Skip to comments.Bishop criticizes reproductive technology’s ‘procreation without sex’
Posted on 03/17/2009 8:13:41 AM PDT by NYer
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.- Bishop of Orlando, Florida Thomas G. Wenski has written an editorial for the Orlando Sentinel stressing the dignity of the human embryo. Noting the ways some medical reproductive technologies devalue the meaning of human sexuality itself, he condemned procreation without sex.
Invoking Mary Shelleys Frankenstein, which he summarized as being about a mad scientist who in his quest to create life never stopped to consider the consequences of his actions, Bishop Wenski said that science reality is stranger than science fiction.
Similarly, he suggested that some scientists use various reproductive technologies to manipulate life without sufficiently considering the consequences. Citing the case of Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to eight children conceived through in-vitro fertilization, he said the morality of such procedures must be considered.
Referring to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith statement Dignitas Personae, he noted that the Church advocates scientific research but also condemns such forms of reproductive technologies.
Because it is possible to do something does not make it necessarily right to do it, Bishop Wenski wrote in the Orlando Sentinel. Science, if it is to truly serve humanity, cannot separate itself from the demands of ethics. The ends do not justify the means.
He said in-vitro fertilization procedures frequently involves the deliberate destruction of embryos, asserting that some 80 percent of artificially produced embryos are sacrificed to secure a pregnancy.
Each embryo, however, is an individual human being and not just simply a mass of cells to be used, selected or discarded, the bishop wrote.
The desire for children is both legitimate and laudable, but not every means is morally acceptable for those wishing to become parents, he said, noting Dignitas Personaes comments about the origin of human life having its authentic context in marriage and the family. There, life is generated through an act which expresses the reciprocal love between a man and a woman.
A child should be the fruit of the parents' love a gift received and accepted and not a consumer product to satisfy someone's subjective desire, Bishop Wenski explained, insisting that medical science is not above ethics.
Artificial contraception opened the possibility of sex without procreation; now in-vitro and related technologies proffer procreation without sex. Such technologies divorced from moral reasoning devalue the meaning of human sexuality itself.
Hopefully, more and more bishops will be taking a vocal lead on life issues. We’ve got some good ones. And we’ve got some milquetoasts.
And yet the sex positive preaching radicals on the sexular humanist Left insist that Christians teach “sex negativity” by recognizing certain actions as moral or immoral. They claim that Christians don’t like anyone to have an orgasm.
And the Left gets to frame the arguments in courts, academia, and media.
I agree with the Bishop. Both of those things have brought considerable death and strife. For example, we have people knocking each other up and walking off with the baggage and we have babies being killed for IVF. There are even some ‘parents’ who deliberately get the multiple implantation so they can selectively kill the genders they don’t want.
Worst of all, the children who manage to avoid being killed in the womb are then raised by a liberal society that regards them as a public resource to be exploited in one way or another.
IVF was the ultimate goal of the junior anti-sex league in the novel “1984”.
What to do when reality is worse than an old Brit’s worst nightmare?
I hope you don’t use antibiotics, because, you know, that’s tampering with God’s plan and unnatural.
People with bacterial diseases deserve to die, just like married couples with fertility problems deserve to be barren.
“we have babies being killed for IVF”
In normal, responsible, IVF, babies are killed. In contrast, sperm and egg are joined and the baby is given a chance to live.
Well said, Bishop Wenski!
I don’t disagree with what was said - but it struck my funny bone also... I mean did you ever think you’d see the day when a bishop was out promoting sex.
Bishop Thomas Wenski — one of the good bishops!
This question arose last week. A Bio-ethicist suggested the US follow the example of Italy which limits the procedure to only 2 or 3 embryos, ALL of which must be implanted.
There are many moral issues with IVF, and great care is taken in normal clinics. Unfortunately, the Roman church has its share of luddites with sexual issues.
Antibiotics are not created from human beings with souls. They are developed from either natural sources, or a synthesis of materials that mimic natural sources. Not an apt analogy.
As for your argument about IVF, intimating that the Church's view somehow argues that couples with fertility problems DESERVE to be barren; it's also an incorrect analogy.
It's not an argument that infertile couple DESERVE to be barren, they just ARE. The question is whether or not we need NON-procreative means to assist them in being parents. We don't have the RIGHT to have children. Some of us can bear our own children some can't. If abortion were not so readily available, and if the adoption laws in this country weren't so squirrely, there would be more children to adopt.
