Week of 4/29/2018
One of the great joys of priesthood is preparing couples for their wedding day. Amidst great anticipation, we discuss the beauty of Church teaching about marriage and God’s wisdom. Always important to recall is that God designed
the blueprints for man and woman, as well as the original blueprint for marriage. He is The Expert. But not as some remote academic; but a loving Father who wants every couple to have the happiest marriage possible. If both keep God as the center and fulcrum of marriage, it will be strong!
One obvious topic is fertility and children. While Our Lord’s teaching on the evil of contraception is clear, another important question is: What happens when a couple struggles to have children? What does the Church say regarding God’s holy wisdom?? The world encourages couples that if science can do it, then it is ok. While the Church teaches that science can be a great asset to man and woman, true happiness means science also follows the teachings of our Lord from Holy Scripture. Just because science can do something, does not mean it is necessarily good for us.
Because In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) means separating conception from an act of love, and because it separates it from taking place in the Godgiven natural sanctuary of the mother, and because it involves the destruction of the majority of fertilized eggs (read human life) in order to obtain one or several that survive, it is immoral. The destruction of human life more concretely reveals how immoral this seeming solution is. But, Father, One might ask, I have already done this… What do I do? Remember the great mercy of God: seek confession and explain to the priest what happened; God will forgive; but we must pray for an end to this immoral use of technology.
But what now if we are infertile?
Fortunately, there are places with good people who seek to solve these problems while staying faithful to God’s holy teaching. The Gianna Center in New York, associated with St. Peter’s Health Care Center, is dedicated to helping women achieve pregnancy using effective means that come from nature itself. The name comes from St. Gianna Molla, a devout woman physician from northern Italy who in 1962 chose to bring her baby to term instead of having an abortion to destroy a tumor. To do this, however, meant giving her life in the process. One of the founding doctors of the Center, in an interview, very poignantly tells of how women have come with diverse health challenges and resolved them by following the methods employed.
One important method is called NaPro technology; short for natural procreation. The goal of this technology is to determine the roots of infertility or related problems. Then discern a
natural solution that doesn’t just cover up symptoms, which is the case with the contraceptive Pill (which also causes many serious side effects), but seeks to resolve the problem at the physiological core. The doctors at the clinic work closely with a woman to determine what the natural cycles are to her body, pinpoint the problem, and discern moral and natural solutions. See also the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Nebraska for excellent, cutting edge technology
on NaPro as well: http://www.popepaulvi.com/. As always, adoption remains a powerful act of love for many families as well; one of my brothers adopted 2 beautiful girls from China who are a joy to the family!
There is nothing more liberating than following God’s wisdom and seeing how much more effective He is than the world when it comes to medical moral issues. He will never leave us with guilty con- sciences, nor physically worse off, which is what the pill does. Take a good look at the website for the Gianna Center, and rest assured that there really is crucial help available that is in complete agreement with the teaching of Our Lord.
God love you,
Fr. Brian Gannon