The decision to award Robert Edwards, the developer of in vitro fertilization, the Nobel Prize received front page coverage from the New York Times today. The story notes the church's objections to the procedure, but does little to flesh them out. For more on that front see today's story from Catholic News Service.
Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said he recognized that Edwards "ushered in a new and important chapter in the field of human reproduction in which the best results are visible to everyone, beginning with Louise Brown."
However, "without Edwards there wouldn't be a market for oocytes (immature egg cells), without Edwards there wouldn't be freezers full of embryos waiting to be transferred in utero or, more likely, to be used for research or to die abandoned and forgotten by everyone," the monsignor said in a written statement released by the Vatican press office Oct. 4.
A few hours after the ANSA interview appeared, the Vatican issued a statement saying his comments, which were made in response to journalists' questions, represented Msgr. Carrasco's personal opinion and did not represent the pontifical academy.
In the statement released later by the Vatican, Msgr. Carrasco said while Edwards presented a whole new approach to the problem of infertility, "he opened the wrong door from the moment in which he focused everything on in vitro fertilization," which also meant he implicitly permitted people to turn to donations and a buyers-and-sellers market "that involves human beings."
Also worthwhile: this moving multi-media feature on the challenges of infertility.