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. Kevin

    I just don't get how so many people are still so religious. It's very obviously all BS.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • LiberateUs

      Guess politics is YOUR "religion?" Now thats BS. Religion has improved my life beyond material good.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Then when the day comes for your judgement I'll pray that God has mercy on your soul.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeezy Crisco

      Yes! Kneel down in front of your false earthly prophet or burn forever..... lol I love how this kind and all loving God of theirs uses threats and extortion to collect souls. The first commandment says clearly not to worship anything of this earth, and Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Buddha are all of this earth. Stupid religious scholars can't even follow their own teachings. Don't sweat it Kevin just being a kind and giving person is all that's required. I fear all these sheep are headed south when they die.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Monte

      99.9 percent of them are just God stores, and rally points for war. Tell me what I want to hear please, and I will give you money, ah...now I feel better. They have a FORM of Godly devotion but prove false to its power. Again, most are guilty of treason, for supporting insurrections and jumping on what ever side that does the deal with them first. Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, the Czars, you name it and they have blood in the game. And the Catholic church? It truly is a serial killer, with millions of family and friends in denial. Now, go ahead and throw the martyr cloak on...

      May 10, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey

    @ Good Shadow:
    I have an early morning.
    Good night.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pope Benedict Arnold XXL

    You heard it uh from ah me.... All earthly religions are based on the teachings of false prophets, hence no deliverance from war, disease, poverty, or corruption. The real God Im sure is nothing like the religions say.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey

    My day of judgement, Holy Father?
    Non vedo l'ora!
    (Certamente Lei capisce: il Papa abita in Italia.)

    May 10, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nicky

    I never cared what people say of the rc church. Its the people of the church that matter

    May 10, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nicky

    I am not like some of the bloggers digruntle. What would you like to know?

    May 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sane

    Progress in religion comes pretty slow. That's probably because religion has nothing to do with reality.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • paperjihad

      @Sane I'm not sure that 'modernism' has all the answers here.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sane

      @paperjihad Your reply has nothing to do with what I wrote.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Redpeppertin

      Catholicism has to do with the deepest levels of reality, of truth.

      May 11, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. cliff

    at least the catholics are consistent – I hate the hypocrites who protest abortion clinics but have no problem with in vitro – why aren't they protesting those clinics?

    May 10, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • JReady

      Clearly dude its not the same. I can believe you would equate ending a new life and creating new life to one another. I oppose abortion to protect the life growing in the woman's womb. I could care less about what the woman thinks she should or should not be able to do with her body. It has absolutely nothing to do with her body...its just an excuse.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • LinCA

      @JReady. Until the fetus can live on its own outside the woman's body, it has EVERYTHING to do with her body. Until that time, there is only one voice that matters, and it isn't that of the RCC, or the GOP or the Taliban, or any other right wing extremist group.

      I suspect that the crux of your argument (and that of your ilk) is in: "I could care less about what the woman thinks she should or should not be able to do with her body". Your words, not mine.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey

    "The old gods are best."
    –A. Hitler

    May 10, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Faloofalla

    I cannot believe that ANYONE cares what the opinion is of the CHILD MOLESTING Catholic Church on ANYTHING. This church is so filthy it is unreal, and yet intelligent people are still concerned with the Church opinion. It blows my mind.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeezy Crisco

      Really the intelligent shady people know that by pandering to a certain percentage of people that they can control them, mostly for political power or money, which the catholic church possesses both. It's really just a numbers game. If you know there are x number of (insert group here) then you write a book or make a movie catering to their beliefs and you will get a certain portion of them to give you money. That's why religion, politics and entertainment is so polarizing. It dumbs down the masses and herds them into their respective camps. If you believe God requires 10% of your income then you deserve to be used.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. marygirl

    Why do you have two teenage boys and such a young daughter? Were the boys conceived by IVF years earlier and the church allowed them?

    May 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeremy

    My wife and I have a son conceived through IVF and have a 2nd child on the way, also conceived through IVF. The catholic church apparently thinks that IVF is morally unacceptable. I will tell you right now Catholic Church...there is absolutely nothing immoral about my beautiful son and the blessing that God gave us.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeezy Crisco

      Nope.... too late. You brought that abomination into this world, now you must give up 10% of your income and your child's soul to me or you and your whole family and its descendants will burn forever!.... im just kidding of course God loves your child. What did you think he's the mean lamb devouring god from the bible? Lol

      May 10, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Redpeppertin

      I don't understand. What is wrong with adoption? There is obviously more to being a father or a mother than offering your dna.

      May 11, 2011 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. alex

    Abortion is evil. IVF is evil. Everything Christians say is rational and true.

    And I am a liar.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Terry - Indiana

    Many people get very concerned about the brain washing young Muslims go through as their religious beliefs are hammered into their minds daily. Well, the Catholic Church is right up there with the Muslims, Mormons, Jews, etc., etc., etc. Maybe the problem with the world is religion, and not the humans that walk the earth.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Redpeppertin

      So there is a Catholic charity downtown from where I live. It has been feeding the poor for the past 50+ odd years( that means the past 18,262+ days people have been fed, clothed, fed and clothed, sheltered). Before that Mother Teresa cared for the sick and dying. Before that, Irish monks saved western civilization. Before that St. Patrick fought against slavery in Ireland. Before that (when Catholics were being used as fuel for torches) Catholics saved newborn girls left for dead from the sewers of Rome. And before that Jesus died on the cross.

      To this day the Catholic Church remains the single most charitable organization in the world.

      Maybe some people need to pay attention.

      May 11, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeezy Crisco

      Politicians and fast food restaurants give away free stuff too, so they can collect more votes and customers. If someone is doing a truly selfless act then it is very good, but sometimes people do nice things for selfish reasons.

      May 11, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. Derp

    Can't have your cake and eat it too, people. If the taking of an unborn life is a religious abomination, then so too is the frankenstein manufacturing of life. Go adopt, you stupid progs. At least I will have company in hell.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeezy Crisco

      I assume by "Progs" you mean progressives... Watch much Bill OReilly do we? Im not any political party's tool. Laura Ingram was on there once and said there was no medical reason for a late term abortion. Well I did some investigating (gasp! Yes I actually looked information up to make up my own mind), and I found that there are in fact some diseases which cause the vital organs of the baby to stop functioning. Being the Godly person miss Ingram is Im sure she was merely mistaken and wouldn't want the poor mother and baby to go through with a disfiguring and painful birth only to have the child not live anyways. If she twisted the facts then I'm sure God will punish her. Not everything is black and white. The religious community would be best to recognize that. Tell me why adulterous spouses are not to be stoned, but unruly children are? Surely an unruly child is the product of a bad home filled with adultery and unruly adults......

      May 11, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
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