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Sister Keehan – building the alternative Magisterium January 6, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.

She just won’t stop.  Now that  Bishop Thomas Olmstead (OR-Phoenix) has revoked the ‘Catholic’ status of the Phoenix hospital that allows abortions (and is part of Catholic HealthWest, more on that), Sr. Carol Keehan has come out in support of…….you guessed it, and it ain’t the bishop

Sister Carol Keehan — who leads 1,200 Catholic hospitals and health organizations nationwide and riled bishops with her key support of President Obama’s health care reform legislation last year — has told the National Catholic Reporter that the Phoenix hospital that authorized an abortion to save a mother’s life “correctly applied” Catholic ethics.

Yesterday, Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted stripped St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, the city’s leading hospital, of its Catholic status.

Olmsted cited disapproval of the hospital’s actions including abortion case and reproductive health services such as contraception sought by poor people and provided by the hospital through the state’s insurance program.

Olmsted said the hospital, founded by Sisters of Mercy and now part of Catholic Healthcare West, failed to heed the ethical directives issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

 Keehan said the hospital……has many programs that reach out to protect life. They had been confronted with a heartbreaking situation. They carefully evaluated the patient’s situation and correctly applied the ‘Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services’ to it, saving the only life that was possible to save.”


That statement is not true, as complete data on the nature of the case has not been made public.  She does not have a right to access to that information, and is simply following the lead of Catholic HealthWest, which, as the most profitable member of the Catholic Health Association which Keehan heads, and one of the staunchest supporters of Obamacare, is hardly surprising.  Keehan is simply reprising her role as head lobbyist for a very profitable group of nominally non-profit ‘Catholic’ hospitals (CHW has reported hundreds of millions of profits over the last several years, and stands to reap far more under Obamacare). 

What is even more interesting, is the confirmation, by the very liberal Cathy Lynn Grossman of USAToday (who has been very hostile to Pope Benedict and orthodox Catholics over the past few years), that Keehan’s action in supporting Obamacare, along with the heterodox, unfaithful female religious who sent letters to various congressmen, provided key cover in allowing nominally ‘pro-life’ democrats to vote in favor of Obamacare, especially Bart Stupak:

For Keehan, this is a return to the headlines after last year’s clash with bishops on whether the Obama health reform package sufficiently banned any federal funding for abortion.

The USCCB said no. But Keehan and other nuns said yes — becoming heroes to progressive Catholics and provoking vitriol from some bishops to this day.

In the final days of the contentious health care reform debates, Keehan and nearly 60 other nuns and leaders of religious orders found the legislation’s numerous anti-abortion funding provisions were sufficient. They came out in favor of the bill, saying it was “life affirming” legislation. This gave enough legislators religious cover to allow them to vote for the bill.

Exactly, which was the entire purpose of that letter of support. 

And so, the construction of the alternative Magisterium goes on.  So long as this naked, public dissent (which used to be called heresy) continues unchecked by our ordinaries, the alternative Magisterium will continue to grow and metastesize and undermine the Authority of the Church, and those who hold ultimate responsibility for the Faith in each diocese, the bishops.  By permitting Sr. Keehan to continue her public role unpunished, she will continue to undermine the authority of all bishops, especially in this country.  Is this what ‘pastoral’ leadership looks like?


1. An excellent analysis of Sr. Keehan’s dissent « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - January 14, 2011

[…] examines her behavior both then, and during Bishop Olmstead’s battle to keep the Catholic identity of hospitals in his Diocese intact (Phoenix) – a battle he ultimately lost, when the hospital refused to adhere to Catholic doctrine and […]

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