Thursday, December 16, 2010

Phoenix Catholic Bishop Confirms: Hospital Should Have Let Mom AND Baby Die

Remember the nun who was excommunicated by her bishop for participating an emergency abortion to save a woman's life? The patient, a mother of four, developed life-threatening pulmonary hypertension while pregnant, and would probably have died along with her baby without the life-saving procedure.

Today we find the truly disgusting disregard the Roman Catholic Church has for human life and morals. Thomas J. Olmsted, the Bishop of Phoenix, has reiterated his position: the mother should have been left to die.

But even worse, he is now "pulling rank" on all of the doctors and insisting that they never again defy his authority.

He refuses to even consider anyone else's opinion. In a letter to the hospital's president, Olmsted wrote:
Thus far, you (CHW) have insisted that ... your interpretation of the ERDs [Ethical and Religious Directives] simply differs with my own. According to Catholic teaching though, there cannot be a "tie" so to speak in this debate. Rather, it is my duty as the chief shepherd in the diocese to interpret whether the actions at St. Joseph's and other hospitals meet the criteria of fulfilling the parameters of the moral law as seen in the ERD's.

... you have not acknowledged my authority to settle this question but have only provided opinions of ethicists that [sic] agree with your own opinion and disagree with mine. However it is ultimately the authority of the bishop as teacher and pastor that is determinative ... the Code of Canon Law dispels any doubt whose opinion on matters of faith and morals is decisive for institutions in the Diocese of Phoenix.

... I have determined ... that an abortion did occur at St. Joseph's. ... If actions speak louder than words, your actions communicate to me that you do not respect my authority to authentically teach and interpret the moral law in this diocese. ... you have discounted my legitimate authority. Because of this I must now act...
The bishop goes on to demand that doctors essentially let the Church make medical decisions. He demands that the hospital agree to this in writing. Bishop Olmsted closes by threatening:
Failure to fulfill these three requirements will lead me to decree the suspension of my endorsement of St. Joseph's Hospital, forcing me to notify the Catholic faithful that St. Joseph's Hospital no longer qualifies as a "Catholic" hospital... [which] would necessitate the following actions:
  • Removal of the Blessed Sacrament from all Chapels...
  • Prohibition of all Masses...
  • Public advisory ... through the [news and websites] that St. Joseph's no longer qualifies as a "Catholic" hospital.
You know what? That doesn't actually sound so bad, does it? I hope the good doctors of St. Joseph's defy this immoral bishop and instead put their patients first.

This is all about authority, not human life. Bishop Olmsted is pissed because the doctors won't kowtow to him. He would have let that mother and unborn child die, leaving four motherless children and a widow, just to make sure his authority remained unquestioned and absolute. Leave it to a celibate priest who has never personally experienced the joys and sorrows of marriage, love and children to be a cold-hearted moral dictator.

The only good news from this story is that the Catholics of Phoenix are going to be abandoning the Roman Catholic Church in droves.

(Thanks to Rho-sama for the tip!)


  1. Another immoral idiot contributing to the inevitable death of the church.

    And they dare to say that religion is the origin of morality, hahaha!

  2. Bishop Olmsted really does not have any meaningful arrows in his quiver, does he? Removing discs of bread from the hospital, prohibiting masses and declaring that the hospital no longer qualifies as "Catholic?" Sounds like a child having a tantrum, taking his ball and going home.

  3. You can thank Cuppy on Twitter for that lead.


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