Recently Sean and I have engaged in a few online discussions with those that were quite bothered by Sean’s recent CNN blog challenging the Catholic Church (My Take: Catholic Church should reverse opposition to in vitro fertilization May 10, 2011)
IVF to conceive. They all have deeply held convictions in Catholic doctrine. If the Church deems it one way, it’s that way, for them. There are no exceptions.
Well if you don't deem in that way then why be Catholic? Catholicism is more than being born into it and having a big party for baptisms, first communions, confirmations and weddings. It's more than a social gathering on Sunday mornings or CYO sports. If you don't believe:
2032 The Church, the "pillar and bulwark of the truth," "has received this solemn command of Christ from the apostles to announce the saving truth." "To the Church belongs the right always and everywhere to announce moral principles, including those pertaining to the social order, and to make judgments on any human affairs to the extent that they are required by the fundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls."
Why bother? There are plenty of Christian denominations that will fit any particular bill and there's always the option of starting your own!
I respect their beliefs. If that’s what helps them make order of their lives, or sleep at night, and their belief isn’t infringing on the safety of others, who am I to say they are wrong? If approached right, I may even want to learn about why they think the way they do. After all, if we’ve learned anything from our experience it’s that well developed dissenting opinions are often accompanied by valuable nuggets of wisdom.
In my experience with her, Carolyn doesn't allow the discussion to get into the "well-developed phase." Again, from my brief experience with her she dissolves into logical fallacies, or fails to respond, or erases comments! Even her bishop tried, and he was accused of being uncaring and having bad timing. I'm not sure what "approached right" means but I'm pretty sure anything that supports the church's teaching on this is already going to be on the wrong track.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a single communication from those that are upset, that hasn’t initially contained or eventually denigrated into a personal attack against us or our family.
Another has called us neglectful of Drew, Ryan and MK claiming that we didn’t pay enough attention to their achievements during our pregnancy with Logan. (We wrote about how we were hyper-cognizant of them during my pregnancy, recognizing that the challenges we were facing could distract us from their needs.)
For the record, this is what I wrote in the Amazon review:
"I also wondered about the other Savage children. One of their sons is a great cross country runner, but his parents obsession with in vitro and surrogacy took their full attention from his achievements. During this time they also had a toddler daughter but their unfortunate situation overshadowed her milestones.
And I based that on the book - for example the last paragraph of page 57."
Yet another Amazon reviewer thinks we don’t belong in the pews of our church on Sundays. I guess we are not worthy according to her standards.
Actually the reviewer named Joanna wrote:
Carolyn, I'm curious... if you believe that Catholic Church teaches false doctrine, why are you Catholic? I left my (Protestant) church when I began to believe that they taught false doctrine.
It's a fair question. True to form, Carolyn didn't address it there.
The regretful reality is when someone loses their cool and litters their opinions with insults and attacks, they lose credibility. Any insights that could have been garnered from a respectful back-and-forth, are lost.
I honestly didn't see anyone lose their cool or use insults or attacks except Ms. Savage who said I "barraged" her blog with comments (I only made one comment).
My dad always said, “If you want to see who a person really is….piss ‘em off. They’ll show you their true colors every single time.”)
I think her dad is very wise. Carolyn Savage has become a public figure with a book and national media coverage at her disposal (they have a public relations firm) and a lot of public support for the ordeal she went through. Yet because a few of us Catholics who were disturbed that the Catholic church kept getting dragged into this story (when clearly if church teaching had been followed there wouldn't be a story) her focus has moved beyond the many accolades, to settle on us in an attempt to squelch respectful dissent.
For the five Catholics that felt compelled to show us the “error of our ways” with regards to how our children were conceived—in the future please exercise some self-control by resisting the temptation to insult and attack.
Sadly, only five Catholics have spoken up about this. Not that it would matter I suppose, as any type of gentle teaching on this is giong to be construed as "insult and attack"
You’ll never shame us (or anybody for that matter) into listening to you.
Probably very true. If her own bishop couldn't do it, I think that door is closed.