Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let no one divide.” But this is exactly what we have done in our divisive and reductionist time. We have done so not only with marriage but also with sexuality, procreation, and the raising of children. God has weaved together sex, marriage, and procreation. But we have separated and isolated them:

  1. Regarding sex, we have said that there is no necessary connection between sex and procreation—we have done this with the contraceptive mentality.
  2. Regarding marriage, we have said that there is no necessary connection between getting married and having children—we have done this through the widespread use of contraception and now by embracing the notion of same-sex unions.
  3. Regarding children, we have even said that there is no necessary connection between having children and having sex—we have done this by in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, and the like.

We have separated and isolated things that God has designed to be joined together. Sex, marriage, and procreation are meant to go together and each exists for and on behalf of the others. We have sown the wind and are reaping the whirlwind.

  1. If it is widely held that sex is just about pleasure or “showing love” and has nothing to do with procreation, then for many it no longer makes sense to restrict sex to marriage or even to heterosexuals.
  2. If it is widely held that having children is not an essential work of marriage and that marriage is just about two adults being happy, then for many it no longer makes sense to restrict marriage to heterosexuals.
  3. If it is widely held that conceiving a child is no longer necessarily linked to the marital act, then it no longer makes sense to many that conceiving children in test tubes, borrowing sperm or eggs, or renting a womb (or any combination of thereof) is strange or problematic.

In separating what God has joined, we have become lost in a strange world in which life is on the one hand hated (via contraception and abortion), and on the other turned into a commercial product that is “up for sale” (via IVF, etc.). Indeed we have arrived at the era of designer babies; we are already into the first stages of cloning, gene splicing, and “Heather having three (or more) parents.” We are heading for the “hatchery” of the Huxley novel Brave New World and are also not far removed from the world of Orwell’s 1984.

And very few today bat an eyelash at the prospect. Very few have considered the darkness of turning human life into a designer product that is for sale: an egg from here, a sperm from there, a rented womb from over there, a couple of strands of DNA from here, and some more from there. Heather has four “parents” and a fifth “mother” in the womb that was rented to gestate her.

Even fewer seem to care that it is children who going to be born into this utter chaos and who are having this social experiment foisted upon them—an experiment in which they are the guinea pigs.  No, who cares about them; haven’t you gotten the memo that this world is all about adults and what they want? Marriage isn’t about what is best for children, it’s about adults and their feelings and what they want. Sex isn’t about children either; it’s about what adults want to do. And even having children isn’t about children! It’s about what adults want, when they want it, and in the way they want it. Yes, even having children is all about adults. And Heaven protect the child who has a disability—the vast majority simply aborted. Heaven protect the excess embryos (i.e., children) resulting from in vitro fertilization who don’t get selected for implantation by the doctor—it’s into the freezer or worse for them. And if you don’t think sex selection has been going on for a long time in this designer baby world, you’d better wake up and think again. Heaven protect the infant who is the wrong sex!

Dark (not brave) new world. Here is an excerpt from an article describing yet another dark side of the designer baby world:

A Thai woman who carried a baby with Down’s syndrome as a surrogate mother has vowed to take care of the boy after his natural parents gave him up …

The Australian couple left Gammy, now six months old, with Pattaramon Chanbua but took his healthy twin sister. Gammy has a congenital heart condition, a lung infection and Down’s and is in a Thai hospital for urgent treatment. [God is watching. Can you imagine appearing before the judgment seat of Christ with this on your record? Let's hope they repent.]

A campaign to help the baby begun online after Thai newspaper Thairath published Gammy’s story last week. It has raised more than $150,000 (140,000 USD; £83,000) from 3,400 donors in 11 days. [OK, that's nice, but how about a campaign to end the practice of surrogacy? Can't folk sees that hideous outcomes like this are going to be more an more frequent when people turn human life into a product to be bought and sold, when they seek designer babies and throw away "imperfect" products and "misprints"?]

In Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott expressed his sadness: “I guess it illustrates some of the pitfalls involved in this particular business.” [Really, is this the best outrage that Mr. Abbott can muster? "Pitfall"?  "Business"?]

Ms Pattaramon was paid $15,000 (£9,000) to be a surrogate for the couple, whose identities remain unknown. She was told of the child’s condition four months after becoming pregnant, prompting the couple to ask her to have an abortion. She refused, saying it was against her Buddhist beliefs. [Great couple, huh? Also, too bad the woman's Buddhist beliefs didn't prevent her from renting her womb for $15K!]  (The full article is available here: Surrogate Mother Cares for Disabled Child Rejected by Biological “Parents”.)

