Overheard on CNN.com: Can the Catholic Church change?
Sean Savage's third child was conceived via IVF and his wife carried another couple's baby to term after a transfer mistake.
May 10th, 2011
05:28 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Can the Catholic Church change?

Comment of the day: Not just anyone would be able to carry a baby to term and hand him over after birth. You are truly amazing people. -Summer819

Religion and conception

In a CNN.com "Belief Blog" post, Sean Savage explains why he believes the Catholic Church should reverse its opposition to in vitro fertilization, challenging the church’s stance that the only moral route to conceiving a child is through sexual intercourse. Savage, a lifelong Catholic, is the co-author of a book about the subject. He and his wife pursued IVF but accidentally received an embryo belonging to another couple. The mistake generated an intense media storm, and the day the child was born, the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, publicly condemned IVF as "morally unacceptable.”

CNN.com readers who had either conceived or were conceived via IVF appreciated the column.

Jamie said, “Thank you for sharing your educated, well-expressed opinion. In a perfect world, couples won't have to choose between their church and their desire to build a family.” Charlie said, “I also want to thank you for your article. As the Catholic parents of a beautiful boy conceived through IVF we also feel blessed by God and in no way do we feel that we did anything wrong. The Catholic Church should understand that it is not only science involved in the process, but the blessing of God.” Amy said, “What a great article. I am a Catholic mother and we conceived our daughter using IVF. My husband had cancer as a child, which gave us little chance of ever naturally creating a child. God truly blessed us with our daughter and how she became is still a gift from God.” Tova said, “I am a woman conceived by IVF. My parents are Catholic – I left the church as a teenager, almost entirely because of this issue. I am here because I am meant to be here. It is not that my parents 'were not meant to have children' (though that's what my priest cousin told them, and that they should repent when they became pregnant with me).”

Others without an apparent connection to IVF  shared their thoughts about the controversy.

BigQuestions said, “If you believe that life begins at conception, IVF essentially results in the creation of many children, most of which will die before they even reach the womb (IE, many embryos do not survive thawing). If you believe that life begins at some other point along the path of pregnancy, you have started down a slippery slope that is used to rationalize abortion, etc. My wife and I have compassion for everyone else who is faced with these decisions. Ultimately we decided that we cannot set an arbitrary point when life begins and as such, couldn't go through with IVF.” Mario said, “Human life begins when an embryo is properly attached to the womb. Until this happens, the embryo is not a human being. This is the current approach in science. Moreover, Jesus Christ was not the product of a conjugal act.” Eric said, “If you check the scientific research, you will see that most ‘naturally’ conceived embryos do not survive either. Most of the time, a failure to properly implant in the uterine wall or an error in early cell division results in a spontaneous miscarriage, often before the woman has any idea that she is pregnant.”

Other readers either shared their support for the Catholic Church or condemned their stance on IVF.

David said, “I pray that we all look into our hearts to follow not what we want, or what we think is right, but what is right. We must be careful not to let what we say lead others astray. The church is our mother, who leads and guides us. It is not easy, but in the end it will be so comforting. May we all pray for God's mercy, guidance and understanding.” Dan responded, “David is somehow assuming that the Catholic Church is always right and people shouldn't think for themselves. David is wrong and that is a very dangerous position to take.” *SIGH* said, “If you are Catholic, you must accept the pope as the hand of God. In other words, the pope is your God. Live with it happily or find a church that is in line with your beliefs if you are not going to accept Catholicism in full and just piecemeal.” Michael said, “Sean: You and your family certainly deserve compassion here. As a fellow Catholic, I hope the lord gives you his grace to bear the cross of infertility. Also know that I am sure many have prayed for you and your family and perhaps even your bishop, who was likely well-intentioned to avoid confusion on the issue but missed the mark on compassion.”

Prime Minister gives up salary

Japan’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, said Tuesday that he will give up his salary until the nuclear crisis in the country is over. CNN.com readers praised his decision and questioned whether U.S. leaders would ever do the same.

kevinweslyn said, “An inspirational gesture. The disaster was not at all his fault or responsibility, yet he shows this solidarity with the Japanese people in order to underline how the populace is connected.” iperlady09 said, “I'm amazed by the honor and self-restraint the Japanese people have shown over the last few weeks. This sacrifice shown by the prime minister is how one truly leads by example.”

newsound said, “Would ANY U.S. politician show such benevolence and vision? Not in a million years!” AlienShark said, “Bloomberg doesn't take a salary for the position of mayor ... just sayin.”

Guest said, “Would that every rich CEO do something like this. We would be back in black in no time. Great sacrifice there, PM. Blessings to you!" marjie said, “The CEO of my husband's company didn't take a salary for several years rather than let employees go without jobs or raises. I was very impressed that he cared that much."

Bobby56 said, “I wish Congress would do the same thing since they bankrupted the country with mismanagement." vivismama said, “I agree, maybe after that they could be able to raise minimum wage so people just might be able to survive on it.”

