So Not Cool!


I’ve had my issues with the Catholic church for some time now but they’ve made it clear in their latest “instruction” they don’t want me, either. I guess this is the end of our rocky relationship. (Note to self: Find a more compassionate religious faith).

So, dear readers, in case you haven’t seen the headlines, the Vatican has decided that “babies should be conceived only through intercourse by a married couple.”


TO: The Vatican
FROM: Pamela Jeanne
RE: Your “Instructions”

Yeah, we tried it your way. A LOT. In fact it kind of pissed me off that God didn’t see fit to follow through on his end of the bargain. I’ve had more than a few words with him about said subject. He gave us sex organs and we used ’em as instructed, and what did we get? Nada. Nothing. Not even a positive pregnancy test.

You think we WANTED to go the outside the bedroom in search of conception? Uh. Hardly.

As if  I needed help to feel bad about my infertile state and how far we had to go to try to create another Catholic child for the flock!  I know you excel at the whole guilt thing, but really, is it necessary to make your infertile children — those who already feel super crappy about having to rely on a team of experts to “go forth and multiply” — feel condemned as “unethical, immoral?”

See also  Pregnancy Viewed Through Different Filters

BTW: A marketing tip. If you’re going to bring forth these instructions find a more sympathetic looking team to deliver the word. Like this grim looking crew has one iota of compassion about them …


30 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    December 14, 2008 1:00 am

    Yet they are not allowed to procreate. Don’t even get me started on the Catholic church. I was raised in one until my mother went to her priest…with a broken arm, swollen bruised face etc, all thanks to my SOB father, and she was told by the priest that this life was “her cross to bear”. Thankfully she thought he was full of shit and divorced my father anyway (at a time when it was not common.) When she married my stepfather (a man who treated her like a lady) she was told not to come back to church. She had committed a sin by getting married again.

    What kind of screwy people are running the show over there?? (and they wonder why young people are leaving the church in droves!)

  2. MLO

    December 14, 2008 1:35 am

    See, I long ago recognized that the Roman See was not only misogynistic but anti-Christian. Christ would not tolerate these men looking down on real people. If you recall, He went among the sinners and reviled the pharisees who were so enamored of dictating law to fit their little, tiny minds that they had forgotten completely the Spirit of God.

    Organized religion is a pox on a real relationship with God. It always has been, and always will be.

    Maybe I have studied too much religious history, but I have never thought a bunch of wrinkled old men who have never had a normal, healthy sex life should be allowed to dictate anything about marriage. I’m weird that way. If you deny women the priesthood with the same epistle that says no man can be head of the church without being head of his own house, well, you have lost all credibility with me. (This has to do with money, not Scripture.)

    Someday, the haters will be ousted of the body of Christ and the world will be a better place.

    I have to believe this, otherwise, well, I would be in constant despair.

  3. Jess

    December 14, 2008 6:31 pm

    I have some serious issues with the Catholic church, particularly with their self-righteous opinions and guilt tripping. Life is hard enough without some religious wackos telling you you’re going to hell for doing the things that are the best for you (IF treatment, divorce, etc). GRR!

  4. loribeth

    December 14, 2008 8:05 pm

    Yes, we’re not supposed to use infertility treatment — but they make us feel damned guilty/left out/lesser people if we’re not producing new lambs for the flock. (I’m not Catholic, but I think this goes for a lot of denominations.)

    In the words of Gandhi, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. You Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    Murghdan, that “adjusted” photo is PRICELESS.

  5. Amy

    December 14, 2008 8:09 pm

    That is so infuriating. I’m grateful that my church doesn’t view it that way, but ashamed that another Christian religion does.

  6. Karen

    December 14, 2008 10:58 pm

    Pronouncements like this are the reason I am a lapsed Catholic. I love the quote from the woman in the NY Times article who says that the idea that IVF isn’t done in the spirit of marital love is a ridiculous one. To go to such lengths to have a child seems proof enough of marital love.

    I heartily agree with your marketing tip. What a bunch of judgmental old men.

  7. Kami

    December 15, 2008 2:21 am

    I am going to defend the catholic church – at least the one I go to. I participate in a liturgical dance group in a liberal Catholic church. I don’t really attend, I am an atheist after all, but the ladies I dance with are wonderful and fully supported IVF but IVF with DE. They had a shower for me after LB was born that brought tears to my eyes.

    Now, the Vatican and all of that crap – right there with you. They are a bunch of ignorant, self-important wackos.

  8. Renee

    December 15, 2008 12:26 pm

    well, since i am a practicing catholic, i suppose i should explain why i’ve chosen to do IVF twice now, in light of the fact that the church’s official position is against it: THEY’RE FULL OF IT! a baby brought into this world through the miracle of science is a baby conceived out of pure love. period.

    now, how good of a catholic i am is probably up for debate. i think i am considered a “cafeteria catholic”. you know, choose some of this, some of that. i can’t really defend them on issues like this, because it defies logic, although having been raised catholic, and attending catholic school from K to undergrad, well, i can’t give it up. i am comforted by the ritual and to be honest, the church that i was raised in during the late 70’s through the 80’s was more of a tolerant, socially-conscious, liberation theology kind of church. i hold onto that, and indeed the specific parish i attend now is very much like that.

    i attend mass every sunday, go to confession, and receive communion, too. and guess what? when my little “science baby” arrives, he/she will be baptized in the catholic church, as well. i am confident that positive changes are coming to the church. things like the right of priests to marry and a more sane view of birth control – i believe that in my lifetime, these things will happen. call me crazy, if you like. but i think it’s what jesus would do.

