In a Feb 25 address marking the end of a Vatican conference on infertility, Pope Benedict XVI articulated a narrow context for the conception of human life.
Reiterating traditional Roman Catholic teaching, he told infertile couples to shun in vitro fertilization and other technologies of assisted reproduction since the only appropriate setting for conceiving children is conjugal relations between married spouses.
“The union of man and woman in that community of love and life that is marriage, is the only place worthy for the call into existence of a new human being, which is always a gift,” said Benedict in an address to the Pontifical Academy for Life. “The human and Christian dignity of procreation, in fact, doesn’t consist in a ‘product,’ but in its link to the conjugal act, an expression of the love of the spouses of their union, not only biological but also spiritual.”
Benedict further warned fertility specialists against succumbing to the arrogance of technologically assisted conception in the profit-driven setting of the fertility clinic and of trying to usurp the place of the Creator.
That said, Benedict stressed that Rome does support scientific investigation into the causes and treatment of infertility. “The church pays great attention to the suffering of couples with infertility; she cares for them; and, precisely because of this, encourages medical research,” he said,