Arnold and Maria split

After 25 years of marriage, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have announced that they are separating. The news came as a surprise to many readers who posted comments of support, while others took the opportunity to work in some of Schwarzenegger’s most popular movie lines.

misstrixie said, “That's too bad. I have always liked this couple. Maybe they'll work it out." fedupintexas said, “Too bad! I like Arnold and Maria! Glad he's making movies again!” And FullyAutoMag said, “Nice to see they can separate without going ballistic on each other.”

On a different note, BSideSlater said, “I left my wife and now I'm looking for Sarah Conner.”

ankanlion8 said, “Terminated!” elkilo said, “Hasta la vista baby.”

And the most popular movie line invoked? ucer0t said, “Arnold, I suggest you suck it up, look Maria in the eyes and tell her, ‘I'll be back.’” 5OnionRings said, “They'll be back.” arthurlele said, “He'll be back.” Waitforit said, “Don't worry Arnie, she'll be back.” OrangeGreen said, “I guess he won't be back.”

soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Jazzzzzzzz

    Joey has stalkers , LOL

    May 10, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey

    Please tell me.

    May 10, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jazzzzzzzz

    Dont beg Joey , that's not becoming , LOL

    May 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. gerald

    If the CC changes on things like abortion, IVF, and contrception, I will be convinced there is no God. Not to worry though the gates of hell have not prevailed in 2000 years and I doubt they will now. In fact you can take it to the bank.

    May 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      you cant base weather GOD exist on humans actions.

      May 10, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • jesse

      Hey! I am with you on this! Tell these uneducated individuals that these are just stories, and that is all they are and all they will ever be.... We have been going to hell for 2000 years and i am quite sure we will continue to go for another 2000! Lol...

      May 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • chief

      re gerald.... come out of the confessional... your a priest... if your standard is what the catholic church says.... then that is your god..... the real God doesnt exist for you

      May 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pam

    Once you had an alterboy,it is hard to change.

    May 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MailMan

    Funny, as time goes by the church accepts more and more. Somehow they stay "one step ahead" in the battle of self-righteousness. One of the reasons that I don't believe a word that comes out of their mouths.

    May 10, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      The only word you have to believe is GODS horayyyyyyyy

      May 10, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joey


    May 10, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey

    One cannot base it on anything.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey

    Talk more.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      Who are you talking to ?

      May 10, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pope Benedict Arnold XXL

    AhhAhh dis eez ah sin-ah... Now open up-ah and getta you body of Christ-ah. I meet-ah Wacko Jacko een our own private NeverNever Land yes? The lord eez good no?

    May 10, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. charlie

    When I went ot Sunday school there was a commandment saying "thou shalt not kill".
    In modern bibles that has been changed to "thou shalt not murder".
    Discusiosn around IVF, abortion etc should now be irrelevant with respect to theology.
    If the church can change it's basic text at will, I don't see what authority they have to speak on anything.
    Spiritually of course the old version is correct, the change does make it easier for the church to accept capital punishment and military action and is in line with the dumbing down of society.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • MailMan

      Great point Charlie. I made a similar one above. Nothing makes me more angry than self-righteous people that follow a moving line of good and evil.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Redpeppertin

      Well, there is a problem with what you are saying. The English version of the bible is translated. The Hebrew hasn't changed. So why don't you find out if the Hebrew and Greek texts have changed with the translations? They haven't.

      Also, the Church has always been against the killing of innocent people. Capital punishment is morally acceptable when one cannot stop the murderer any other way.

      If one has the facilities to stop a murderer with out killing him(in the U.S. we can lock them up), then it would be morally wrong to kill him. (i.e. the danger for loss of innocent life is gone)

      If one has no other way of stopping a murderer(like a village without a prison in the middle of nowhere), capital punishment is an option. (thus removing the danger of innocent people being killed)

      It's interesting though that some people who believe in killing the unborn(innocent people) also are against capital punishment (the killing of murderers). Really twisted.

      May 11, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. M

    this is exactly why the world is going to hell–no one feels anyone should tell them how to live or what rules to follow. Hope some of you have to wander in the desert for 40 years. Let's just all do whatever we want. Who needs right or wrong?

    May 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • MailMan

      I have a strong sense of right and wrong. I just don't need a made up spiritual figure to dictate the golden rule to me.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. Joey

    Holy Father, you don't know your number.
    It is XVI.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pope Benedict Arnold XXL

      Quoting Eets called extra extra large my unemployed chubby child. Unlike-uh you I create my own material weeth da help-uh of de lord. Now please go back-uh to quoting dumb obsolete british humor. I forgive- uh you tiny brain and weel pray for ah you... please-ah don't critique other's jokes when you-ah possess de personality of-ah termite. As Jesus once said ah... let he who eez without humor not talka de fecal splatter...

      May 10, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey

    Do you have more to say?

    May 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LiberateUs

    I' am Catholic as well, but I do not understand why people choose IVF. I don't care about what religion people are, but these anti-Catholic comments are growing old.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank Stevens

      I am Catholic as well, and what is growing old is the Church's way of thinking. More and more people are educated, and do NOT follow blindly the words of the chruch. Gods gave them minds to know what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong. The Chruch is just trying to keep is flock in the darkages. This way of thinking needs to die off along with its old age.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
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