Page 4, 7th December 1984

7th December 1984
Page 4
Page 4, 7th December 1984 — IVF and bishops

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IVF and bishops

WH1LE thanking Jonathan Petre for his helpful news analysis on Catholic reaction to the Warnock Report (30 November) may 1 make a factual correction of one of its details.

The forthcoming response to the Warnock Report, which is expected this coming week, is in fact the work of a Joint BioEthics Committee, which now includes representatives of the three Bishops' Conferences of these islands. It is not the work of the Department for Social Responsibility of the English and Welsh Bishops.

Later in his analysis, your correspondent refers to the bishops' approval of the "simple case" of IVF. The actual terms of the Bishops' comments were, in fact, rathe5

more cautious. They did not give approval to the present practice of IVF within marriage, but equally they did not wish to exclude the possibility that future developments in IVF could eliminate those factors which make current practice immoral.

Finally may I add that the bishops' intention was not to tackle or resolve detailed theological arguments at this stage but to exercise prudent discernment in an area full of complex possibilities and farreaching pastoral implications. Mgr Vincent Nichols . General Secretary Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, 39 Eccleston Square, London SWIV 1PD

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