A new hospital in Rome has opened a program to help childless couples better understand fertility, using minimally invasive, natural approaches without drugs.
Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, noted that children “contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves.”
“Nevertheless,” he said, “we know that after a few years of marriage, some couples are faced with the ordeal of conjugal sterility. In addition to prayer, the Church is close to our brothers and sisters who are suffering, strongly encouraging scientific research aimed at overcoming natural sterility.”
Zimowski’s words came just days after news reports criticized the Vatican for failing to recognize the struggles of childless couples. The Daily Beast wrote, “Catholic Church Snubs Childless Couples,” saying that the Church is open to non-traditional couples, “but only if they have children.” The article faulted the Vatican for not paying more attention to this problem in the recent synod on marriage and the family.
The Holy Family Clinic, which opened this morning, will be addressing these needs. Domenico Arduini, director of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Rome’s Tor Vergata University, told Vatican Radio that “the really important issue is fertility.” He said that in today’s society, “The age of first pregnancy has shifted dramatically and now comes on average at 33.2 years of age. The purpose of this center is to study the time of fertility of the woman to help her, without drugs or invasive diagnostics to better manage their sex lives.”
There are also those couples, he went on, “who cannot get pregnant, despite their desire. And this, unfortunately, is a major problem, because the number of couples is increasing.” The purpose of the new center, he said “will be to identify those couples for whom, with a non-invasive approach and external support, there will be a real and objective possibility of achieving a pregnancy.”