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HUMAN REPRODUCTION

For whatever reason, Catholics tend to have varying opinions regarding the topic of human reproduction. The Church, however, evaluates input from theologians, doctors, biologists, bioethics experts, psychologists, and other medical professionals (many of them ordained religious), and has the Christ guaranteed guidance of the Holy Spirit regarding all faith and morals, to inform and direct us on this subject.

It’s unfortunate that some Catholics are not familiar with or choose to ignore paragraphs 2375-2379 of the Catechism, which specifically address several unacceptable methods of reproduction. These teachings emphasize the immorality of in-vitro fertilization and artificial insemination from either a secondary donor or a spouse, as well as surrogate parenting. The methods are wrong because they “infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other in marriage” and/or “dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act” (2376, 2377). Using these methods of technology “entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and the biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person”. As par 2378 indicates: “A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift…A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged ‘right to a child’ would lead.” 

God’s moral law must always take precedence over medical developments and achievements.
As with other wrongful actions, Catholics who have relied on any of these methods of reproduction need to seek forgiveness through the sacrament of Reconciliation. The same is expected of those who have participated in, financed, or encouraged it for their friends or relatives. As Catholics, we are called to follow all of the teachings of the Church as well as be able to provide the proper response whenever this type of situation is encountered. A conscience formed through faith and trust in God and His Church is a solid beginning.

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