Sr. Keehan off hospital board for defying bishops, supporting Obamacare

Remember A Magisterium of Nuns?

From Lifesite:

Sister Keehan Off Prestigious Hospital Board over Obamacare Fallout

By John-Henry Westen

WASHINGTON, DC, June 4, 2010 ( – Sister Carol Keehan, President of the US Catholic Health Association, has been pressured off the prestigious Holy Family Hospital Foundation board over her support for the federal health care bill. Sr. Keehan, in opposition to the United States bishops, was a key supporter of the abortion-expanding bill – so much so that she was given one of the 21 ceremonial pens President Obama used to sign the measure into law.

The hospital is a work of a Catholic Order known as the Knights of Malta.  

One of the members who holds the position of Hospitaller, a leading office in the ancient Order, wrote a letter of concern to the presidents of all the Order of Malta associations in the United States noting that Sister Keehan remained on the board of the Holy Family Hospital Foundation even though she supported the health care bill, which opens taxpayer funding of abortion, and even though she acted in contradiction to U.S. bishops.

In response to the complaint, Sister Keehan resigned from the board with a letter of her own in which she expressed great displeasure with the criticism directed at her, characterizing it as “abusive.

However, the “abusive” criticisms in the letter of complaint were mostly a compilation of quotes from the Vatican’s Archbishop Raymond Burke who, like other bishops in the US such as Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann, expressed shock at Sister Keehan’s defiance of their pro-life opposition to Obamacare.

“Who could imagine that consecrated religious would openly, and in defiance of the bishops as successors of the apostles, publicly endorse legislation containing provisions which violated the natural moral law in its most fundamental tenets – the safeguarding and promoting of innocent and defenseless life, and fail to safeguard the demands of the free exercise of conscience for health care workers?," wrote Burke.

“The spiritual harm done to the individual religious who are disobedient and also the grave scandal caused to the faithful and people in general are of incalculable dimensions.” [How is that "abusive"?  Sorry… I needed to throw that switch and try to think like a liberal.]

Although LifeSiteNews viewed Keehan’s letter of resignation decrying "abusive" treatment, Fred Caesar, Special Assistant to the CHA President, Keehan denied the situation.  "Sr. Carol Keehan was not ‘pressured off the Holy Family Hospital Foundation Board’ in any way,” Ceasar responded to LifeSiteNews.  “You can verify that fact with the Chairman,” he added, refusing further comment.

In fact, Chairman James Murray’s letter to the Hospitaller, also seen by LSN, said specifically that “Sister Carol has tendered her resignation from the Board as a result of your letter.”

The Chairman expressed displeasure with the situation saying that the Hospitaller had, by causing Keehan to resign, harmed the work of the foundation and the hospital as well as the women who use it.

In the end, suggested a Knight who wished to remain unnamed, “Carol Keehan was basically forced out under pressure by Knights and Dames of Malta.”  It was, he said “part of an ongoing effort to keep the Order of Malta true to its pro-life foundations.”

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  1. Tom in NY says:

    Ordo cuncto mundo pro vita et pecuniis et bonis operibus pugnat.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  2. wmeyer says:

    Kudos to the Knights for their determination to remain true to their principles.

    I shall pray for Sr. Keehan, that she may find her way back from the errors into which she appears to have fallen.

  3. Central Valley says:

    “part of the ongoing effort to keep the Order of Malta true to its pro-life foundations.” Sounds good, if only the Knights of Columbus could follow their lead.

  4. medievalist says:

    What was true in the Middle Ages remains true now…don’t mess with angry knights.

  5. TrueLiturgy says:

    I second what Central Valley said!

  6. Revixit says:

    It amazes me that anyone sympathizes with such sisters. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of the sister who was “persecuted” by being excommunicated for approving an abortion in the hospital where she works. The media ought to explain that the sister knew, or should have known, that she automatically excommunicated herself when she made that decision.

