In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, Father Dave speaks with Angelique Ruhi-Lopez, a writer whose own infertility journey motivated her to write “The Infertility Companion for Catholics: Spiritual and Practical Support for Couples.” Her book was the first authentically Catholic book of its kind to provide answers on the Church’s view on infertility, as well as support for couples walking this path.
Ruhi-Lopez talks with Father Dave about what it’s like for couples to deal with infertility.
“It has so many challenges,” Ruhi-Lopez said. “For us, it was one of the most challenging times in our marriage. It has a huge bearing on the marriage. It has a huge bearing on ourselves and our own identities. For so many of us, we are called to be parents, and when that’s not happening, we start to question: Is this what God wants for me? It’s a dark period. It’s a lonely period. There’s a lot of taboo. People don’t want to talk about this. I do know there’s more openness in the Church to want to talk about this now, but still, there’s a lot of loneliness involved in this journey and so much uncertainty.”
She goes on to talk about the different ways men and women process and deal with infertility and the effects it can have on a marriage. “It can be an opportunity for destruction in the marriage or it can be an opportunity for grace and blessings and unity in the marriage. A lot of times it boils down to the choice that we make and how we’re going to face this. Do we have a unified front here? There’s going to be stressors. There are going to be challenges. There’s going to be arguments. But we make the choice as a couple to face this together.”
“The Infertility Companion for Catholics” addresses the acceptable moral options for Catholics who are dealing with infertility. A chapter in the book discusses treatments for fertility that the Church considers immoral and another chapter that lists options that are available to Catholics. Ruhi-Lopez specifically talks about IVF and why the Church is opposed to it, referring to the USCCB’s guidelines: “Any procedure that assists the marital act [the way that God intended to conceive children] is acceptable. Any procedure that substitutes or replaces the marital act and/or introduces a third party is not acceptable.” She explains that an example of assisting the natural marital act would be surgery to remove adhesions from endometriosis, which makes a woman healthier and hopefully helps allow the woman to get pregnant.
Ruhi-Lopez talks about her own journey and discerning adoption as the best path for her family. She encouraged people to look into the options available to them where they live. (Original Air 04-25-17)