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Arizona hospital loses Catholic status over surgery

The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix has taken away the Catholic status of a Phoenix hospital over a surgery that ended a woman’s pregnancy to save her life.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted announced the decision to remove St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center’s Catholic status at a news conference Tuesday.

Olmsted says “the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld” and called the surgery an abortion.

He says the hospital is in violation of ethical and religious directives of the national Conference of Catholic Bishops, and will be prohibited from celebrating Mass and other Catholic traditions.

The hospital says the surgery was allowable under exceptions to the church’s abortion policy.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

2 comments

  1. God bless you, Bishop Olmsted. This decision took courage, to be sure. What no one in the media is focusing on is that there is a dead person involved in this case – this hospital deliberately took the life of a healthy baby, in clear defiance of the United States’ Bishops ethical guidelines for Catholic hospitals. The administration of the hospital, its medical staff, and its parent corporation have been carrying on with an array of practices that violate Catholic moral teachings, with no thought to inform the bishop, and no respect of his role as successor to the Apostles. Shame on them! Yes, this was a difficult case. But no one will ever know if both mother and child could have lived, will we? The child was preemptively killed because of a THREAT to the mother’s life. She was not deemed terminal; rather, there was a greater threat to her life due to her heart condition and maternal hypertension. This is doctors playing gods, nothing more, nothing less. They gave the bishop no options. They violated the Church’s clear guidelines, and refused to acknowledge that. He was left with no choice. God bless you, Bishop Olmsted.

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