    I can understand her concern for the pregnant woman whom doctors insisted would die if she didn’t have an abortion, though I don’t think doctors can know that for sure and it seems the woman could have been treated in some other way, a way that might indirectly cause the death of the baby, which is allowed by the Church. Next time I see a guy i know who’s an OB-GYN, I’m going to ask him about this, if there’s ever an instance where direct abortion must be performed to save the mother’s life. He’s not Catholic but I suspect he’s a pro-life Baptist.

    Anyway, if I’d been in the sister’s position, I’d have refused to sign off on the abortion, offered my resignation. They would probably have simply transferred her to another job, which is what has been done since her participation in allowing an abortion became known. And if they’d accepted her resignation, she probably would have been hired by another hospital or a pro-life group within days of the news. Though maybe it wouldn’t have been news if a sister obeyed the Church teachings and quit her job instead of approving an abortion. Nobody to get outraged there except pro-lifers and the media ignore us… Deo gratias for the Knights of Malta.

  7. TJerome says:

    It’s time for her to be excommunicated publicly – bell, book, and candle. She’s just another lefty Democrat masquerading as a Catholic.

  8. Jack Hughes says:


    I don’t think it would do much good, just better to pray and sacrifce for her and nutty priests/religious

  9. The Egyptian says:

    One Brickbat at a time :D

  10. Thomas G. says:

    I’d like to know who that Hospitaller was so I could thank him for acting on his convictions in support of the unborn and his Order.

  11. Jack Hughes says:

    Additional thought, which one amongst us would recognise Sr. Keehan as a professed religious if we saw her walking down the street? its very sad when they don’t give public witness to their vows

  12. spock says:

    Another ecclesial contradiction removed…..

    May God Bless Archbishop Burke and all the other good Bishops.

  13. Trad Tom says:

    While the actions of the Knights of Malta are commendable — and correct! — let us remember that “Sister” Keehan remains the president of the US Catholic Health Association, which is even more scandalous. The United States CATHOLIC Health Association!!!!!

    How long, Lord? How long??

  14. Magpie says:


  15. wanda says:

    Central and True, Is there an issue with the Knights of Columbus that we should know about?
    I’d be glad to help hold their feet to the fire if I can, or at least start rubbing two sticks together. Thank you.

  16. John V says:

    Don’t forget that in a few weeks the Catholic Health Association is having its annual Convention Assembly in Denver. Theme? “Forging Our Future: Strengthening the Ministry through Turbulent Times”.

    As I recall, Archbishop Chaput responded pretty quickly and aggressively to Sister Keehan’s statement of support for Obamacare (“Regrettably, groups like Network and the Catholic Health Association have done a grave disservice to the American Catholic community by undermining the leadership of the nation’s Catholic bishops, sowing confusion among faithful Catholics, and misleading legislators through their support of the Senate bill.”) and followed up in similar fashion (“But the actions of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) in providing a deliberate public counter-message to the bishops were both surprising and profoundly disappointing; and also genuinely damaging. In the crucial final days of debate on health-care legislation, CHA lobbyists worked directly against the efforts of the American bishops in their approach to members of Congress. The bad law we now likely face, we owe in part to the efforts of the Catholic Health Association and similar ‘Catholic” organizations.'”)

    I’m guessing the Archbishop won’t be part of the program at the Assembly.

  17. Thomas G. says:

    Wanda – yes, there is a controversy regarding Knights who publicly champion abortion “rights” and same-sex “marriage” in their politics while also trumpeting their status as Knights (these are typically Knights who hold public office).

    Go over to and check out the Commentary section.

  18. Geoffrey says:

    God bless the Sovereign Military Order of Malta!

  19. wanda says:

    Thomas G., Thank you, I shall look at the Catholic Culture site.

  20. Central Valley says:

    Wanda, the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus refuses to allow state and local councils from removing pro abortion pro gay marriage elected officials from their ranks, even though their constitution allows expulsion from the Order. Massachusetts is the most recent to have attempted to expel. California councils have tried only to be stopped by State and Supreme councils.