So the darkness continues to grow, and as it gets darker it gets colder—in this case a lot colder. In this secular age some like to boast that there is no God. But the problem is that if there is no God then everyone is God. Stories like this remind us that if we try to play God, we’re going to do a lousy job of it.

The atheists and secularists may think of our God, the God of the Bible, in poor terms but at least in God’s world there is room for imperfection and mercy. Stories like the one above remind us that in this dark (not brave) new world, in which man becomes God, there is little room for imperfect children, and little mercy for them either. Designer life, up for sale, is not just a bad idea; it’s a dangerous and heartless one. It amounts to genocide against the disabled, who bring us gifts whether we acknowledge them or not. 

Where have these heartless, merciless notions come from? Pride? Sure, because we want to be gods who design and toy with life and reserve the right to kill what we have made. Lust? Yes indeed, because we want “sex” without cost or responsibility. Anger? Yes again, for increasingly we kill what does not please us. Sloth? That too, for most are too busy to care about the arcane stuff and relegate the matter to the “none of my business as long as no one gets hurt” file. Well many have been hurt and killed and lot more are going to be on death row mighty soon.

We have sown the wind and now we are reaping the whirlwind. It began with a great divorce wherein we separated what God has joined. Sex, marriage, and having children are meant to go together. We have separated and isolated them and thus we sowed the wind. And then came the whirlwind of abortion, promiscuity, AIDS, STDs, teenage pregnancy, divorce, cohabitation, single motherhood, homosexual confusion, and the entire meltdown of the meaning of marriage and human sexuality. In the end it is the children who suffer; it is always the children.

Call the Church out of touch; call us old fashioned; but don’t call us inconsistent. We are just as opposed to abortion and contraception (which facilitates sex without procreation) as we are to IVF, surrogate motherhood, cloning, and every other dark art on the way that wants children without sex or marriage. I guess we’re just strange that way. We really think that sex, marriage, and having children ought to go together. It’s what God set forth; it’s what’s best for children; and we ought not separate what God has joined.

26 Responses

  1. Robertlifelongcatholic says:

    It is sad that these are the realities of what is going on in the world and you never hear about it from the mainstream media. You may hear something about it occasionally on the internet news or read about it in the newspaper as a side but even then the self-absorbed, uninterested zombies will never read, much more even register what is happening in this world. The Church has been slandered and vilified from within and without and the fields are rotting while the fruits are ripe for harvest. It is a dark hour for those outside of the Church and a momentous challenge for those within the Church. The challenge will be in taking it to the streets where the truth will be heard and seen by all. People dive by the Church day in and day out never giving thought to what is within. Here”s the Church and here’s the steeple. Open the door and see all the people.

  2. Deacon Giuseppe Pasquella says:

    I appreciate this post even with the miss spelled words etc… A strong message that needs to be shouted from the rooftops.
    Peace and Blessings,

    • The editor will attend to these soon. You are reading this at 1:00 am in the morning eastern time. I post for those in other time zones, but cannot affirm the final edited copy until the next morning 10 am eastern. I have a very generous woman who edits my posts daily, but give her a hot minute deacon, and consider that you were reading the post in the middle of the night eastern time. By the way, isn’t “miss spelled” in your comment misspelled? ;-)

      • RAY - PORTSMOUTH says:

        Hi Mgr Charles
        For what it’s worth, what ‘would’ be correct is ‘mis-spelled’ – that’s the correct English!! The hyphen is essential because the two words are linked in meaning!
        But that’s not the most important thing here – the most important point here is what you have written about – and a very big thank you for it. It fortuitously comes on a day when a report has appeared in one of our prominent UK newspapers about the otherwise great National Health Service here in the UK setting up a fund to enable single women – lesbian or otherwise – to be able to choose, for a very modest sum, from a sperm bank the sperm that seems to suit them best – colour, background, education, personality – even hobbies – in order to have a child without having any kind of relationship with a man! How sick is this? All this without needing any kind of actual male person to be involved other than to deposit his seed into a little plastic jar for whomever wants to use it! One assumes that if the baby doesn’t turn out the way she wants it – she can simply have it thrown into the waste disposal!
        How long before the first single male says, “I want equality with all these single women – and – I want a baby – NOW – but I don’t want to involve a woman”? Cue the setting up of egg-banks for men to choose their favourite type of ‘baby’!!
        Do please copy and paste the following url to read about this ‘brave new world’ exigency!
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2714321/NHS-fund-sperm-bank-lesbians-New-generation-fatherless-families-paid-YOU.html
        Thank you again, Mgr Charles – one of the very few voices in the church to speak out against these horrors without fear or favour.
        God bless and forgive us all!
        Ray – Portsmouth UK

