Saturday, January 31, 2009

This CNN reports on an emerging story where a mother gave birth to octuplets, and the ensuing questions and debates on the religious, economic, moral and social issues that has resulted. At heart is that the single mom had been artificially implanted with the embryos, and had previously 6 other children.

Raising 14 children in an affluent household with 2 parents is a challenge, and that's what is most alarming of this story. The mom stays with her parents, and the grandparents are all ready on record of being against the new additions. Clearly not an ideal situation to raise children, and wish more adults would seriously think of the consequences on the child.

What's also saddening is the quick thought of using abortion to "fix" the problem ... what needs fixing is immature or arguably even mentally imbalanced adults who require very strong counseling, but instead a greedy infertility clinic went ahead with the implantation.

Let us all pray for all involved as this story continues to develop.


street theologian said...

Do we have a theology regarding family planning?

Joe V. said...

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou does an Ancient Faith podcast series called "Search the Scriptures" which is an Orthodox Bible Study, and in one of them she nicely explains how the early Church teachings were never in conflict with Science and Technology. Take a listen to the Introduction to Genesis (

Dr Constantinou discusses how the Catholic Church in particular really took a strong position against modern technologies, and of course Protestantism was a rebellion against Catholicism and hence inherited many of the same biases against Science.

I like the following explanation by Dr Constantinou - "in the East, the Church never compelled to tell somebody what they had to believe except in the area of Dogma. Then we say this is the Orthodox teaching, and that's it. But generally in other realms, people are left to believe what they want".

On somewhat related note, I'm sure when life is discovered on other planets, the media is going to have a field day on how this will "rock the faith of Christians". But, honestly, this will not change the Faith of Orthodoxy at all .. in fact, it'll be another reason to give Glory to the All Loving Creator.

Joe V. said...

umm .. of course, the above is my opinion!

I think the official Orthodox Church stance is (and should be) prayer. There are so many gray areas in this world, and family planning seems to be one of these .. one can make strong arguments for either side and everyone will be right.