Am I in grave sin with my career?


:confused: My question is as a current Catholic in good standing, am I in grave sin with my line of work?
I work for one of the largest diagnostic laboratories in the country. We perform specialty infectious desease testing for hospitals and clinics around the country. Everything from Adenovirus to HIV, to Herpes, to West Nile Virus. One of the areas we specialize in is testing for IVF clinics. That is In Vetro Fertilization clinics, where we test a potential sperm, or egg donor to make sure they are clean of any infectious diseases b/f being artificially united. What I’ve come to understand is that many of these fertilization clinics help couples who cannot concieve by implanting several prefertilized eggs into the mother’s uterus to see if one or more stick. The problem is The United States laws has no limit on the # of eggs that can be implanted. Therefore many times when the mother has her ultrasound she discovers she has 4 that stuck so she then chooses to “reduce” the # of babies she wants to have.
My wife and I live by the Natural Family Planning technique and do not believe in using these such measures to concieve. According the Catechism "Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excom. to this crime against human life. A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommucication. latae sententiae."
There are so many procedures in the medical industry that uses abortion as a means to cure other problems such as Infertility. Cell tube culture testing to diagnose RSV by way of MRC-5 cells lines is another example.
I don’t know what answer I’m looking for. If you tell me this is indeed grave do I have the strength to quite and find another line of work? I don’t know the answer to that yet… I’ve spoken with several priests but they don’t have knowledge of this line of work. One priest asked me if it were my wish this type of work to continue and I said of course not. He then absolved me and said as the work of satan mixes throughout our culture many people will be ill affected by this culture of death.
Anyway I’d appreciate some feedback from your spiritual advisors @ Catholic Answers. Thank you in advance.


Dear Boyk,

You are certainly aiding in the process of In Vitro Fertilization. This doesn’t sound good to me. I suggest that you contact the National Catholic Bioethics Center:

I know this impacts your livelihood. You are in my prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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