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Bishop blasts largest Catholic hospital chain – UPDATE – IMPORTANT! December 15, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, Society.

Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix, one of a number of bishops for whom I pray every night, has blasted Catholic HealthCare West (CHW), an ostensibly Catholic hospital chain (and one of, if not the, most profitable “non-profits” in the country), for disregarding Church doctrine on abortion.  One of the issues was the performance of an abortion at a CHW hospital in Phoenix last year, but there are much wider problems:

On December 17, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix will declare that St. Joseph’s Hospital is no longer a Catholic institution unless its parent company recognizes that the abortion that took place there violated the US bishops’ ethical directives and pledges it “will never occur again.”

The bishop’s November 22 letter to Lloyd H. Dean, president of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), followed earlier correspondence in which Catholic Healthcare West, relying on the analysis of M. Therese Lysaught, attempted to justify the killing of the unborn child that took place at the hospital in late 2009. Lysaught is associate professor of theology and director of graduate studies at Marquette University.

In response, Bishop Olmsted wrote that as bishop, it was his task to interpret the moral law and the bishops’ ethical norms authoritatively within the diocese.

Bishop Olmstead also stated that if St. Joseph’s Hospital wished to remain a Catholic hospital, it must consent to a review by the diocesan medical ethics board and training of its staff by the medical ethics board or the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Going beyond the issue of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Bishop Olmsted blasted Catholic Healthcare West for operating some hospitals that do not abide by the US bishops’ ethical directives. Citing the example of a hospital within diocesan boundaries, he spoke of his

absolute objection to CHW operating hospitals without following the ERDs [Ethical and Religious Directives]; namely my objections to your administration of Chandler Regional Hospital, where as an organization calling itself “Catholic,” CHW authorizes sterilizations and I know not what other immoral acts. I continue to find this arrangement deeply troubling………

In September 2009, Dean, Catholic Healthcare West’s president and CEO, lauded a speech by President Obama on healthcare reform. According to Federal Election Commission records, Mr. Dean made $10,000 in contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee over a ten-day period earlier that summer and donated an additional $250 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. An early supporter of Obama’s presidential campaign, Mr. Dean gave $2,300 [the federal individual limit – ED] to Obama for America in September 2007

I will also add that, CHW, as part of the Catholic HealthCare Association headed by Sr. Carol Keehan, lobbied strenously for Obamacare, and that both organizations stand to earn untold billions in reliable, there every year federal dollars, should Obamacare come into effect.  CHA repeatedly defied very clear explanations of how Obamacare would fund abortion and other services antithetical to Catholic moral doctrine in their continual support.

UPDATE: It seems CHW has a facebook page.  Some are indicating their support for CHW refusing to follow Bishop Olmstead’s legitimate authority.  You can leave your own comments for CHW at their facebook page here.


1. Two data points on Catholic identity « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - December 16, 2010

[…] a tangentially related post, Catholic Culture also reported on the goings on between Bishop Thomas Olmstead of the Diocese of Phoenix, and the Catholic Heath West hospital chain…that has been providing contraception, and performing “emergency” abortions: Despite the […]

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