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Catholic bishop against in vitro fertilization

August 26th, 2017

Two observant Catholic commentators harshly criticize the head of the Catholic Episcopal Conference for calling in vitro fertilization and the subsidies granted to it by the government, a ‘sin’.

In his August 20 sermon and a subsequent interview with Magyar NemzetAndrás Veres, head of the Hungarian Catholic Episcopal Conference called artificial fertilizatiosinfulHe explained that according to Catholic doctrine, conception should happen ‘naturally’ and in families. Bishop Veres added that it is also a sin to destroy the unused foetuses created in the process. He also said that governments that subsidize in vitro fertilization act in opposition to Christian values and destroy societies built on Christian principles. Mr Veres added that the Christian church supports adoption, which “removes an internal barrier that hinders conception,” and infertile couples who adopt a child often conceive within a few years. Katalin Novák, State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs said that the government will increase the subsidies offered for families participating in artificial fertilization programs. Ms Novák added that couples in the programme should not be condemned or criticized. 

In Magyar Nemzet, Zsombor György calls Bishop Veres’ statements ‘very unfortunate’, even if they are in line with Catholic dogma. The conservative columnist, a Catholic himself, thinks that the bishop’s doctrinaire formulations may further alienate young people from the Catholic Church. Zsombor suggests that the Church should support modern insemination technologies as long as they do not involve the destruction of foetuses (which amounts to murder for Catholics).

In Heti Világgazdaság, Noémi Kiss accuses Bishop Veres of insulting women, including Catholic women, by calling in vitro fertilization a religious sin. Kiss, an observant Catholic, explains that she considers her own decision to participate in the artificial fertilization program as a gift from God. Kiss also dismisses the argument that undeveloped foetuses should be considered as human beings. In conclusion, Kiss adds that the bishop’s words further deepen the sorrow of infertile Catholics. She expresses her absolute confidence that Jesus Himself would have no objection to artificial fertilization.