Here’s one biggie we missed last week: Remember the nun who was excommunicated earlier this year after approving the life-saving abortion for a critically sick patient? It looks like that wasn’t good enough to be make an example of, and Bishop Thomas Olmsted revoked St. Joseph’s Hospital Center of its Catholic status entirely because it “violated Catholic moral teaching”:
Linda Hunt, president of St. Joseph’s, said the woman was in imminent danger of dying unless the procedure was performed. “If we are presented with a situation in which a pregnancy threatens a woman’s life, our first priority is to save both patients,” meaning both the woman and the fetus, Hunt said. She added, “If that is not possible, we will always save the life we can save, and that is what we did in this case.” She continued, “Morally, ethically and legally, we simply cannot stand by and let someone die whose life we might be able to save” (AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/21).
The hospital is still planning to operate “in the Catholic tradition” without Church supervision. Olmsted also claims they “violate” other Catholic laws by offering contraception, sterilization and abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the mental health of the mother is in danger.
It’s a relief to see that the officials of the hospital didn’t bow down to the church’s contention that this was the wrong decision. A woman’s life was saved, and to be punished for doing that — if anything — is really where the question of morality should be raised.