In my opinion, the biggest problem with adoption laws right now is that they can leave prospective adoptive parents in fear that their child could be taken away from them by one or the other natural parent who decided to change his or her mind several years after the birth. So, as a result, many people who might be willing to adopt don't want to risk that heartache. I believe that's why so many adopt from outside the US. It's MUCH less likely that the birth parents will come looking for the baby to take it back.
Having once been there, I can empathize with your friends. However, procreation does not belong in the backroom of a science lab. The desire to have children is perfectly natural but how many lives must be destroyed in order to accomplish one's personal gratification? My husband and I suffered the anguish of infertility and then chose life through adoption. We entrusted the decision to God. As St. Paul reminds us: "If God is for you, who can be against you?" God responded by sending us a beautiful little girl. Her adoption was domestic and gratis.
There are more than a million embryos frozen in suspended animation! That is an abomination and total disregard for human life.
the Roman church has its share of luddites with sexual issues.
I’m sure you meant to put a ‘/sarc/’, but frankly, you’re insane.
Modern medicine is a gift from God. However, we run to the doctor rather than going to the true Healer. Thank God for the medicine, but you should pray.
Pray first, last and always.
For every couple who is trying to have a child, there are multiple people who are exploiting them for money. My best friend's son had a surrogate parent for a child whom the mother couldn't carry. They paid $50,000 for the procedure. They are very joyful about the baby (now two) but the surrogate is also part of the child's life, and I cannot help but feel this is going to cause problems down the road, both for them and the surrogate.
Apparently there are no ethical safeguards on in vitro fertilization and other procedures, as witness Octomom. Those 8 children, if they survive, are going to end up as wards of the state and probably will have some serious physical problems.
A long time ago, when I was a young woman, Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical on birth control. I thought it was terrible that a celibate was trying to tell married couples how to live. In that encyclical, he predicted that the use of birth control would increase promiscuity, cause an increase in divorce, would cause women to be viewed as objects, and destabilize families. Well, here we are forty years later, and all that he predicted came true.
I remember when Roe vs Wade was released by the Supreme Court, with the general feeling that abortion would be safe but rarely used. Now abortion is commonplace and is used as birth control.
We are at the beginning of a new group of "advances" in reproductive science, and it seems to me that the Church has a better track record on predicting societal effects of these types of issues than those who are financially interested in making the procedures widely available.
At any rate, his opinion is worth hearing, even if many think it's silly. I don't suppose you have read Brave New World, have you? 18 posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 11:35:26 AM by Miss Marple
It is an apt anology. Anti-biotics are an “unnatural” means to end a disease. Infertility is a disease (a sydrome, really).
IVF joins genetic material, just exactly like normal sex does -— sperm swims to egg. All that changes is the location of the event. The embryo is still transferred, and God either lets it implant in the mother and prosper or not, just like normal sex.
There are all sorts of moral issues created by IVF (chiefly, too many embryos), but in reputable clinics, these events are avoided.
“There are more than a million embryos frozen in suspended animation!”
Yes, there are all sorts of irresponsible people in this world. People have sex outside marriage, too.
Responsible, married, people who will only fertilize and transfer under the normal guidelines are not at fault for the irresponsible people in this world, just like married people are not responsible for people who have sex outside marriage.
Yes, I agree many protestants ministers are luddites with sexual problems, too.
Yes, it was sarcasm.
“Bishop Wenski’s opposition to technological solutions for reproduction does not seem limited to the destruction of human embryos - even when no lives are lost in processes like IVF (which is what everyone is aiming for), he will still object to what many childless couples consider the greatest miracle of their lives.”
Correct. The technology (and ethical guidelines) is such now that in reputable clinics, only a finite number of eggs are fertilized and transferred -— avoiding horrors like Octomom and the supposed “millions” of frozen embryos.
You press them down to the ultimate issue, and the objection is that the man ejaculates outside the mother. Doesn’t matter if the wife “assists” with this process. It’s “masterbation” and thus a sin.
That would help.
Key word is “responsible”. Same goes with contraception. NOT going to happen!
So the responsible people have to be hurt because other people are irresponsible?
Same logic that made it impossible for me to buy Sudafed because morons make crack (or whatever) out of it.
When ethics are maintained, you may have a point.
The Bishop is speaking in general, and he's right. NON-procreative sex has damaged God's Gift of sexuality, the joining of man and woman in a loving, mutually beneficial relationship that is open to accepting and loving the children that would naturally come from that union. He's lamenting the attitude that children are some sort of commodity, and that people have this notion that they have the 'right' to have their own biological children, whether or not they are in a loving marriage.
That’s the dumbest strawman argument I’ve read today, but fear not—there’s still a lot of day left.
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