Sr. McBride awarded by Call To Action for approving abortion in Phoenix

CMR has this:

Excommunicated Nun Accepts Award for Abortion Decision

Excommunicated Sister of Mercy Margaret McBride received the 2011 Call To Action Leadership Award at their annual conference precisely for her role in a decision at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix to abort an 11 week old unborn baby.

She gives a short speech accepting the award where she talks of mercy and forgiveness and bashes the Church in the same breath.

Watching this is a surreal experience.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Horse hockey!

  2. Fortiter Pugnem says:

    “CTA gives award to nun for Abortion Award”
    No wonder Protestants think so lowly of us.

  3. Andy Milam says:

    I, I, I….me, me, me…and then “the suffering Church?” Wow!

    Can someone explain to me how doing something intrinsically evil provides that same person Grace? I am a loss. Surreal is right, Father…Forgiveness and mercy and love…for what? She clearly thinks that what she did was not wrong, so why forgiveness and mercy and love? We are called to be a merciful and forgiving Church. Ok, so lemme stick my neck out…Sr. Margaret, if YOU go to CONFESSION (to the proper authority) and ask for mercy and forgiveness, it will most likely be granted to you. YOUR excommunication will most likely be lifted if YOU recant your position on this abortion, because YOU excommunicated YOURSELF. [She can go to confession after the excommunication is lifted.] The Church is merciful, and forgiving and full of love, but YOU, Sr. Margaret must ask for it; not deride the Church for doing something that it is more than willing to do. This is YOUR chapter of faults, all YOU have to do is to ask for absolution and YOU will find those things YOU are looking for. It is there, but YOU have to believe in the Church, believe that the Church will be all of those things to YOU, but YOU don’t believe that, because YOU don’t see the hierarchy as the Church, you only see the faithful as the Church….THAT, Sr. Margaret, IS THE VERY DEFINITION OF PROTESTANTISM. The Church will wait for you, but YOU have to be willing to accept YOUR culpability in the terrible action which YOU supported and participated in (btw, that participation on her part was more than participatio activa, that was participatio actuosa).

  4. tealady24 says:

    And to think I’m a graduate of a college run by the sisters of mercy!

    So, if she’s excommunicated, why not all the politicians who say they’re Catholic?
    We either get serious here, or let’s call it a day.

  5. AndyMo says:


    Sr. Margaret was excommunicated as an automatic result of her own actions (helping procure an abortion), which was confirmed by her own bishop. It doesn’t matter what anyone here has to say. The excommunication isn’t rhetoric; it’s real.

  6. Marie Teresa says:

    She needs our prayers.

    Prayers of reparation are also needed.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    There but the grace of God go I…pride has led her into deception. I shall pray for her today.

  8. Thomas S says:

    I noticed two people omitted from her remarks:

    The baby who whose death she sanctioned and the One to whom the Church actually belongs.

  9. Dies Irae says:

    Wow. I second Fortiter Pugnem. Small wonder the Protestants, esp. the Evangelicals look at you knowingly and say, “Oh, your…Catholic. Would you like to learn more about my church?”
    A friend of mine flatout said to a Jehovah’s Witness, “Oh, yeah, there’s corrpution in the Church and it needs to be taken care of. I’m not going to deny it.”
    Another time, the office manager of an abortion clinic was talking to her about how the priests were so corrupt and that they should be punished severely for some of the things they “get off” on, and she looked at him and said, “Yes. I agree. They should be punished and they should be kicked out.” I once heard a sermon by a wonderful priest, and he said, “It is better to have no priests at all than to have bad ones.” The same goes for nuns.

  10. Athelstan says:

    The Sisters of Mercy might well contemplate whether there is a connection between actions and advocacies such as those typified by Sr. Margaret McBride and their rapid decline in membership and vocations.

    Liberal orders such as the Sisters of Mercy belong to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The median age of sisters in the LCWR orders is…75. Among the habited, more traditional active orders – ones who would never even contemplate helping to procure an abortion, as Sr. McBride did – it’s less than half that, and their numbers are growing fast. Draw your own conclusions.

  11. Fortiter Pugnem says:

    “This is kind is only cast out by prayer and fasting.”
    ~The Inspired, Inerrant Word of The Second Person of The Blessed Trinity

  12. Stephen D says:

    Ms McBride now surely?

  13. mrose says:

    Disgusting and dis-GRACE-ful.

    Good post, Mr. Milam. She is a Protestant, a wolf not even in sheeps’ clothing, for she lost her habit (if she ever had one). This kind of garbage is ridiculous. I mean, she is at least right that we live in “interesting times” with a hierarchy who does strange things, but recognizing that someone has excommunicated herself due to objectively transgressing the Divine Law is not one of them.

  14. Andy Milam says:


    Thank you. I think that consistency from the media is warranted and expected.

  15. Andy Milam says:

    Strike the above post.

    @ mrose,

    Thanks. This is clearly a case of obstinate behavior and it should be treated as such. Bishop Olmsted did the only thing that he could legitimately do.

  16. Dr. K says:

    I honestly don’t know which is worse: this award, or the Obama honorary degree.

    They seem to be on par with each other.

  17. Rich says:

    “Suffering church” sounds much like “Church Suffering”. The Church Suffering consists of the holy souls in purgatory. One goes to purgatory to undergo the punishment due to sin not made up for by penance for sins for which forgiveness has been granted. Forgiveness for such sins is granted upon having repented and ordinarily gone to Confession. If one does not repent and receive forgiveness for such sins as killing innocent, unborn people, there is another place he or she would go, but there one is not considered part of the Church Suffering, and thus part of the Church, anymore. For bishops to clarify that such organizations or people are not part of the Church, or at least not “Catholic” for their actions, would be a remedy for them in this life, by which they see the need to seek true reconciliation with the Church, before they die and end up being separated from the Church for eternity.

