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OTTAWA, Ontario, May 12, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The deep suffering of infertile couples must not tempt them to choose “the tragic pathway of in vitro fertilization” that destroys human life, said the archbishop of Ottawa on Wednesday.

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Archbishop Terrence Prendergast spoke about the anti-life techniques involved in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in his homily at a Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa, prior to the National March for Life of Canada. This year saw the largest gathering yet on Parliament Hill, with over 15,000 participants.

Prendergast said that society must recognize “the suffering of infertile couples” in order to help them avoid the temptation of achieving a baby “at any cost,” despite “the genuine and laudable yearning to see the fruit of their marriage” that motivates IVF seekers.

Prendergast pointed out that IVF achieves fertilization by conceiving several children in a laboratory simultaneously, “and only a few are allowed to live.”

“The baby then becomes an end, the sole focus of desire, a means used in the drive to produce life, tragically sacrificing human life,” said the archbishop. “These treatments are not truly human, because they do not welcome the new child as a gift of God. Instead the children are treated as a commodity.

“The desire for a child can only be satisfied at the expense of their brothers and sisters, who at the moment they were conceived were unique expressions of the image and likeness of God.”

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