Vatican wants surrogacy to become 'universal crime'

ROME – The Vatican said in a new document on human dignity Monday that it wants to see surrogate motherhood, or surrogacy, banned worldwide as a "universal crime".

The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith's new Declaration "Dignitas infinita" (Infinite Dignity), which commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reaffirms "the indispensable nature of the dignity of the human person in Christian anthropology", says that "the condemnation of surrogacy, by means of which "the immensely worthy child becomes a mere object", is also strong.

This is a practice, it said, that "represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child.

"A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract." "Every human life, beginning with that of the unborn child in its mother's womb, cannot be suppressed, nor become an object of commodity," says the document.

"In this regard, I consider deplorable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which seriously damages the dignity of the woman and the child.

"It is based on the exploitation of a mother's situation of material need.

"A child is always a gift and never the object of a contract.

I therefore call for a commitment by the international community to ban this practice universally'.

Italy's rightwing government has tabled a bill to make surrogacy a universal crime, which would mean that gay couples bringing their children from a surrogate mother back to Italy would face prosecution.

The declaration also says that gays must be respected but that gender theory is extremely dangerous.

The document begins the section on gender theory by stressing that "every sign of unjust discrimination" against homosexual persons "is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence".

It is "contrary to human dignity", the Declaration says, that in some places "not a few people are "imprisoned, tortured and even deprived of the good of life solely because of their sexual orientation".

Gender theory, which is "extremely dangerous since it cancels differences in its claim to make everyone equal", is then criticized.

The Church, we read, recalls that "human life in all its dimensions, both physical and spiritual, is a gift from God.

This gift is to be accepted with gratitude and placed at the service of the good.

Desiring a personal self-determination, as gender theory prescribes … amounts to a concession to the age-old temptation to make oneself God".

Gender theory "intends to deny the greatest possible difference that exists between living beings: sexual difference".

Therefore, " all attempts to obscure reference to the ineliminable sexual difference between man and woman" are "to be rejected".

Sex change is also judged negatively since it "risks threatening the unique dignity the person has received from the moment of conception". This does not mean, however, excluding the possibility that "a person with genital abnormalities that are already evident at birth or that develop later may choose to receive the assistance of healthcare professionals to resolve these abnormalities".

In another section, the document says that violence against women is a global scandal, denying dignity.

Discrimination and violence against women are both condemned.

Among the latter are listed "coercive abortions, which affect both mother and child, often to satisfy the selfishness of males" and "the practice of polygamy".

Femicide is also strongly condemned.

"Violence against women is a global scandal, which is increasingly being recognized.

"While the equal dignity of women is recognized in words, in some countries the inequalities between women and men are very serious and even in the most developed and democratic countries the concrete social reality testifies to the fact that women are often not recognized as having the same dignity as men", says the document. (ANSA)