  18. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I don’t know what suffering she is talking about. She was held up as a martyr by the mass media, those in the modern Church who did not applaud her courage remained silent, in order to applaud her by their failure to hold her responsible for an evil act.

    The one who exemplifies the suffering Church is Bishop Olmsted, for daring to say that the emperor has no clothes.

  19. Cathy says:

    When will more Bishop’s embrace Bishop Bruskewitz’s exemplary response to Call to Action?

  20. SimpleCatholic says:

    This woman pledged her life as a bride of Christ. By her words in this acceptance speech she has shown herself to be not a bride of Christ, but the common whore of Beelzebub. Talk about the devil aping God – it doesn’t get more demonic than this. Shame on her. Shame on her religious community. Congratulations to the most excellent bishop who brought down the gloved fist on this awful situation.

    I used to wonder why my parents stopped going to mass and practicing their faith. I’m coming to realize that they just had the pants scandalized off their faith. It will take generations for the biological solution to fix the mess. Thank God it is His Church, not ours.

  21. Joe in Canada says:

    Wasn’t her defense all along that it wasn’t an abortion? It takes a lot to scandalize me, but pro-abortion nuns are an abomination.

  22. Michael Floyd says:

    The language she uses is far more important, you’ll note, than the intent of the actions. She is now qualified by ideologues to use “high-minded”, ideologically based terms to justify what she has done. The clouds the words conjure are so compelling that they obscure the crime so that she can smile as she talks about her vision for improving the Church (God help us!).

  23. jhayes says:

    Contrary to CMR’s identification of her as “excommunicated”, Sr. McBride says she is reconciled with the church:

    “You know, the word excommunication has a very powerful meaning when you’re sitting in the midst of being excommunicated,” she said. “It’s when you want the Eucharist, it’s when you want to be in the presence of the Catholic community, and when it’s suddenly denied to you.”

    She told the audience that she complied with the bishops’ two requests for the excommunication to be lifted. One request was that she had to go to confession to a priest, and the other was she had to resign her position.

    “So I want you to know that in my journey I did reconcile with the church,” she said. “The church means something very different to me today. Something has to be taken away sometimes for you to appreciate it even more. So it is now that I believe I am called to do something and I don’t know what that something is, but I pray that through the grace of God to give me that opportunity to know what the next step is for me.”

    Full Article

  24. Nicole says:

    This woman is sick… This woman is so “merciful, forgiving, and loving in this very interesting time” that she approved the murder of a child…

    I’m also at a loss as to how a latae sententiae excommunication gets one closer to the Church…haha…since it is that by which one is severed from the Church…odd reasoning…

  25. Nicole says:

    jhayes – I hope that she did do what was necessary to have her excommunication lifted. :)

  26. Kerry says:

    Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

    [11] The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. [12] I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. [13] And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. [14] I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

  27. moon1234 says:

    I liked the part about receiving warm grace for her actions. As far as I know the devil and his demons can have a very comfortable enbrace here on earth.

    If she had a conversion, she would be saying to the crowd “I am sorry for the scandal I have created. My actions were those of pride and not for my fellow man. Please pray for me that I may atone for the evil that I helped enable”.

    All I heard was more pride in her decision.

  28. Simon_GNR says:

    Are there no circumstances in which a surgical operation that inevitably leads to the abortion of an unborn child, but which is necessary to save the life of the mother, can be allowed? Does canon law say that in order to avoid aborting an unborn baby, the gravely ill mother must be allowed to die, because any procedure to save her would have the effect of killing the foetus? I don’t know the details of the McBride case, but was not the purpose, the intention, of the operation in question to save the life of the mother, not to abort an unborn child, which was a ghastly side-effect of the procedure? What does canon law say about this?

  29. AnAmericanMother says:

    That’s why St. Gianna Molla is a saint (among other reasons). She heroically refused treatment that would have saved her life but harmed her unborn child. She could have taken the risk of the treatment, however.
    If I recall correctly, the McBride case was hypertension of pregnancy/preeclampsia, and abortion was not a necessary procedure. I had it myself (though not a life-threatening case) and there are many options other than terminating the pregnancy, even for a severe case.

  30. Nicole says:


    Indirect abortions are sometimes the un-wanted side effects of some medical treatments. In the case that an indirect abortion (the removal of the child from the womb is not the end of the procedure, but an unwanted effect) may occur, such as chemotherapy possibly causing a woman’s body to abort her child, the principle of double-effect should be applied. Canon Law only deals with direct abortions, that is, the procedure of removing the unborn child is its own end. Sr. McBride “okayed” a direct abortion. She violated the basic moral tenet that one may not ever do evil that good may possibly come from it.

    Moral Theology would be a better place to study this issue.

  31. jhayes says:

    AnAmericanMother said,

    If I recall correctly, the McBride case was hypertension of pregnancy/preeclampsia, and abortion was not a necessary procedure. I had it myself (though not a life-threatening case) and there are many options other than terminating the pregnancy, even for a severe case.

    It’s been a while but my recollection is that the doctors treating the patient told the Ethics Committee that both the mother and the infant were expected to die if they did not remove the unborn infant.

    My understanding is that the Bishop’s determination was that, even if that were so, the infants life shoudl not have been terminated.

  32. MBeauregard says:

    When a member of this clan speaks of the “dark times the Church is currently in”, you know things are improving!

  33. Supertradmum says:

    When I went into very difficult labor, having a baby for the first time relatively late in life, my husband and I discussed what would happen if the baby’s life was threatened or mine. Of course, we decided on baby first. All parents who love life would do so. That this nun cannot see this is the deception of evil.

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