Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix is refusing to allow a Catholic hospital under his care to continue ignoring Church teaching:
The Catholic bishop of Phoenix will strip St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center of its Catholic status on Friday if the hospital’s parent company, Catholic Healthcare West, does not meet his demands to guarantee compliance with church teachings.
Three demands were contained in a Nov. 22 letter Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted sent to Lloyd Dean, president of Catholic Healthcare West. The bishop wants the hospital to give him more oversight of its practices to ensure it complies with Catholic health-care rules, provide education on those rules to medical staff and acknowledge that the bishop is correct in a dispute over a procedure the diocese says was an abortion.
“There cannot be a tie in this debate,” Olmsted wrote. “Until this point in time, you have not acknowledged my authority to settle this question.” [AZ Central]
Bishop Olmsted is setting an important precedent.
Catholics hospitals derive the right to bear the name “Catholic” from the permission of their bishop. This is because the local bishop is responsible for “quality control” at catholic hospitals, so that catholics in his diocese can know with certainty that their health care will be administered according to the ethical principles formulated and defended by the Church.
Bp. Olmsted sent his letter to Lloyd Dean, President/CEO of Catholic Healthcare West. CHW has Twitter and Facebook accounts, and someone has already posted on CHW’s wall to oppose Bishop Olmsted:
Let’s drown out this hateful voice with our faithful ones. Visit CHW’s Facebook page and voice your support for Bishop Olmsted and the responsibility of this Catholic hospital to follow his directives! (note: you have to “Like” the page before you can post on their wall, and you need to have a Facebook account.)
Also, if you have twitter, please join me in retweeting this encouraging message to CHW.
Together, we can effectively support Bishop Olmsted’s simple request that a hospital in his diocese which bears the name Catholic also acts Catholic.