8. Pffft.

    I have no patience for the Catholic’s church archaic rules.

  9. I actually read that paragraph differently, it sounded like they were ASSUMING that IVF meant donor assisted conception, gestational surrogacy etc. Else why would it involve divorcing a child from his (note the male pronoun only) genetic parentage? They’re lumping everything together in a thoroughly ill educated and thoughtless way.

    Anyway, it’s codswallop whichever way you look at it. It makes me cross.

  10. Whilst I’m sad that as a lawyer I am consigned to hell anyway that ridiculous nonsense makes me glad I’m off there – hey at least I’ll be in good company.

  11. It’s total BS, which is why my husband is no longer a priest, and instead is my hubby.

    He couldn’t take the hypocrisy of the bureacrats! Because really, this kind of policy is all about politics. Like I said before, this stuff will change over time, as most pronouncements do. They will never compromise on the leftover embryos, and they will never compromise on abortion—but give it a few popes and who knows?

    The Church has survived 2000 years of wars and conflicts and theft and corruption as well as kindness and love and generosity. It will survive the boneheads currently in charge too.

    You know this DD; God is love, and when he sees people on earth engaging in cruelty towards others in his name…he weeps. Trust me, the guy who write this is not going to heaven.

  12. Um, I got knocked up with IUI – does that send me straight to hell…or just purgatory?

  13. For me being Catholic is sort of like being in a crappy relationship you know isn’t going to work but being too lazy to get out of it. I was raised Catholic, it’s the only thing I know and I do sometimes find comfort in the ritual of it all (rosaries, funerals). But I’ve held off getting my daughter baptized because I know the church’s stance on IVF and though I would doubtfully have to disclose that fact I can’t get over the fact that if I followed the church I wouldn’t have her. And then I read that the church paid out $615 million in settlements for abuse last year and think, perhaps it’s time I go ahead and make the break.

  14. We don’t have to wonder too long and hard about how “The Church” views adoption. No offense to anyone, but I would not and could not live my life totally by the standards of this – or any other – religion. Sometimes life is messy and you just gotta break the rules.

  15. Stuff like this is one reason I cannot believe in a church. I believe in a “higher power” – just not as proscribed by the religions that are out there. Because some of their rules / teachings are just completely illogical. Like these!

  16. Needless to say I am not religious…

    J

  17. I won’t even get started on what I think about the Catholic church as I would be sure to offend someone. Yes, I was baptised Catholic and no, I certainly no longer wear that label but even the label itself means very little in today’s secular Ireland. I have never met anyone here who gave two hoots what the Catholic church has to say about fertility treatment and it upsets me to read blogs where the writer has been trying for several years and won’t even have investigations done.

  18. Ugh. That stuff is really obscene. Makes me sick.

  19. Yep. What Aurelia said… the Church’s stance is all about politics, has been from the very beginning. Thus the reason why divorce is ok, but IVF is not. Give it some time, though, a few more Popes, a couple more sex scandals… and maybe they’ll soften the stance. Or find some other deadly sin which will make IVF seem “harmless.”

    Organized religion is a little like communism. It’s great in theory… but gets screwed up by humans in practice.

    So we’re going to hell – at least we’ll be in good company, eh?

  20. I was going to hell long before our rounds of IVF! I am Catholic. Yes I will admit that I am one of those horrible “al a carte” Catholic – take what I want- choose to pass on what I don’t.

    I do believe the Catholic church has to address new technologies and medical advances. I’m sure fertility treatments are a scary one for them to address. They have to figure out where to draw the line in an area that is advancing at full speed. The Catholic church has never been one that is quick to change and I am thankful of that. Yes I disagree with a number of the Church stances (IVF obviously one of them), but I have to say I would have a problem with the Church moving too quickly to just match public opinion. I believe (maybe naively) that over time, the Church will come to see there is nothing evil or “playing God” about fertility treatment.

    I still look at our priest friend who fully supported our choice to do IVF so much that he blessed each round. Plus if we are all going to hell, it’ll be one heck of a party!

