Skip to comments.Bishop Removes Catholic Tag on Hospital Doing Abortion
Posted on 12/21/2010 11:02:44 AM PST by julieee
Bishop Removes Catholic Tag on Hospital Doing Abortion
Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix has removed the Catholic designation from St. Josephs Medical Center because of a controversial abortion it performed last year.
(Excerpt) Read more at LifeNews.com ...
Good for him!
It was certainly the right outcome, but a sad one. It would have been better if they could have kicked that heretic nun out of the Church and brought the hospital back to observance of Catholic precepts.
Get rid of the “Saint” part too.
Then it would simply be “Joe’s Medical Center”
I agree, sad to see, but I expect more “Catholic” colleges and hospitals will secularize in coming years.
Statement of Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted
December 21, 2010
Jesus says (Cf. Mt 25:40), Whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me.
Caring for the sick is an essential part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout our history, the Church has provided great care and love to those in need. With the advent of Catholic hospitals, the faithful could also be confident that they were able to receive quality health care according to the teachings of the Church.
Authentic Catholic care in the institutions of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) in the Diocese of Phoenix has been a topic of discussion between CHW and me from the time of our initial meeting nearly seven years ago.
At that first meeting, I learned that CHW already did not comply with the ethical teachings of the Church at Chandler Regional Hospital. The moral guide for Hospitals and Healthcare Institutions is spelled out in what are called the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I objected strongly to CHWs lack of compliance with these directives, and told CHW leaders that this constituted cooperation in evil that must be corrected; because if a healthcare entity wishes to call itself Catholic (as in Catholic Healthcare West), it needs to adhere to the teachings of the Church in all of its institutions. In all my seven years as Bishop of Phoenix, I have continued to insist that this scandalous situation needed to change; sadly, over the course of these years, CHW has chosen not to comply.
Then, earlier this year, it was brought to my attention that an abortion had taken place at St. Josephs Hospital in Phoenix. When I met with officials of the hospital to learn more of the details of what had occurred, it became clear that, in the decision to abort, the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld; but that the baby was directly killed, which is a clear violation of ERD #45. It also was clear that the exceptional cases, mentioned in ERD #47, were not met, that is, that there was not a cancerous uterus or other grave malady that might justify an indirect and unintended termination of the life of the baby to treat the grave illness. In this case, the baby was healthy and there were no problems with the pregnancy; rather, the mother had a disease that needed to be treated. But instead of treating the disease, St. Josephs medical staff and ethics committee decided that the healthy, 11-week-old baby should be directly killed. This is contrary to the teaching of the Church (Cf. Evangelium Vitae, #62).
It was thus my duty to declare to the person responsible for this tragic decision that allowed an abortion at St. Josephs, Sister Margaret McBride, R.S.M., that she had incurred an excommunication by her formal consent to the direct taking of the life of this baby. I did this in a confidential manner, hoping to spare her public embarrassment.
Unfortunately, subsequent communications with leadership at St. Josephs Hospital and CHW have only eroded my confidence about their commitment to the Churchs Ethical and Religious Directives for Healthcare. They have not addressed in an adequate manner the scandal caused by the abortion. Moreover, I have recently learned that many other violations of the ERDs have been taking place at CHW facilities in Arizona throughout my seven years as Bishop of Phoenix and far longer.
Let me explain.
CHW and St. Josephs Hospital, as part of what is called Mercy Care Plan, have been formally cooperating with a number of medical procedures that are contrary to the ERDs, for many years. I was never made aware of this fact until the last few weeks. Here are some of the things which CHW has been formally responsible for throughout these years:
Contraceptive counseling, medications, supplies and associated medical and laboratory examinations, including, but not limited to, oral and injectable contraceptives, intrauterine devices, diaphragms, condoms, foams and suppositories;
Voluntary sterilization (male and female); and
Abortions due to the mental or physical health of the mother or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
This information was given to me in a meeting which included an administrator of St. Josephs Hospital who admitted that St. Josephs and CHW are aware that this plan consists in formal cooperation in evil actions which are contrary to Church teaching. The Mercy Care Plan has been in existence for 26 years, includes some 368,000 members, and its 2010 revenues will reach nearly $2 billion. CHW and St. Josephs Hospital have made more than a hundred million dollars every year from this partnership with the government.
In light of all these failures to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Church, it is my duty to decree that, in the Diocese of Phoenix, at St. Josephs Hospital, CHW is not committed to following the teaching of the Catholic Church and therefore this hospital cannot be considered Catholic.
The Catholic faithful are free to seek care or to offer care at St. Josephs Hospital but I cannot guarantee that the care provided will be in full accord with the teachings of the Church. In addition, other measures will be taken to avoid the impression that the hospital is authentically Catholic, such as the prohibition of celebrating Mass at the hospital and the prohibition of reserving the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel.
For seven years now, I have tried to work with CHW and St. Josephs, and I have hoped and prayed that this day would not come, that this decree would not be needed; however, the faithful of the Diocese have a right to know whether institutions of this importance are indeed Catholic in identity and practice.
McBride was excommunicated.
Good bye tax exempt status? Or, at least being listed in the Kennedy Directory of Catholic Institutions. Let them flounder like any other non-profit until it shrivels and dies.
I read the whole article and it appears she was in fact, excommunicated:
"It was thus my duty to declare to the person responsible for this tragic decision that allowed an abortion at St. Josephs, Sister Margaret McBride, R.S.M., that she had incurred an excommunication by her formal consent to the direct taking of the life of this baby. I did this in a confidential manner, hoping to spare her public embarrassment."
Good. I would guess that this hospital was built and maintained for many years by the charitable donations of Catholics in the area. Then probably it was removed from direct diocesan control and given a board of trustees. Then the board of trustees was gradually taken over by dissidents, who now support this heretic nun in office.
Still very sad. This sort of thing has happened too often—I mean the gradual decay and twisting away of formerly Catholic institutions, not the Bishop’s response to it.