Local IVF practitioners are interpreting government’s decision to bring ultra-conservative Catholic Eleonora Porcu to Malta as an IVF expert as a move in the direction of having the local IVF facilities at Mater Dei under the control of the Vatican. Porcu has been Medical Doctor and Assistant Professor in Reproductive Medicine at the University of Bologna since 1977.
Porcu will be the main speaker during a public seminar about different methods used in assisted procreation and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) that is going to be held at the Grand Hotel Excelsior in Floriana on Thursday, August 9 at 19.00h.
The seminar is being organised by the Ministry for Justice, Dialogue and the Family together with the Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care.
Both ministries have published a very restrictive and conservative bill to introduce IVF in Malta. The bill was published the day after local bishops issued a pastoral letter against IVF.
At a Vatican conference on infertility last February, Pope Benedict XVI railed against reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization.
Speaking in the Vatican to an audience of conservative researchers and medical experts, the pope warned against the “easy income” that could be made from the “fascination of the technology of artificial fertility.” Both scientists and the families who benefit from scientific advances in fertility treatment are guilty of “the arrogance of taking the place of the creator,” Benedict said.
Jon O’Brien of Catholics for Choice said: “Catholics around the world will be saddened at the label ‘arrogant’ being applied to couples seeking help to have children and the doctors who try to help them. The pope’s remarks only serve to drive another wedge between people of faith and the church hierarchy. This attack on reproductive technologies is yet another display of the Vatican’s lack of empathy and understanding and a vain attempt to hold back scientific development as well as impede access to reproductive technologies for couples around the world.”