The Pope has been attacked as archaic and out of touch after urging infertile couples to shun IVF and insisting sex between a husband and wife was the only acceptable way of conceiving.
Melinda Roberts, mother of Thomas, 3, and Matthew, 7 months, said Pope Benedict XVI’s words angered her.
“Both of my children were conceived through IVF, and every day my husband and I are eternally grateful for the assistance,” the Glen Waverley mum said.
Monash IVF director Professor Gab Kovacs said the Pope was out of touch, and “most … in his congregation take no notice of him”.
Many Catholic couples sought fertility treatment, allowing themselves to be dictated by their consciences and what was right, rather than the church, Prof Kovacs said.
He said the Catholic Church had not changed its stance since the beginning of reproductive medicine in the 1970s.
Speaking at a conference on infertility in Rome, the Pope said artificial methods of getting pregnant were arrogance, insisting that sex between a husband and wife was the only acceptable way of conceiving.
Matrimony was the “only place worthy of the call to existence of a new human being”, he told scientists and fertility experts.
“The human and Christian dignity of procreation, in fact, doesn’t consist in a “product”, but in its link to the conjugal act, an expression of the love of the spouses of their union, not only biological but also spiritual,” he said.
Melbourne’s City Fertility Centre medical director Dr David Wilkinson said most of his patients had already been trying to conceive through conjugal relations, but it had not worked.