Did anyone notice this little story in the “briefs” at CNS?
Mercy nun at hospital that allowed abortion ‘no longer excommunicated‘
PHOENIX (CNS) — A Mercy sister who was automatically excommunicated because of her role on the ethics committee that allowed an abortion to be performed at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix in 2009 is back in good standing in the Catholic Church. In May 2010, officials at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center publicly acknowledged that an abortion had occurred at the hospital in late 2009. Officials said the woman was 11 weeks pregnant and suffered from pulmonary hypertension, a condition that the hospital said carried a near-certain risk of death for the mother if the pregnancy continued. It also was revealed at the time that Mercy Sister Margaret McBride had incurred automatic excommunication because of her role on the ethics committee that sanctioned the abortion. On Dec. 21, 2010, Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted announced that the hospital could no longer identify itself as a Catholic hospital. [NB:] In a Dec. 8 statement, the hospital said Sister Margaret has since “met the requirements for reinstatement with the church and she is no longer excommunicated. She continues to be a member in good standing with the Sisters of Mercy and is a valued member of the St. Joseph’s executive team.” [Has there also been a statement from the Diocese of Phoenix?] The statement, emailed to Catholic News Service in response to a query about her status, provided no more details and the hospital had no further comment. [I hate to bring this up, but there is an old adage: “Gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.“] Sister Margaret is currently the medical center’s vice president for organizational outreach. Last year when Bishop Olmsted issued his decree revoking the 116-year-old hospital’s affiliation with the Catholic Church, he wrote that he could not verify that the hospital provided health care consistent with “authentic Catholic moral teaching.” “It became clear that, in their decision to abort, the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld,” he said. The baby “was directly killed,” which is a violation of the church’s ethical and religious directives.
I am always happy when erstwhile errant person returns to Communion in the One True Holy Catholic Church. But this is a little fuzzy. If there was a public statement made confirming that the excommunication was incurred, shouldn’t there be a public statement confirming that the censure was lifted?
UPDATE 1648 GMT:
Think about this. In November she was given an award by Call To Action for what she did.
There is a video in which she effectively mocks the Church concerning the censure. Is that the attitude of someone who is going to be reconciled?
Am I missing something?
UPDATE 1915 GMT:
Okay, I am ready to believe that Sr. McBride has been reconciled. GREAT! I am happy for that, as all Catholics ought to be.
What I am wondering about is this: If there was a public statement from the diocese giving a confirmation of the excommunication, in justice shouldn’t there be a public statement from the diocese stating that it was lifted?
UPDATE 2005 GMT:
Don’t forget Dr. Peters’ excellent and affordable book on excommunications. HERE.