Catholic hospitals closing because of Obamacare. Sr. Keehan tries to hide the story

The other day I posted a little entry about how the “Magisterium of Nuns” is making war on the American bishops.  The liberal sisters, who have compromised their Catholic identity, are trying to set up an alternative magisterium over and against that of the actual duly appointed shepherds.

In the debate about Obamacare, for example, the LCWR types and the Sr. Keehan types provided cover so that pro-abortion “catholic” politicians could vote in favor of legislation that, down the pike, would provide federal funding of abortion.

Take a look at this from CatholicVote with my emphases:

The bad consequences of Obamacare are on full display in Pennsylvania, but the lessons that the situation provides should motivate us all into taking action nationwide.

Jeffrey Lord at American Spectator has done us all a service by calling attention to the scandal in PA:

Can you say “October Surprise”? A mushrooming political battle over ObamaCare involving the White House, two incumbent Pennsylvania congressmen, three Catholic hospitals and a nun has just exploded in, of all places, Scranton, Pennsylvania. Charges from the Scranton medical community of intimidation by the Obama White House and its allies are filling the air.

It is a long, complex story, which I encourage you to read, but I’ll summarize as briefly as I can:

  • 3 Scranton-area Catholic Hospitals are shutting down because of Obamacare regulations that are set to go into effect soon. The CEO of the hospitals, Kevin Cook, is on record saying Obamacare is “absolutely” responsible for their painful decision to shut down. There’s a strong posibility the hospitals will be sold to a secular organization which would perform procedures against Catholic teaching. In other words, it is becoming more and more difficult for Catholics to have access to ethical health care.
  • Sr. Carol Keehan – the nun and President of the Catholic Health Association, who famously received a “thank you pen” from President Obama for her work in turning Catholic congressman to give up their opposition to Obamacare, has been trying to bully Kevin Cook into changing his story about why his hospitals are closing, because she knows what a political powder keg the headline “Catholic hospitals closing because of Obamacare” will be in this critical election season
  • CatholicVote has entered the fray: we’ve recorded a powerful radio ad to air in the Scranton market, so that Catholics and other citizens can know about the harmful consequences of Obamacare in their own district. Congressmen Paul Kanjorski and Chris Carney both voted for Obamacare, and both are facing tough challenges from pro-life alternatives this November.

Here’s what you can do to help our mission to educate Catholics and other citizens about the harmful consequences of Obamacare, and about the need to elect responsible, pro-life representatives….

1. Watch the ad

2. Help us with a small (or large!) donation so we can buy airtime for the ad by clicking HERE.

3. Share this message with your friends and family!

I believe this story is important because it shows in real-life terms that the flawed legislation pushed through Congress and signed into law by President Obama is already hurting the quality of health care offered in this country, and especially hurting Catholic hosptials. It is therefore especially scandelous that some high-profile Catholics, such as Sister Keehan, continue to attempt to obfuscate the truth of the matter because of ideological commitments. Again, I would encourage you to read Jeffrey Lord’s full exposition of this story.

Let’s stop what is happening in PA from happening to other Catholic hospitals across our country!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ExHic says:

    Sorry, but that so called “sister” must be dealt with and by the Holy See.

  2. Leonius says:

    The Church is responsible for what Sister Keehan does as long as it allows her to officially remain a sister and a catholic in full communion even though she clearly is not, her sins are upon all those in authority who have the power to stop her and do not.

  3. Dave N. says:

    So the Catholic headlines indicate that the hospitals are being “shut down” and “closing” while the American Spectator piece says they are “up for sale.” (The TEXT of the Catholic piece seems to agree that this is a possibility, but overall, still a bit conflicting on this point.) Now I’ll admit that maybe this is a distinction without a difference, but I think the Catholic headline’s just a tad misleading–but maybe it’s just the campaign season getting to me. Words and accuracy matter now more than ever.

    Overall, I’m admittedly skeptical (ok, angered) whenever I see “Catholic” because they’ve been actively campaigning here in California for Carly Fiorina, a candidate who’s pretty wishy-washy on the life issues:

  4. campusdan says:

    How come Sr. Keehan has not been/is not excommunicated by now? I don’t want to sound extreme, but am I missing some sort of norm/teaching that protects her in the way she is acting in regards to this obamacare/abortion bill? I honestly believe that we need an inquisition in this country to root out these “catholic” leaders that are misleading the faithful and causing grave public scandal to the Church. I wonder if her salary (which is almost one million dollars a year) has anything to do with her public position on this obamacare issue? Don’t believe me take a look:

  5. Paulus says:

    According to this they’ve been looking for a buyer for over a year, citing “more than two decades area hospitals have endured lower than average reimbursements for care and a static population base”.

    This may not be what it seems.

  6. charo says:

    I think it is what it seems. From your link:

    “We remain committed to selecting a buyer who will continue the commitment of our sponsors, the Sisters of Mercy, to improving the health of the community and who will honor our organization’s values.”

