Speaking of Catholics, I received some heartening news from my friend Małgorzata Koraszewska, who, along with her husband Andrzej, runs the Polish rationalist wesite Racjonalista. The news is that Poland’s first test-tube baby has left the Church in protest. She writes:
Today in Poland the first Polish test-tube baby, Ms Agnieszka Ziolkowska, has performed an official act of apostasy (to be stricken from the list of Catholics in Poland you have to do it very formally). The Church demands a witness to this act, and her witness was Professor Tomasz Polak, a theologian, former priest who left the priesthood in March 2007 (you have no idea what a scandal this was!) and even changed his name (his former name was Weclawski). Ms. Ziolkowska decided to go for formal apostasy after Polish bishops condemned in vitro fertilization.
It really gladdens my heart and I wanted to share it with you. The link to an article about it (unfortunately, in Polish): is here.
This is an act of considerable bravery given that Poland is Europe’s most Catholic country, with up to 90% of its inhabitants identifying as members of the Church.
I was told that it’s not this easy to leave the church: even when excommunicated you’re supposedly still a Catholic, just one who is going to hell. And I’m not sure exactly why Catholics object to test-tube babies: wouldn’t that allow for more Catholics? My guess is that it has something to do with having babies “naturally,” which doesn’t involve test tubes and artificial insemination.