The grave scandal to the Christian faithful

Bishop Thomas Olmsted is helpfully forthright. He’s up front about the fact that the Catholic church is adamant that women must die rather than terminate their pregnancies. He’s also up front about his absolute rule over Catholic hospitals.

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz., will be stripped of its Catholic status on Friday unless Catholic Healthcare West meets several demands outlined in a Nov. 22 letter from Bishop Thomas Olmsted…The issue stems from the 2009 decision by the hospital to authorize an abortion to save the life of a pregnant woman.

Catholics are not allowed to save a woman’s life at the expense of an 11-week-old fetus. They have to say No, and let her die. That is the Catholic way.

Olmsted wrote that St. Joseph’s hospital would need to meet several demands before the hospital could regain his support, including submitting to a diocesan review and certification “to ensure full compliance” with the Catholic Church’s moral teachings…CHW also must agree to provide its medical staff with ongoing training on the church’s ethical and religious directives regarding indirect abortions…

Olmsted wrote that CHW’s “actions communicate to me that [the hospital does] not respect my authority to authentically teach and interpret moral law in this diocese.”

How dare they. How dare they not respect a bishop’s authority to tell them to let a woman die instead of saving her life. How dare they not let a bishop run their hospital.

He added, “Because of this, I must act now” to ensure that “no further such violations” take place at the hospital and to “repair the grave scandal to the Christian faithful that has resulted from the procedure.”

The grave scandal to the Christian faithful is that a woman was not prevented from having a life-saving procedure. The grave scandal to the Christian faithful is that her four children still have a mother, which they wouldn’t have if the bishop had had his way. Grave scandal indeed.

Don’t forget: all faiths insist that compassion is the test of true spirituality.

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