Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Meeting with the Bishop tomorrow - Life-Giving Love at the US Bishops' Fall Conference

I received a phone call today from the Bishop’s secretary. My meeting with Bishop D’Arcy is scheduled for 4pm tomorrow (Thursday, November 5th). I am excited to get to talk with him more, to follow up on our conversation from the Bioethics Conference (see post) and to talk to him about Hannah’s Tears and also the upcoming US Bishops’ Conference meeting.

As I have mentioned before, I have been feeling a very strong call to help prepare a conference on the truth, power and beauty of the Catholic Church’s teaching in the areas of fertility. As I have prayed about a name for this conference, the title that keeps coming to me is “Life Giving Love.” Imagine my shock when a few days ago I learned that the US Bishops will be debating a document at the conference which will encourage couples struggling with infertility to embrace “legitimate” treatments to fulfill their desire to be parents….and that the title of this document is “Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology.” LIFE-GIVING LOVE! The same name that has come to me again and again!

Thank you for your prayers as I prepare to meet with Bishop D’Arcy. I am thrilled at the role God is allowing me to play in helping development fertility/infertility awareness! Here’s more information on the upcoming Bishops’ conference:

U.S. Bishops to Urge Ethical Infertility Treatments
Seek to Offer Hope and Encouragement to Couples

WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 30, 2009 ( The U.S. bishops will debate a document next month that encourages couples struggling with infertility to embrace "legitimate" treatments to fulfill their desire to be parents.

During the bishops' fall meeting -- Nov. 16-19 -- the prelates will debate and discuss a document titled "Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology," drafted by the conference's Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

The text affirms the necessary link between the sexual act and procreation, and explains the Church's moral opposition to artificial reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization, embryo donation and adoption, egg and sperm donation, cloning, and surrogacy.
"The Church has compassion for couples suffering from infertility and wants to be of real help to them," explains the draft document. "At the same time, some 'reproductive technologies' are not legitimate ways to solve those problems. We bishops of the United States offer this reflection to explain why.

"We also offer it to provide hope -- real hope that couples can fulfill their procreative potential and build a family while fully respecting God's design for their marriage and for the gift of children."

The text will include a section of questions and answers, testimonies from couples, and encouragement.

Valid treatments for infertility, the text explains, include hormonal treatment and other medications, surgery to repair damaged fallopian tubes, natural family planning, and means for alleviating male infertility factors.

The document explains that these methods are acceptable because they "do not substitute for the married couple’s act of loving union; rather, they assist this act in reaching its potential for giving rise to a new human life."

The text requires the approval of two-thirds of the bishops.

This document is a companion to the 2007 educational resource "Married Love and the Gift of Life," which explains the Church's teaching on contraception.

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