Do they want the damned eggs fertilized or not?

I admit it. The reason I’m not a Catholic is that it’s too complicated.

Take the whole “Be fruitful and multiply” thing.  The Church seems to be sending out mixed messages. We all know that the supposedly celibate men who make up the rules believe that life begins at conception. But apparently there’s more to it than that because they are also against things that prevent conception. So is the reason that they want every womb filled? That’s the only thing I can figure.

I won’t even go into their position on same sex sex, which appears to be either damnable or private depending upon whether its consensual (damnable) or coerced (private, if the coercer has taken a vow of celibacy).

But just when you think you have their “thinking” “straight” on the heterosexual part of it, along comes Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, member of the classical fascist cult Opus Dei and a 72 year old who has spent more time thinking about uteruses than most OB-GYNs.  The occasion for his remarks was the award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine to Robert Edwards, the pioneer of in vitro fertilizaiton techniques which has resulted since 1978 in the birth of 4 million babies to infertile couples who otherwise would not have had children of their own.

Meet Ignacio Carrasco. No, not the midfielder for Club Tijuana. The guy that the Vatican has designated to think about your uterus.

You would think that this would make Mr Empty-Womb-Is-The-Devil’s-Plaything happy. But no! He says the Nobel Committee, which evidently doesn’t have any member who gives a damn about what he thinks, got it all wrong.

Apparently, these 4 million souls are a mere piffle to the refrigerators all over the planet that contain human embryos stuffed there by Professor Edwards. (I have to admit that this thought caused me to clean out my refrigerator. And while I found things I’m not proud to have left there for so long, I did not find any embryos snuck in there by Edwards or anyone else. But I am pretty much a stickler that people should not put their embryos in my refrigerator. Call me old fashioned.)

The first test tube baby enjoying a moment with Professor Edwards. The Vatican's chief bio-ethicist would rather this woman not have existed. But that's just his private opinion.

The fact that Professor Edwards gets a lot of money and a medallion with Alfred Nobel’s head on it has worked up Ignacio Carrasco de Paula something awful. Splotches of red, possible evidence of blood vessels still working, were seen in parts of his forehead. But he was quick to point out that he was only venting his personal opinion. He evidently talked to the press before discussing the matter with either God or Jesus or even the Pope. So it is quite possible that he got the whole thing mixed up and that God is actually in favor of giving humans a little bit of joy with all the other stuff. And while Ignacios Carrasco de Paula’s decades of studying theology has pretty much convinced him otherwise, he’s not ready to completely shut the book on it — after all, there might actually be another Pope selected who could undo the anti-humanist trend of the current one.

Meanwhile, congratulations to Robert Edwards. Chances are if there’s someone chalking up the pluses and minuses of a lifetime, Ignacios Carrasco de Paula greatly trails Robert Edwards.


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