Monday, February 27, 2012

Another Patron For The Cause Of Life

Speaking of Saints and future Saints in recent days, I see the Cause of Jerome Lejeune is progressing: the diocesan phase has been completed and the documents are to be sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and, I presume, the Postulator will begin to write the positio, the position document which will summarise his life and virtues and propose him as a candidate for beatification.

As the assault on life seems to gain momentum, God is giving us patrons and models to help us in our struggle to witness to the Gospel of Life.  St Gianna Beretta Molla has been canonised, and now Jerome who was a great defender of life is on his way.  Lejeune was a paediatrician and geneticist - he is best known for his discovery of Trisomy 21 which is the cause of Down Syndrome.  A discovery, which should have helped humanity became, in the hands of the anti-life brigade, a weapon to destroy life.  Following his discovery, Dr Lejeune had to defend the unborn, and particularly those who Down Syndrome, from abortion.

A friend of Blessed John Paul II, Lejeune assisted him in the cause of life and was appointed President of newly founded Pontifical Academy for Life, but only served for a few months as lung cancer claimed his life on Easter Sunday 1994.    We pray for a speedy outcome to the Cause, the granting of a miracle and the joy of his beatification soon. 

In related news, the Holy Father has urged Catholics to shun artificial methods of procreation - that means IVF, AI and surrogacy.  These methods are deeply sinful and denigrate the act of procreation, and the life and dignity of the child. 

With regard to IVF alone there are so many moral problems with it it is a veritable nightmare.  Unfortunately many Catholics are so desperate to have a child that they resort to this evil and in doing so allow the creation and destruction of many children.  The awful statistic is that for every live birth in IVF around thirty children have perished - this does not include the children who are suspended in freezing facilities, most of them forgotten: they are alive, but "on hold" - not even able to die so they can be released.   

Another problem with this method is that those who are using it close their hearts to the truth - they deny that it is wrong, or if they know its wrong, they are prepared to suspend their consciences and God's law to get their child.  This is serious as it places those souls in immortal peril.  I have even heard of Catholic priests encouraging couples to go down the road of IVF, telling them that it is not a sin to do so.  God forgive these priests - they are leading souls into sin: if they do not repent of this and try to undo the damage they have done, they may well be damned.

We certainly need the prayers and example of the Servant of God, Jerome Lejeune: through his intercession may the Lord bring us out of this Dark Age into the light of the Gospel of Life, where human life is cherished and protected.

The Living Tomb: storage tank in which children conceived through IVF are frozen.


  1. Thank you, Father. One never hears of the intrinsic evil of IVF from the pulpit of a Catholic Church; I've never heard my Bishop denounce the practice. And in the vacuum, it's become normalised among many Catholics. This leads to even greater disrespect for human life - embryos seen as products that can be created or killed as one wishes. God have mercy!

  2. Father, Im sorry but I do not agree with you in regarding to IVF. You dont know what happiness this has brought to lifes of woman who are trying for a baby for years and years.

  3. Anonymous: I have no doubt that having a baby has brought some happiness into people's lives. I have friends who have had babies through IVF and I can see this happiness for myself.

    But is our existence merely about earthly happiness? And what about the many unborn babies who are created and then destroyed or frozen as part of the IVF process? These are individual lives destined never to be born. What about them and their rights?

    Also, for every happy woman you see with a baby through IVF, there are many who have been through much suffering and strain on their health and marriage and finances as a result of the IVF process.

    Finally, please remember that there are alternatives to IVF. Many couples have conceived children naturally through the NaPro approach, even after multiple failed attempts at IVF.

  4. @ Anonymous 1 above.

    Regarding your comment: "I do not agree with you in regarding to IVF. You dont know what happiness this has brought to lifes of woman who are trying for a baby for years and years"

    While I agree that many couples have been delighted with the birth of a child through IVF, that happiness does not render the actions taken to bring the child to birth as good or in accord with the law of God. We must deal sensitively with infertile couples, but we cannot lead them to do what is evil in order to satisfy their desire for a child.

    With all due respect it is not a matter of opinion as to whether IVF is morally good or not: it is an intrinsic evil since it violates numerous moral laws laid down, not by man, but by God. It cannot be rendered good by the outcome - the ends never justify the means - we cannot do what is evil in the hope of achieving good.

    The most serious violation is the creation of human life in an artificial way, thus reducing the origin of human beings to an external, scientific process, and the appalling loss of life which is part of the process. I remind you of the fact: thirty children die to every one born - is it worth destroying the lives of thirty individual human beings to create one? If the life of a child is so precious and desired, we cannot, on principle, undermine that preciousness by making those lives expendable in the hope of one making it.

    There has been a desensitisation with regard to IVF: we see the beautiful baby, but we do not see the others lost. All couples who have IVF end up parenting dozens of children, most of them destroyed or discarded, or frozen. Some even give permission for some of their children to be experimented on. Does that language sound uncomfortable? Well, it's the reality. We are not talking about cells, we are talking about individual human beings with individual souls who, though conceived in an irregular manner, now exist and have the same right to life as you or I. IVF treats them like products - knowing people who desire a child, they would not want their children treated in that way: yet the process they are engaging in does exactly that.

    Infertility is a dreadful cross, and there are other, more successful methods. NaPro, mentioned above, has a higher success rate, it does not ravage the body of the woman as IVF does and it is natural - in accord with God's law. And it is cheaper, thousands cheaper.

    We must respect life, accept that God alone is the Lord of life, and at times that requires embracing a sacrifice for the sake of life: for the greater good. If we truly love life and respect it, then we cannot engage in or endorse IVF since, for the most part, it destroys life. We must pray that those who are desperate for children will not be tempted to take that road, and that God will help them in their difficulties. As I said there are other ways which are morally good: NaPro and adoption.