Matt C. Abbott
December 22, 2010
Bravo, Bishop Olmsted!; Archbishop Dolan defends Catholic League
By Matt C. Abbott

Gee, is there any way we can make Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted bishop of, say, 90 percent of the U.S. dioceses? He definitely "walks the walk," which is more than one can say for many, if not most, bishops these days.

Bishop Olmsted has stripped St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix of its Catholic designation. Why? According to a Dec. 21 Catholic World News — an excellent source for Catholic news, by the way — story (excerpted; click here for the full article):

    'In a statement he released on December 21 — the date that he had set as the deadline for assurances from St. Joseph's Hospital and its parent corporation, Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) — Bishop Olmsted said that he planned further steps '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.'

    'Bishop Olmsted's detailed and pointed criticism of CHW policies will raise questions for other Catholic bishops in dioceses where CHW institutions are located, in California and Nevada. The bishops' complaints indicated that CHW institutions had been engaged in contraception, sterilization, and occasional abortions. The American Life League has released a separate report confirming the same charges against Catholic Healthcare West [click here to see ALL's report].

    'In a thorough public statement explaining his decision, Bishop Olmsted reveals that he has had concerns about the moral standards for care at CHW institutions for some time, and has been in discussions with CHW officials for seven years — since his arrival in the Phoenix diocese. He reported that he has made repeated demands that CHW comply with Catholic moral teaching regarding health-care policy, but 'sadly, over the course of these years, CWH has chosen not to comply.'

    'The situation came to a head, Bishop Olmsted explains, when he learned that an abortion had been performed at St. Joseph's Hospital last year. '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...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. Joseph's medical staff and ethics committee decided that the healthy, 11-week-old baby should be directly killed.''

Not surprisingly, the secular media is having a field day misrepresenting this story. For example, a Dec. 21 Reuters article begins this way: "The Catholic bishop of Phoenix on Tuesday stripped a local hospital of Catholic affiliation after it ended a woman's pregnancy to save her life."

Sheesh. How's that for "objective" reporting?



Archbishop Timothy Dolan, in a recent blog post, defends the Catholic League. Check it out.

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.


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