In the alphabet of creation children are a precious gift. In our tradition, not only on the basis of religion but also of culture, the Maltese and Gozitan people have always welcomed children as a marvellous gift of the Creator.
The desire for children is a sacred one, and every effort made to help infertile couples embrace their own children must be praised and blessed. The Church always gave her support to the kind of science that facilitates the natural process of conception rather than replace it.
The dignity of this process of conception and birth demands that they are the fruit of the love between the biological father and mother of the child. When we start talking about men and women who donate their reproductive cells to third parties, we are destroying the essential union of the conjugal act and the conception of children.
From the moment the sperm and the ovum meet and become an embryo, human life begins. The embryo, that is human life in its early stages, is endowed with dignity. When an embryo is frozen we are denying human life its natural process. Moreover, when an embryo is removed from the freezer, we are putting it in danger and death could ensue.
Problems arise when we consider that the woman’s pregnancy is not the fruit of her love but as the result of a transaction of her womb with third parties. The baby growing in her womb will have a strong and intimate bond with this woman. Consequently, we cannot stop thinking about the devastating effects that the separation of the baby from the womb that gave it shelter, and the mother who is denied the baby she carried and gave birth to, will have on them both.
It is our duty to defend the voice of these children who have just been conceived; to defend the embryos who, as yet, have no voice.
Children who do not know where the seed of their father or the ovum of their mother came from are orphans because they will be denied access to the biological and cultural identity of their true parents.
We feel that the dignity of these children who will be born using such methods will be undermined. We feel that every single one of these children have the right to know not only the identity of their biological parents, but by extension, their grandparents, aunts and uncles, and also their cousins. We are born into a family, an extended family.
With the technology that the State would like to authorize, we are destroying the alphabet of creation that promotes the birth of a new life in the context of the love of the natural parents and in the context of a large, extended family. Not everything that can be done should be done. It is our duty to defend the voice of these children who have just been conceived; to defend the embryos who, as yet, have no voice.
✠ Charles J. Scicluna
Archbishop of Malta
Read the Maltese Bishops’ statement: www.knisja.org/FavurilHajja