Being neither infertile nor Catholic this might be a strange book for me to review. However, I receive books to review from time to time from the kind people at Alban Books and I requested this one as I have had that agonised experience of waiting, waiting for a child and also am married to a Catholic so have more affinity than most Protestants for the particular considerations of Catholics.
Actually being a Protestant this book was a particularly interesting read for me as it reflects many aspects of Catholic Christianity that make it utterly distinct. The book is written by two Catholic women with experience of infertility – one complete and one who had had one child but could not conceive another and it examines closely the teachings of the Catholic church on dealing with this particular situation, inparticular how to approach fertility treatments. Essentially the Catholic Church teaches that anything that enhances the natural coming together of man and woman ie fertility drugs treatments for blocked fallopian tubes etc is fine. Anything that removes sex from the equation is not.
The book provides the references to official documents and clear explanations of why the teaching is the way it is. But it goes further than this to provide suggested prayers, reading and meditations for different situations with particular reference to saints to ask for intercession. It also offers stories of personal experience from the writers that would offer real support to anyone going through the same situation and asking themselves the same questions.
That’s why I would recommend this book to a conservative Catholic couple or a questioning one who wanted to understand the position on IVF and so on. But I wouldn’t recommend this as a guide for anyone outside that faith tradition.
Alban Books Website – http://www.albanbooks.com/