CV NEWS FEED // In a recent article, “Is There a Catholic Response to the Growing Infertility Crisis,” Catholic columnist Elise Italiano Ureneck explores the challenges faced by Catholic couples who struggle with infertility.
“The challenge the Church faces is to help an increasing number of Catholics, many who suffer in silence, to discern God’s plan for their marriage and pursue avenues to be fruitful that respect God’s plan for life and love,” Ureneck stated.
Although most Catholic couples enter the sacrament of marriage with an open disposition to life, and expectations of “a larger family than the social ideal,” she pointed out, “a growing number are struggling with the opposite” according to recent statistics.
The default assumption within the medical community is that individuals and couples will use artificial means of procreation — from donor gametes to IVF to surrogates — to have biologically related children. Insurance companies today are more likely to provide coverage for these services but not for alternative treatments.
Pope Francis recently called for a universal ban on surrogacy, calling the practice “despicable,” for exploiting children as products:
The path to peace calls for respect for life, for every human life, starting with the life of the unborn child in the mother’s womb, which cannot be suppressed or turned into an object of trafficking.
“In this regard, I deem deplorable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child,” Francis said, adding that surrogacy exploits “situations of the mother’s material needs.”
“The good news is that Catholic physicians have been advancing treatment for infertility for decades,” said Ureneck, citing the Saint Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction as an example.
Ureneck cites the words of a woman named Elizabeth who struggled with infertility, who echoed the Holy Father, saying: “Receive what God has for you today. God is a God of the present, not of the past or the future.”