In Vitro fertilization

I was talking to a friend of mine from church about some of the stuff we discussed in my ethics class, primarily in vitro fertilization, cryopreservation,....(and other ARTs)

Anyways I was telling her how in vitro fertilization is "morally illicit" according to the Catholic church because their doctrine states that there cannot be any separation between unity and procreation during intercourse. Then I asked if she knew what our Church thought of this method. She told me that she thinks it's fine as long as the couple is married. I don't think this is true, however, because the method in which they get the sperm is similar to masturbation which is frowned upon in our Church.

So I guess these are my questions:
1. What standing does our Church hold in regards to in vitro fertilization?
2. What is our Church's standing on other assisted reproductive technologies?
3. How do I convince my coptic friend that masturbation is wrong?
   she says there's no evidence from the Bible that states that masturbation is wrong so I told her that it was a form of self sexual gratification which is wrong (quoted from Abouna Antony's sermon on this)



  • I'm very sorry if i've offended anyone by my question but I believe that, as Coptic Christians, we should know and understand our church's doctrines regarding all matters, no matter how awkward.

    I would appreciate any thoughts or information on this matter.

    thanks and God Bless.
  • Hi Marmoura,

    here's a very brief answer to your questions. This first part is taken from HG Bishop Youssef's Q&A section:

    What is the Church's view on in-vitro fertilization (lab fertilization)? Is it going against God's will in creating a woman incapable of giving birth?

        "Be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28). We learn from the first chapter of the Holy Bible in the Book of Genesis that the Lord created living creatures purposefully with the ability  to procreate. The church approves the medical intervention of in-vitro fertilization for the experience and fulfillment of this purpose. God provides humanity with science and technology to be used for the general good of humanity. The limits for an in-vitro procedure are restricted exclusively for a married couple. Components of the procedure are not for donor intent and the embryos cannot be discarded. In this respect, the couple is abiding by God's will and should understand that there is no guarantee the procedure will be successful, unless it is His will for it to be so.

    With regards to masturbation, it is a sin because it is a selfish act that fuels lust.

    1 Thessalonians 4:3-5,
    "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honour, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God"

    God bless,
  • great answer.
    i saw IVF as a student, and when they have 'spare' embryos, they throw them away with the incinerator waste.
    i was shocked beyond words and although i didn't deliberately say anything (i realised later i should have done), i offended them by asking lots of questions about the procedure that made them feel bad.

    also it usually uses 'donor' sperm, i.e. no-one knows the father. this is insulting to men, reducing their role to sperm producer, and is bad for the child, not to mention the immorality of a woman having sperm inside her that are not from her husband.

    when it uses the husband's sperm, it is usually called 'gamete in-vitro fertilisation' (GIFT), and is allowed for Christians as long as no embryos are thrown away.
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