Pope Benedict waves during a meeting with members of the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican Feb. 25.

CNS PHOTO | L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO VIA REUTERS

Pope Benedict waves during a meeting with members of the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican Feb. 25.

March 5, 2012

An almost exclusive reliance on technology and a focus on financial profit seem to dominate the field of medical responses to infertility, Pope Benedict said.

However, what couples need and deserve, he said, is "a correct diagnostic evaluation and a therapy that corrects the causes of infertility."

Pope Benedict spoke Feb. 25 to members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which had just held a daylong workshop at the Vatican on diagnosing and treating infertility.

At the conference, physicians and researchers said modern medicine's almost automatic recommendation that couples having trouble conceiving try in vitro fertilization.

That response does not seek the cause of infertility, but addresses only the symptom and does so in a way that violates Church teaching.

The procedure is costly, and the Catholic Church teaches IVF is immoral.

"In effect, scientism and the logic of profit today seem to dominate the field of infertility and human procreation, reaching a point where it also limits many other areas of research," Pope Benedict said.

The pope also said Catholic couples need to know their marital vocation is not diminished if they cannot have children.