There are many couples in the U.S. who have decided not to have children due to the certainty that the offspring would get a horrible disease, passed to it through one of the parents.
But due to scientific breakthroughs, disease causing genes my now be removed from the embryo, which cause terrible disorders.
The process is simple: Sperm taken from the father and an egg from the mother create an embryo in a petri dish and are tested for the disease-causing gene, which is removed, and implanted in the mother. Of course the process involves "in vitro fertilization" because the egg is fertilized outside the mother's body.
One such case is a married couple who didn't want to have children because the child would be sure to get GSS, a neurological disease with leads to a slow, early, and painful death. But having gone through the procedure, the wife is now pregnant, and the healthy child will be born in early March.
I traveled to Rome to discuss the scientific breakthrough with Cardinal Baloney in the Vatican. I wanted to get the Roman Catholic Church's take on this new use of in vitro fertilization. Baloney was there for a meeting of the College of Cardinals who were debating how many rubber contraceptives could be destroyed in an 8' bonfire. I met him in his hotel room where a nun was shining his shoes.
"Holy Mother Church is opposed to any form of in vitro fertilization. This position has been re-affirmed by His Holy Supreme Majesty Ambrosia IV and the Magisterium Bullshiticum of the One And Only Infallible Church," said the New York Cardinal.
He went on to explain that procreative significance of the sexual marital act was violated by having a man masturbate his "sacred sperm" into a cup to be later put in a dish. In fact, the Cardinal, who was drinking a large single malt Irish whiskey during the interview, went into great detail about what he termed, "the art of masturbation."
I asked him if it wasn't the case that, if a loving married couple wanted to rear a disease free child, and modern science now made it possible, shouldn't the Church of Rome change its doctrine?
Cardinal Baloney responded "You can't separate the unitive and procreative aspects of human sexuality. Children would not be the product of the free and total gift of a husband and wife, but instead be the manufactured result of a laboratory process. Alleluia! The Word Of The Lord! Alleluia!"
I asked him, theology aside, if stopping Roman Catholic married couples from having disease free children wasn't cruel.
"Not at all," he responded. "this life is merely a passage into the afterlife. We are here to see if we merit God's eternal grace. "
"If the church were to modify the teachings of his Holy Supreme Majesty Ambrosia IV and the Magisterium Bullshiticum of the One And Only Infallible Church to conform to recent scientific findings, then the immortal souls of the couple who want healthy children would be imperiled. Alleluia!"
The interview was concluded and he poured himself a double shot of single malt and offered me the same.
Cardinal Baloney winked, raised his glass and said, "Well me lad, you've got to sometimes get a little help to lighten things up on a sometimes weary road to heaven."