  9. sherylhs

    December 15, 2008 2:12 pm

    After my husband and I found out for certain that we couldn’t conceive without medical assistance, I made an appointment for counseling (for both of us together) with my priest. I hadn’t made any set decisions on IVF or anything like that at the time – I was too grieved by our diagnosis. Well, as it happens, the priest offered absolutely ZERO help, compassion, understanding, helpful words, books, devotions, NOTHING. All he wanted to discuss was the horrible sin of IVF and that we should never attempt it. I told him to get bent. I believe that they should Walk for ONE DAY in our shoes, damn it, before condemning us.

  10. Daisy

    December 15, 2008 2:31 pm

    “For a married couple who go to get in vitro fertilization, the Vatican’s idea that it’s not done with a serious amount of love and commitment is very bizarre to me, because it’s such a deliberate act, done in the cold light of day, with enormous amounts of thought and intention attached to it,” she said. “The idea that it’s not done within the spirit of marital love, I find very strange.”

    This is so true! I can’t think of a more deliberate and thought out way to make a baby. We who have to do IVF to conceive are forced to justify our desire for a child moreso than any other couple because we have the most to loose. Here’s just another reason why I left the Catholic church. And from someone who HAS frozen embryos, let me tell you that I do NOT take the responsibility of having them lightly. I intend for every single one of them to have a chance at life, so those guys can KMA!

  11. Ellen K

    December 15, 2008 3:06 pm

    I’m a very liberal Catholic who chose to try IVF. In fact, the embryo transfer was hands-down the most profoundly spiritual and moving experience of my life. I had no doubt that God was present and approving. And I’m not such a religious person that I am comfortable using such language very often…

    I find it fascinating that the Catholic church is the only one decidedly against IVF. Islam allows it — adoption, not so much. However, the Catholic church is also one of very few religions that is accepting of remaining childless after infertility — at least the catechism and bishops’ statements stress that childlessness (while remaining “open to life”) is a legitimate option for those who do not wish to adopt, although I’m afraid this is not much put into practice in many parishes. I’m certainly not a Catholic apologist — far from it! — but have to say that marginalization and exclusion of infertile couples is a big issue in fundamentalist Christian churches and other orthodox religious communities.

    • MLO

      December 16, 2008 6:55 am

      Actually, the real (and much smaller) fundamentalist churches would consider it a calling to a life devoted to Christ. I know this because I have aunts and uncles who were infertile, and adoption was not a real option due to finances. They found a great deal of joy and acceptance in their churches. Now, the megachurches – like the ones on TV – are in competition for being judgmental with the Roman See.

      Really, the smaller and closer to Christ the church is the better they are at handling this issue. True fundamentalists take to heart the scripture that says that the barren woman is the mother of nations. In other words, she is called to be more than a mother can be because her essence is not focused on a single child.

      I have a very weird religious upbringing and am intimately familiar with the varieties of Christianity. It is only modern evangelical fundamentalists that follow the quiverful movement. This is a relatively recent development.

  12. WaterBishop

    December 15, 2008 6:33 pm

    I was raised Catholic and left the church long ago. There were just too many outdated rules that went far beyond my lack of faith in a higher power.

    My very Catholic family has no reservations about the necessary steps to conception when the church’s way does not work. Most of the time it is all about politics and very little about GOD.

  13. AmyinMotown

    December 15, 2008 7:07 pm

    I so agree. As a practicing Catholic this makes me so angry. IF treatment didn’t work for us but I can tell you for damn sure that if it had, those babies would have been just as much conceived in love as were the ones conceived in the “church-approved” way.

    My parish is also very liberal and very embracing of the way life is actually lived among actual people. I wouldn’t be Catholic were it not for my community there. When we were in the depths of infertility, we also went to speak to our priest, but had a very different experience than the previous poster. He told us that it was a matter of our conscience and our motivations, and he was sure our motivations were good. It would have been such a slap in the face to have told us our options were evil.

    • MOMofTwins

      December 25, 2008 12:01 am

      My brother is a priest and he told me when we decided to go through IVF that God was the one who guided the doctors and scientists to this miracle and who was he to say it was wrong.
      On the vatican opinion-that is just one more reason that my husband and I are having such a crisis of faith-we believe in the goodness of God but can’t seem to see it in the Catholic church at all- my brother is the exception to the rule-makes me sad.
      How can we belong to & raise our kids in a Church which says our kids shouldn’t exist in the first place?

  14. chicklet

    December 15, 2008 7:50 pm

    This is why I don’t have religion. I’m sure this comment is going to make me some enemies, but I’m not kidding. What kind of people dictate how I should have my children, when how they dictate it DOESN’T FUCKING WORK.

  15. Kelly D

    December 15, 2008 8:35 pm

    A bunch of ignorant men – as others have mentioned. And this might explain somewhat why people who struggle with infertility and attempt IVF keep it to themselves. Like others had said, don’t judge until you’ve been in our shoes.

  16. docgrumbles

    December 18, 2008 12:45 am

    I have never been able to understand why ANYONE would accept advice or prohibitions on sexuality from an organization that doesn’t even allow its leaders to experience intercourse!

    I am certain this has left countless faithful Catholics feeling guilty and/or heartbroken simply for wanting to create more Catholics and expand their loving families.

  17. Celia

    December 28, 2008 12:49 am

    Yet another reason that any child we have through birth or adoption will be raised Lutheran. I have not seen eye to eye with the church I was born into for years. Like they say, “Jesus is coming and he is pissed.”

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