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Malta’s bishops speak out against IVF

Catholic World News - July 27, 2012

The bishops of Malta have issued a pastoral letter on in vitro fertilization.

“The conception of a human person should be the outcome of the mutual self-giving love of the married couple,” the bishops wrote in their July 26 letter. “This gift is realized through their sexual intimacy, an action through which the man and the woman become ‘one body.’ Therefore, bearing in mind this value, the conception of new life cannot be treated solely as a biological act. Neither can it be a technical process which produces embryos as if they were objects. The gift of human life should be eagerly accepted in marriage, which is the ideal and most natural situation for conception to take place, through personal acts which are exclusive and specific to married men and women”

The bishops also warned against surrogate motherhood and cryopreservation and lament the destruction of embryos attendant upon in vitro fertilization.

“Many times, a significant number of human embryos are sacrificed for the sake of the birth of the desired child,” the bishops stated. “Such in vitro fertilization practices constitute the meditated and direct destruction of innocent human life … Therefore the above-mentioned practices cannot be morally justified in any way and under no circumstances. It is never morally permissible for a bad action (in this case, the destruction of a number of embryos) to atone for a good cause (in this case, the conception and birth of a desired child). It is a well-known moral principle that the end does not justify the means.”

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