  21. TNCath says:

    Let’s hear it for the Knights and Dames of Malta! Sometimes it takes the laity to step in and say, “Enough!” Now it’s time for the bishops to step up to the plate, get her out of the CHA, and back to her motherhouse where she can tend to the needs of the elderly and infirm Sisters, which comprises the majority of her order. It wouldn’t hurt her to eat a piece of humble pie, empty a few bedpans, and wheel the Sisters to Mass in penance for the harm she has caused the Church. But, of course, we know that’s not likely to happen.

  22. JohnE says:

    I think Sr. Keehan needs to look at some pictures of aborted baby body parts and then think again about who’s really suffering abuse.

  23. Amerikaner says:

    God bless the Knights and Dames of Malta for their courage and fidelity!

    If only the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council would do the same and expel pro-choice members from their ranks. The letter the Knights issued in May is scandalous and wishy-washy in my book –

  24. Sedgwick says:

    Abusive: anything which violates the self-serving narcissism of the liberals’ dark world. Liberals’ dark world: the culture of death.

  25. TonyLayne says:

    Abp. Burke’s comments were “abusive” because the Apostles of Tolerance can tolerate anything but correction or opposition. At any sign of either, these voices of sweet reason will suddenly turn nasty as a pit bull with HIV.

    Somewhere along the line, people got it into their heads that the Church was merely some kind of charitible organization that meets once a week to do good works … and nothing else. It was probably about the same time that we began to lose the sense of communion as both “union with” Jesus Christ through partaking of the Body and Blood and “union with” other members of the mystical Body of Christ. We’re supposed to be, as Tertullian said, “a society with a single religious feeling, a single unity of discipline, a single bond of hope”.

    As a KC myself, I’m interested to see just how long the ruling lasts. I’ve picked up on some definite disquiet in the ranks; I just don’t know if the numbers are there to push through a change.

  26. RichardT says:

    Time for hospitals to start withdrawing from the “Catholic Health Association”, then it won’t be able to pay her salary.

  27. Leonius says:

    Hopefully this will serve as an example which will embolden the leaders of the Knights of Columbus to deal with those malicious malcontent’s within their own ranks who betray the unborn and work to deliver their innocent blood to the butchers who wish to spill it.

  28. JosephMary says:

    Since only two of us showed up at first to pray at the abortion mill yesterday, we were accosted by a doctor. She brought up about capitol punishment, pedophile priests, and the ‘nun’ that was excommunicated in Arizona. It was hard to keep her on the topic of abortion. “I suppose you are Catholic”, she hissed. Yes, we are. This new thing with the obamacare sister will also be used as ammunition against the intolerant and uncompassionate Church. The killing of abour 4000 unborn babies a day in the US, meanwhile, goes on unimpeded and protected. A city cop keeps watch outside our abortion mill in case we might dare to speak to anyone. Like guarding Auschwitz, I always say,

  29. Good for the Knights and Ladies of Malta.
    I shake my head and *sigh* when a consecrated woman religious, of many years, chooses the “culture of death” over the “culture of life”…the laity will save the Church; read about the English recusants and martyrs…Jesus, mercy!

  30. And as for “abusive” remarks by Archbishop Burke, et. al.
    Total doo.
    “Abusive” describes the violent dismembering and liquidation of an unborn child in the process of abortion; not to mention the horrid effects upon the mother.
    Talk about perversion of the English language.

  31. catholicmidwest says:

    Touchy, touchy, touchy. She should be glad they didn’t tar & feather her, which is what she deserved.

  32. The devil thinks truth is abusive to him too.

  33. doctordrew says:

    As for teh Catholic Health Association for those who do not know the only Bishop on the Board is Most Rev. Robert Lynch from my diocese of Saint Pete. I have prayed and requested he resign from that board but after the Terry Schiavo situation I am not surprised that he has not.

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