  3. Fr Anthony says:

    Our prime-minister, Mr Abbott, is portrayed as a conservative Catholic by the media. He once was a seminarian. However in the lead up to the last election he sold out on most things relating to IVF. A shame because as a previous health minister he ensured that RU-486 remained banned in Australia. So I’m not surprised of his stance in this case and he is about to step aside to allow a conscience vote in his party on “gay marriage”.
    As for this particular case the media here have been falling over themselves to make out the ‘real victims’ as others who are expecting surrogate children in Thailand being unable to go ahead because the Thai government has begun to close the loopholes.

    On the positive side, over $200,000 had been raised for baby Gammy.

  4. Maria says:

    Was watching Bishop Sheen on EWTN , who mentioned the intersting point on how all the aggression in the animal world is about territory , not about sex !

    That point helps to bring out the Old Testament more into focus too and a deeper understanding of the challenge and faith of Abraham , who had to leave his territory and did not have another , for even the promise of a child , for a long time , all the while being prepared to know the real territory we are existing for is heaven , a truth , that many still can easily forget , in the midst of the buring arrows of the enemy !

    Thus, may be good need for us to be reminded of who The Father is , such as through the Feast of The Father , as discussed in here ( glad to know it had not died down , since seemed for a while, not heard much mention of this ) –

    http://www.spiritdaily.com/A82GodtheFather.htm

    This land being mostly of immgrants who too had to forsake territories ( and thus possibly having deep father wound issues as well ) , there is the hidden truth of the goodness of The Father and of good Family lines, in the honor to the Patroness as well – Immaculate Conception , invoked as ‘ hail filled with grace ‘ ;

    hope such would be what would counter all the darkness !

  5. Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

    “Sex, marriage, and having children are meant to go together. We have separated and isolated them and thus we sowed the wind.”

    And that is the goal of the Evil One, to separate everything. United we stand, divided we fall.
    Satan is preparing the ground for his rotten seed—the Antichrist.

    Luke 11:17 – “But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.”

  6. Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

    And the disordered sexual mentality ignited by the work of Margaret Sanger (The founder of Planned Parenthood) is truly a Novena (9 days of prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit) NOT for the Holy Spirit but for the coming of the Antichrist. For the DATE OF HER DEATH reveals her prayers to her true master:

    9/6/66

    “…and in the end of a man is the disclosing of his works.” – Sirach 11:29

    Don’t want to freak you out, but the stage has been set.

  7. Sygurd says:

    Father, could you please explain how are we to understand the way God joins every newly married couple? Since so many marriages fail or lead to suffering, how does this joining really work? Does just the receiving of the sacrament of marriage mean that God approves of it automatically? As far as I know, this idea is exclusive to Christianity so what are its theological foundations other than the statement of Jesus? I’m asking this in earnest, not to start any controversy, and I’m grateful for your pastoral reply.

    • Sygurd says:

      I wonder, Father, if you forgot about my question. Actually, this allows me to ask something more specific: if every marriage is automatically and eternally “sealed” by God, how can there be any grounds for its annulment (and we know, of course, that such grounds exist)?

      • Dennis says:

        Sygurd, an annulment is a declaration that a sacramental marriage never took place. So there are not any grounds in which a marriage can be annulled. It would be like trying to void a check I never wrote. In other words, a couple who receives an annulment never had a sacramental marriage that was “sealed” by God. In addition, any sealing is not eternal, for in Heaven, they neither marry nor are given in marriage.

        • Sygurd says:

          Well, this seems to me to be a bit of casuistry but it’s not important. Still, this doesn’t answer my original question.

          • Steven says:

            I can only speak of my own marriage, Sygurd. Until I joined the Church and was baptized this last April, my marriage to my wife (Catholic) was not considered sacramental. What this means it that I (not thing a recognized Christian) was entering into what I believed to be marriage: A legal contract binding myself and finances to my wife.

