Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix
In the wake of an abortion performed last year supposedly to save the life of an Arizona woman, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix has stripped St. Joseph Hospital of its Catholic status. The Pro-Life Action League applauds Bishop Olmsted for taking this brave stand for life.
“I have hoped and prayed that this day would not come,” Bishop Olmsted said in a statement [PDF].
“However, the faithful of the diocese have a right to know whether institutions of this importance are indeed Catholic in identity and practice.”
Never Right to Do Evil No Matter the Circumstances
The abortion was performed on an unnamed mother of five who had developed severe pulmonary hypertension. Doctors feared the woman would die if the baby was not aborted (despite the fact that over 480 physicians have signed a declaration that procured abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother). But Bishop Olmsted made the sanity of the Catholic position on this issue clear:
No one has the right to directly kill an innocent life, no matter what stage of their existence. It is not better to save one life while murdering another. It is not better that the mother live the rest of her existence having had her child killed.
Some have challenged the Catholic position on abortion, asking whether it would have been better that the woman’s other four children had become orphans, but Bishop Olmsted hits the nail directly on the head. Committing evil that good may come from it is not permissible in Catholic moral theology for the very good reason that there are no brakes on that train. How much evil can one do to prevent evil? Where do we stop once we allow exceptions?
The Bishop’s comments also make clear the Church’s concern for women where abortion is concerned. This woman now has to live the rest of her life knowing that she chose her own life over the life of her child. This is a horrible situation and one that would have been prevented had the staff of St. Joseph hospital followed the Church’s clear and unequivocal health directives.
We here at the League applaud Bishop Olmsted for the courageous stand he has taken for the cause of life at all stages of development and we hope that other bishops will follow suit in ensuring that Catholic medical institutions in their dioceses remain true to the Church’s teaching that all human life is of inestimable value.
Catholic Health Care Alive and Well in Chicago
Dr. Anthony Levatino speaks to medical personnel at Resurrection Hospital [Photo by Corrina Gura]
While we mourn the break that had to take place in Phoenix, the League is very happy with the Catholic health care situation in Chicago where we are headquartered.
In fact, recently the League teamed with local Resurrection hospital and former abortionist Dr. Tony Levatino to develop a protocol for helping women who have begun the several day process of a late term abortion reverse their decision and keep their baby.
Problems often arise in these situations when doctors don’t want to be held responsible for a procedure gone wrong or if the woman changes her mind about the abortion again. The staff at Resurrection were incredibly helpful and motivated in making sure that women who choose life in the middle of an abortion procedure will always find the help and support they need at their hospital.