  7. zgietl says:

    There’s also some factual inaccuracies in the Spectator article. They note that Stupak agreed to drop his resistance based on the letter signed by the nuns-which the article says was only signed by Sr. Keehan. As we all remember, she was not the only one to sign the letter (if fact, I’m not even sure if she signed it at all).

    Generally, I’m not sure that we can connect two points with a simple straight line here; there may be more involved.

  8. Paulus says:

    I’d be willing to bet that the CHP board of directors had more to do with Mr. Cook walking his statements back than Sr. Keehan ever did.

  9. joshmercer says:

    Dave N — has not endorsed Carly Fiorina or campaigned for her. Thomas Peters does blog at, and he did campaign for Carly. But the work Thomas Peters did was for the American Principles Project.
    Joshua Mercer, Communications Director,

  10. joshmercer says:

    Dave N — has not endorsed Carly Fiorina or campaigned for her. Thomas Peters does blog at, and he did campaign for Carly. But the work Thomas Peters did was for the American Principles Project.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    Why is the Bishop silent in all of this?

    Surely, this is a time when the hierarchy should make a definite statement on the importance of independent, Catholic hospitals.

    God have mercy on our nation, which is rapidly turning into a completely pagan, greedy, and self-seeking society. And, boo to all those Catholics who voted for the men mentioned and for the heretic and bad example, Biden, who is still allowed to receive Communion weekly, when he is in Washington, as a friend of mine, who has a daughter in D.C. and goes to the same church, sees…

  12. This is just the beginning of the end, I’m afraid…
    these dissident apostolic women religious (LCRW) are not Catholic, in their leadership, anyway, and this is just an outrage.
    God help them.
    I hope that Rome in this present visitation will do something or make it clear they are acting ON THEIR OWN and do represent the Catholic Church, for which they receive millions of millions of dollars, stolen from the faithful, for their absolutely apostate activity.
    What a sham.

  13. Scott W. says:

    I’m as rustrated as anyone that dissidents are allowed to continue, on the other hand I can appreciate the wisdom of letting the tick-tock solution take care of it.

  14. Martial Artist says:

    Rather than selling the hospital to an organization that will perform abortions, it would seem to me to be better by far, if it comes to that, to raze the building, plow it under and “salt the ground.” Why turn over a Catholic health care facility to an organization that will use it for the very purpose that forced the Catholic organization to cease operations? Selling it merely enables a non-Catholic operator to perpetuate the evil without the time and expense of erecting a temple to Moloch!

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  15. robtbrown says:

    I think Sr Keehan’s position is probably an example of the Proportionalism that was raised in another thread: The evil of abortion (at least indirectly financed by Obamacare) is outweighed by the good done by “freeing women from unwanted pregnancies” and by extending health insurance to more people.

    For good reason was Proportionalism nixed by Veritatis Splendor

  16. chcrix says:

    Some thoughts:

    I don’t think one can properly call for excommunication for support of the Obamacare monstrosity. For one thing the Bishops themselves (mistakenly) support it except for what they consider insufficient safeguards against abortion funding. For another party to argue that the executive order would be good enough might seem ridiculous or even be a bald lie, but it remains a matter to be argued about. To advocate excommunication for supporting a questionable piece of legislation is to fulfill the wack-job protestant fantasies about the church dictating specific voting behavior.

    It is not clear from the article exactly how Sr. Keehan is pressuring the hospital management in question. Surely they don’t have to belong to her association? It seems to me that the only way to pressure the management would be through government interference – i.e. there is probably a bunch of government hoops that must be jumped through to consummate a sale, and an obstructive government can kill any deal. So the implication would have to be that if Sr. Keehan is able to pressure the hospital management firm it must be as the ‘mouthpiece’ of the Obama administration.

    Inadequate reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid has been the lever by which private health care has been subverted in the country since the 1960s. Few doctors or hospitals feel (economically) able to turn away these patients altogether, yet since they are not recovering their costs, they pass these costs on to their other customers. The bigger customers like the insurance companies fight for their own better deals, and the folks that are left out in the cold are individuals. That is one reason why non-group policies are so expensive (state-mandated coverages are the other) and why an illness can bankrupt the uninsured – the individual has no leverage to negotiate. Actually, I believe that the crafters of Medicare and Medicaid (or at least some of them) intended this result from the start. Health care ‘reform’ is just the next logical step in the government subversion of private health care. And the Catholic Bishops (political naifs) have bought this mess of pottage. They need to do some root cause analysis – and so does the Vatican if it believes in government controlled health care. My late father (an insurance underwriting executive) predicted all of what we have seen occur in health care back in the 1960s when Johnson’s ‘obamanations’ were originally passed.

    On the topic of ‘sale’ versus ‘closing’ it is entirely possible that Obamacare will change the former into the latter. If you are having difficulty covering capital expenses with the current levels of reimbursement, a decrease in those fees may well be the difference between finding a purchaser (or at least someone who can keep the institution open) and simply having to shut down.

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