January 5, 2012

Bulgarian Holy Synod Clarifies Position Regarding In Vitro Fertilization

January 4, 2012

The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church is not against in vitro fertilization, according to the Lovech Bishop, Gavrail.

Gavrail told the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, Wednesday that there had been a mistake in the opinion of the members of the Synod, which was published at the very last day of 2011.

In it, the Holy Synod opposes in vitro fertilization and surrogacy, viewing them as a "human interference that is counter to God's will in the existential foundations of life." (Read here)

Now the Lovech Bishop says that the Synod is only against surrogacy, and sees is it as unacceptable, while both the Greek and the Russian Orthodox Churches agree with in vitro fertilization under the condition that biological material is from the lawful husband. Other conditions include implanting all fertilized eggs and no eggs being destroyed.

"This is how the Church accepts in vitro. This is the opinion of the Holy Synod, and I cannot add anything to it," Gavrail said.

He, however, explained why the Church opposes surrogacy.

"There are many things there which are unacceptable. Tomorrow they will start cloning us. Do we have to agree to that as well? Maybe they try this method somewhere already? Our opinion is well explained in our December statement, but there is a mistake about the in vitro fertilization," according to the Bishop.