Sperm donors pose social doctrine test
Many mainland Catholics don’t know Church’s stand on reproductive matters
Many young Catholics think donating sperm is an act of charity
ucanews.com reporter, Guangzhou
March 24, 2011
Chinese college students are flocking to become sperm donors with many young Catholics supporting the process in apparent defiance of their Church's teachings. Some say they do not know the Church position on reproductive techniques or even abortion. "I don’t know the Church’s position, but I won’t oppose” an act that helps infertile couples and improve social development, said Joseph Wen from Guangzhou. He said he believes that morality changes as the society progresses. A donor can receive up to 3,000 yuan (US$450) in subsidies if he finishes the whole process of 10 donations over three months. That is the equivalent to an average yearly scholarship for an outstanding student. Guangdong province’s official sperm bank received more than 900 donations last year, about twice the number of previous years. But the Church is opposed to sperm or egg donation as well as surrogacy as it says it goes against the right of the child to be born of one father and one mother. Some young Catholics, however, believe sperm donation is a positive thing. It is “a charitable act to sacrifice oneself to help others,” said Paul Zhuang, who believes it should be encouraged. “If I were a man, I would become a donor immediately. I can get not only the money, but also free checkup. What a good thing!” said Teresa. Many Catholics lay the blame for young people's enthusiasm for donation on priests who do not teach them the social doctrine. The parish priest "never mentioned it, just like school teachers never teach sex education," and most laypeople do not know they cannot use artificial contraception or have abortions, said Zhuang.