            Now if God had come down and asked me, “Are you willing to enter into a covenant with this woman, one that is free, total, open to life, and faithful for the rest of your natural life?” I might not have entered so willingly. Had I never joined the Church, never had our wedding blessed, and then my wife and I had decided to get divorced, the priest would have asked her a series of questions to determine if I had entered into a covenant with her under God, or if I had merely agreed to a legally binding contract under the U.S. legal system.

            The priest, in the Catholic Church, doesn’t marry the couple, they marry themselves by entering into a lifelong covenant with God. Does that make sense?

  8. James says:

    Legally, surrogacy requires IVF. Even if the client doesn’t have eggs of their own (such as two gay men), they cannot use the surrogate’s, even though using the surrogate’s eggs and conceiving through artificial insemination would be far less invasive for the surrogate and does not require the risks involved with egg donation or egg harvesting.

    Why? Because then the surrogate would be the mother and that would be selling a baby, which the law does not allow. Yet the law allows people to buy and sell the ingredients for making a baby and will honor the contract to put one together.

  9. James says:

    In this secular age some like to boast that there is no God. But the problem is that if there is no God then everyone is God.

    I would also add that in the most secularized and advanced parts of the world, old superstitions are re-emerging. Talk about the Church and science and someone always brings up Galileo, yet it is increasingly affluent and wealthy persons who believe in mystical energy sources, maintain strict and obsessive dietary laws (all-organic), and refusing to vaccinate their children.

  10. Thomas Lynch says:

    Our Prime Minister is a Practicing Catholic, so he says occasionally to the Catholic press. He has another story in the anti-Catholic Press, he says he leaves his religion at the Door of Parliament when attended. He is not alone many do exactly the same

  11. Nicole says:

    I agree, Monsignor, but I would ask that you please not direct sarcasm at the Buddhist woman. I know nothing about what the Buddhist take on surrogacy is, but I’ve read the articles and not only is she an impoverished debtor, but she is — not to be insulting, but how shall I put it? — simple. She did not understand what was meant by “tube baby,” but agreed to do it after being assured she would not have to have sex with a man who wasn’t her husband. She was used and dumped.

    • It is not sarcasm it is a real point of concern. She raised her faith and said it excludes, so speaking to it is fair game. Many today bow their heads at anything buddhist, but the fact is the Catholic Church has spoken clearly on this matter, why not the buddhists? If buddhism provides all this clarity (and thankfully at least her version of it does), why not all the way? So close yet so far. Surrogate motherhood is a violation against human life, human sexuality and marriage right up there with fornication, adultery, abortion and IVF.

      • Richard says:

        Buddhism as most every religion does not have a hierarchy (except perhaps in Tibet) so there is no central authority to “speak” for Buddhism. Islam, Judaism, Hinduism are all similar. Individual Buddhists probably have spoken but I suspect there is no agreement among them.

  12. Sheila M. Neugebauer says:

    If this is a repeat, please excuse. I, Sheila, would like to include this paper as a handout in my church’s weekend bulletin for Aug. 9-10, if you give permission. Please respond. Many thanks for this info.

  13. MikefromED says:

    During the Third Reich the Nazi regime encouraged unmarried women (deemed to be racially pure) to be impregnated by men who were deemed to be racially pure. The offspring were then adopted by ardent Nazis who promised to bring up the children as ardent Nazis. After the overthrow of the Third Reich the rest of the world reacted with horror to this scheme. With IVF and surrogacy ‘motherhood’ it is questionable if there would be the same reaction to such a scheme today.

  14. Rick says:

    RE: another facet of the whirlwind: Keep a sharp eye for the research that will show IVF produces mental illness in the offspring.

  15. MamaKelly says:

    Another stellar post, Monsignor. Thank you for taking the time to blog each week. God Bless You!

  16. […] By Monsignor Charles Pope, Pastor, Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, Archdiocese of Washington DC 18th Sunday of the Year, August 3, 2014 […]

  17. JohnR says:

    The details of the Australian couple who paid for this surrogate have been published here in Australia. They have gone missing here, but they have been named. Our Social Services are trying to locate them. The father has 26 previous convictions for child abuse and now The Social Services want to see the healthy girl which is the twin of this abandoned boy. They now fear for that child’s safety!
    There have been a couple of comments about our Prime Minister being a Catholic. We read in our papers that the first thing he did on being elected was to go riding his bicycle with friends as he does every Sunday morning.His sister is in a relationship with another woman and his wife and three daughters are in favour of same-sex “marriage”…so we are told.

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