  21. Historically speaking, the Catholic Church did more harm to science than any other single institution. They were the engine of the Dark Ages. They discouraged practices that would have helped against the Plague causing the decimation of Europe.

    Sorry, but having survived Catholic School despite NEVER being a Catholic I have nothing but contempt for what proceeds from the Roman See regarding the morality of science. (I even know a few Vatican scientists. Not bad folks, but very misguided.)

  22. That handbasket is getting quite a workout these days! Quite a workout. It looks as if a handbasket rental business may be quite the business opportunity…

    I hope you are not letting this get to you too much, dear DD.

  23. Wow. This is only one reason I personally believe the church is way off base. Is it any wonder that they are losing members left and right and are begging for people to join the priesthood and convents? The thing that gets me the most is how can ANY religion that is supposed to be loving and giving, deny anyone what ever chance they have of creating a family? But then again THEY AREN”T ALLOWED to have families so what the hell do they know?!

  24. that’s awesome. i can’t wait to accuse my defiant toddler (teenager?) of disturbing the social fabric of society. ‘what’s that? you won’t get dressed? i guess it’s because the IVF has threatened your maturity, you condemned unnatural hellion bastard!’

    who knew wanting a kid could be so…subversive? how smart of the catholic church to try and control that.

  25. Former Catholic here who will be running the fiery gates, thank you very much, and I would just like to say that the photo and caption you have here? It was my first good long laugh in a while.

    Thanks babe 🙂

  26. That’s just one of the reasons I’m a recovering Catholic … I’m persona non grata in their eyes. Nice, huh?

  27. This is why I am no longer Catholic. My dad on the other hand is 100% catholic. I remind him all the time that if he wouldn’t have his granddaughter today if I followed the Catholic religion. I think it’s starting to sink it. She means EVERYTHING to him.

  28. Great article DD. Any room for me in the handbasket? It shows how out of touch these cretins are. I was brought up Catholic and my parents are devout- they go to mass daily. During all the years I tried to get pregnant, my Mother prayed and prayed and prayed. She lit candles daily. When I was going through both my IVF cycles every one of her friends prayed with her daily and lit those candles. When L was finally born, there was much rejoicing and when we brought him to Ireland last Summer, my Mother proudly brought him to mass where he was surrounded by adoring women- it was like the second coming. Everyone in town knew who he was and how he came into the world and nobody seemed to care. I believe in God and I am planning on bringing L up as a Catholic- God help me :-)I have also always been very open about how he was conceived and I will continue to be as he goes through the catholic school system. How can anybody condemn a medical treatment that when it is successful brings so much joy to families. How can that be wrong?

  29. DD, I feel you struggling with this. And my heart and prayers are with you. You always know where to find me if you need to.

  30. Gravely evil, huh?

    If there were a hell, I’d be going straight there.

  31. Ahhh….it’s no wonder church is so empty on a Sunday morning.

    Quite frankly…if God allowed us (let me rephrase that – have us the knowledge) to develop the technology in the first place, how can that necessarily be a sin? A one-way ticket to hell? In the end, families are fighting to do what the church is looking for in the end: Have the children to keep the church moving forward. Right?

    I am still Catholic…but, do not follow a lot of the “rules” because, quite frankly, they are old, outdated and out of touch with reality. And, formulated to control. I follow what I feel is right for me and my family…this “teaching” definitely not being one of them.

    I’ll remind DH that he is going to hell anyway – he’s an attorney (although, he might get the sympathy vote since he was kinda forced into it by his mother…). 😉

  32. Injustice in the whole of social life?

    Man. I think they need to take a step back, there. Lupron’s a powerful drug, but I never saw that listed among the side effects.

    Also, Sam loved that whole “source of dissension” thing. He said “What? The only ones dissenting are THEM!”

  33. Shame on you for wanting to have another child! You should switch to doing something less vile, like killing kittens or genocide.


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