Embracing the Heavy Cross of Infertility

Carolyn and Sean Savage were in the news several months ago, because of a  heart breaking mistake. They underwent IVF treatment, and the embryos of another couple were implanted instead of theirs.  You can read about their story here.

Well it turns out that they are Catholic, and surprise surprise they disagree with the Church’s teaching prohibiting IVF.  Sean has written a post for the CNN religion blog refuting the Church’s position..

“According to the Roman Catholic Church, the only moral route to conceiving a child is through sexual intercourse. As a Catholic, I find the Church’s position to be discriminatory against couples who have medical conditions that prevent them from conceiving in that manner.”

Frankly his post demonstrates that he really doesn’t understand why the Church insists that IVF is always morally wrong.  His argument is , “we want a big family and IVF is the only way to make that possible”.

He doesn’t realize that children are gifts from God and not products.  We are not guaranteed the right to children.

Certainly infertility is a cause of great suffering.  It is not something that should be taken lightly.  But as Christians we are called to embrace our suffering. Jesus told us to pick up our cross and follow him. We are not called to find a way around the cross.

Yes this a hard teaching.  Sometimes we are given the thorns without the rose.

My favorite deacon (MFD) and I are blessed with two children and five grandchildren.  So what do I know?

Not much.

But the author of the blog, This _Cross_ I_ embrace is suffering with infertility.  She and her husband are faithful Catholics. IVF, therefore, is not an option, and they are unable to adopt. Still she understands redemptive suffering. In a post on infertility and adoption she writes:

“This is what God wants to do for each individual couple (is that an oxymoron?) who suffers with infertility/childlessness. He wants us to deepen our faith, grow in His love, and become His hands on earth. Our focus as humans should not be on a pregnancy or an adoption as the “result” at the end of the infertile couple’s suffering, but rather, on life everlasting. Should a couple adopt children or conceive after years of infertility, all glory and praise be to He who gives life – but these are blessings only, NOT the Resurrection of the cross of childlessness. Our Resurrection will come in heaven, not on this earth.”

Amen.  Man I wish that I had such faith, fortitude, and insight at her young age.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
This entry was posted in Catholic Moral Teaching, Marriage, Moral Theology, Suffering, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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