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Pope says marriage is only place 'worthy' of conception

Pope Benedict also said that infertile couples should shun artificial procreation.

The Pope greets a private audience at the Vatican on Saturday.
The Pope greets a private audience at the Vatican on Saturday.
Image: AP Photo/Osservatore Romano

POPE BENEDICT XVI called on infertile couples to shun artificial procreation, saying such methods are a form of arrogance during a Vatican conference last weekend.

Benedict spoke on Saturday at the end of a three-day Vatican conference on diagnosing and treating infertility. He reiterated Vatican teaching in saying that marriage was the only permissible place to conceive children.

Benedict also reportedly pressed a church ban against artificial procreation. He said infertile couples should resist resorting to any method to try to conceive other than sex between husband and wife.

“Indeed, the union of a man and a woman, in that community of love and life which is marriage, represents the only worthy ‘place’ for a new human being to be called into existence,” the Vatican Information Service quotes him as saying.

He said that in the case of infertile couples that while the church is “attentive to the suffering of infertile couples”  there was a drive for profit as well as an “arrogance” that seemed to dominate the field of infertility.

He warned against what he called the “fascination of artificial procreation technology.”

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“Science, nonetheless, is not always capable of responding to the needs of many couples, and so I would like to remind those who are experiencing infertility that their matrimonial vocation is not thereby frustrated,” the Holy Father said.

- additional reporting from AP

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Hugh O'Connell

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