The war continues.
The New York Times feels it is necessary to mislead you to win their dirty little war against the Catholic church.
Like any good propagandist, the Times leaves out details, or more properly, slices things a certain way, to make you believe things that are not true.
Here are the facts: A pregnant woman developed a problem 11 weeks into in her pregnancy. There was a chance that giving birth might kill her. So she went to the hospital and they decided an abortion was the proper thing to do. The Hospital’s ethics committee was involved, because it was a Catholic hospital.
All the members of the Ethics committee voted to proceed with the abortion. However, one of the members was a nun. It is one of the strict doctrines of the church that anyone who helps, or authorizes, or in any way procurs an abortion becomes automatically excommunicated. No action by any church official is necessary. The person excommunicates themselves. As soon as they take the action to assist in an abortion, poof. They are excommunicated.
Now, in this case, there was no rush to abort. The problem would only occur as she was giving birth, or several months down the line. At any rate, there was no need for an emergency abortion. They had weeks to get it done if it needed to be done. The members of that committee could easily have said. “Well, this woman needs an abortion. But this is a Catholic hospital, so we can’t do it. She will have to go to one of the other hospitals in the area. We will set that up. There are seven other hospitals within a mile, so it’s not like she has to go a long way”
But they did not do that.
They decided to perform the abortion,there, at St. Josephs. And the nun, knowing that she would automatically excommunicate herself if she took this action, voted for the abortion. She knew what she was doing. This is not the first time Sister Mcbride has ended up in the news. All they had to do to avoid the whole problem was send her to another hospital.
This was not a matter of saving her life. it was a matter of where the abortion took place. They wanted to do it in their hospital.
But that’s not what the papers are saying. They are saying that Sister Margaret saved this poor woman’s life! And they excommunicated her for that! The beasts!
What is really happening, is that the Catholic church has been having trouble with some of their hospitals in the Phoenix area. They have decided that they want to do abortions, if they feel like it. But of course, that can’t be done. So, it appears they are engaging in a little PR war with the Church on this.
Here is what the Bishop’s office said in a statement:
Bishop Olmsted is attempting to work with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Catholic Healthcare West to help them to be able to fulfill that which is required of any institution that claims to be Catholic. Unfortunately, it is clear that in this situation St. Joseph’s was not faithful to Catholic Moral Teaching (as outlined in the Ethical and Religious Directives). Moreover, Catholic Healthcare West has not followed the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Church in at least one of their institutions, Chandler Regional Hospital. These realities are a scandal to the faithful and must cease if CHW wishes to be maintain its recognition as a Catholic institution in the Diocese of Phoenix.
Here is what Nick Kristof wrote. Note the sly way he gets you to believe that the Church sat around and thought about it before excommunicating Sister Margaret.
We finally have a case where the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy is responding forcefully and speedily to allegations of wrongdoing. But the target isn’t a pedophile priest. Rather, it’s a nun who helped save a woman’s life. Doctors describe her as saintly.
But the church did not “respond” at all. It just informed Sister Margaret that she had already excommunicated herself. (For Kristof, liberals are always “saintly” by the wa)y.
And note there is not one word spoken on behalf of the dead child. Not a tear is shed, not a word uttered. In the New York Times world, abortion is such a sacred act, it is always 100% positive. There is no balancing of the mother’s interests versus the child’s. The child is merely a parasite, a threat to the mother, a lump of cells, and therefore can be disregarded.
Sister Margaret was a member of that committee. She declined to discuss the episode with me, but the bishop of Phoenix, Thomas Olmsted, ruled that Sister Margaret was “automatically excommunicated” because she assented to an abortion.
“The mother’s life cannot be preferred over the child’s,” the bishop’s communication office elaborated in a statement.
Well, he does say that she was “automatically excommunicated”. But he does it in a way designed to make you think that the Bishop was saying, “well, of course we excommunicated her. It was automatic!” But that is misleading. Under church law, the person excommunicates themselves. All the Bishop was doing was informing her of it. He couldn’t stop it if he tried.
Especially in a case were there were other alternatives, no rush, and no real need to abort the baby then and there.
He has no authority to cancel the excommunication, either.
Let us just note that the Roman Catholic hierarchy suspended priests who abused children and in some cases defrocked them but did not normally excommunicate them, so they remained able to take the sacrament.
This shows he just does not understand what excommunication is. At any point, the excommunicated person can UN-excommunicate themselves as soon as they confess the sins that caused them to be excommunicated. It is not a punishment for bad deeds. Otherwise every murderer, every criminal, must be excommunicated. And that works against the whole idea of excommunication.
Excommunication is not a worldly punishment designed to throw them out of the worldly church. It is not designed to inflict pain in the worldly sense. It is designed to show the person has separated themselves from the salvation of the church. It is deesigned to show them they have committed acts that imperil their immortal soul. So, as soon as they have repented and confessed, they are always let back into the church.
That’s why excommunication is not used against abusive priests. They could just “repent” and they would be back in. And so the supposedly repentant child abuser would be back inside the church. So, there is no excommunication for child abusers. What is done with abusive priests is that they are removed from the priesthood. Ever since 2001, this is done very quickly, and very firmly now, despite what Kristof says. Even a simple accusation of abuse now almost ends their career.
Kristof then reveals that he has received a magic, secret letter from a doctor at the hospital. He can’t tell you who the doctor is, but the doctor seems to write in an overly flourish-y, professional style. As if he were a columnist for the New York times or something. This does not sound like the words of a doctor. They are usually much more clinical, more matter of fact.
“She is a kind, soft-spoken, humble, caring, spiritual woman whose spot in Heaven was reserved years ago,” he said in the e-mail message. “The idea that she could be ex-communicated after decades of service to the Church and humanity literally makes me nauseated.”
“True Christians, like Sister Margaret, understand that real life is full of difficult moral decisions and pray that they make the right decision in the context of Christ’s teachings. Only a group of detached, pampered men in gilded robes on a balcony high above the rest of us could deny these dilemmas.”
Funny how those “detached men” are the only ones who seem to give even a second thought to the baby. While columnists at the New York Times have no trouble pretending it should quickly be flushed down the toilet like any other refuse. Or, if born alive, be left to die in a closet.
It looks like only the “pampered men” are facing the real dilemma: the baby is a human being, too.
So, here we are again. The Times misleads you into thinking that Sister Margaret bravely saved someone’s life in the nick of time.
That’s not what happened.