ST. LOUIS -- "Be fruitful," God instructed Adam and Eve, "and multiply."
They were the first words God spoke to his creation, and his creation has heeded them ever since. But over the years, God's creation has become sophisticated enough to rewrite the original rules of being fruitful, and most of the new rules don't sit well with leaders of the Catholic church.
There is "great confusion among lay Catholics regarding the church's teaching on human reproductive technologies," Philadelphia's Cardinal Justin Rigali said at the U.S. bishops' meeting in Baltimore last November. "There is a need to help Catholics understand specific differences between the Catholic understanding and a secular understanding of human life."
When Rigali was archbishop of St. Louis, he celebrated a Mass for infertile couples, as did the current archbishop, Robert Carlson, on Tuesday (Feb. 16) night.
By celebrating a Mass for infertile Catholics, Carlson walked a pastoral high-wire act that has becoming increasingly familiar to church leaders.