Bp. Olmsted is reinforcing Catholic identity again.
As I wrote some time ago: We’ve seen this movie before, and it ain’t The Bells of St. Mary’s.
I saw this at azcentral.com:
Bishop strips Mercy Gilbert Medical Center of Catholic status
By Michael Clancy
Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, a 212-bed hospital that served about 85,000 patients last year, mostly from the East Valley, has been stripped of its Catholic status.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix temporarily revoked the Catholic status of the hospital on Thursday. Mercy Gilbert had been the last Catholic hospital in the Phoenix area.
Officials from the diocese would not comment, but Olmsted said in a statement that the hospital has not met his criteria to be considered Catholic. [I wonder if other US bishops have criteria and if they are examining Catholic hospitals.]
Diocese spokesman Rob DeFrancesco declined to address the nature of the criteria, but he said nothing specific happened that concerned the bishop. [In other words, the woman religious administratrix didn’t approve abortions?]
The revocation is reminiscent of the bishop’s decision in December 2010 to revoke the Catholic status of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. Both St. Joseph’s and Mercy Gilbert are part of Dignity Health, a California company.
Paul Szablowski, vice president of marketing, communications and public relations for Dignity Health Foundation East Valley, said the hospital wants to retain its Catholic identity.
“We think we have a clear picture of what it will take to satisfy the bishop,” Szablowski said.
Julie Graham, the hospital’s public-relations and marketing director, later said that they believe the bishop was only warning them and that they still have the Catholic status. [Ummm…. Julie… what part of “revoked” was unclear?]
The diocese statement said that at this time, Olmsted could not guarantee that the hospital’s care fully conforms to Catholic teaching.
The Catholic Church details its positions in a 43-page document called Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. It includes the church’s opposition to contraception, abortion and euthanasia. It calls for consultation with the bishop under certain circumstances.
Two years ago, in the St. Joseph’s controversy, Olmsted declared the hospital to no longer be Catholic after talks failed to resolve differences that stemmed from a medical procedure at the hospital.
[Watch this…] A pregnant mother of four was ill with pulmonary hypertension, and doctors determined that surgery was needed to save her life. They also claimed the procedure met the terms of the directives. [Was that spin?]
Olmsted concluded the surgery was an abortion, not permitted under the directives.
In discussions with the hospital, he demanded more oversight, required the hospital to provide education about the directives to medical staff, and obliged the hospital to acknowledge his authority.
The hospital said it could not legally or ethically comply with Olmsted’s demands. [And, therefore, Olmsted was right to revoke their Catholic status.]
Officials at St. Joseph’s have said that, other than Olmsted’s declaration that Mass may no longer be celebrated at the hospital, nothing has changed as a result of his position. [Maybe “officials” at the non-Catholic hospital have said that, but the rest of the world knows that if a hospital is going to call itself Catholic, it has to be in line with criteria that the local bishop has the right to set and review. Furthermore, St. Joseph’s, formerly Catholic, became the hissing shame of the Catholic world for a time because of their decision.]