Jimmy Akin reported on 20 Dec. on his blog:
Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), headquartered in San Francisco, CA, is a system of 41 hospitals and medical centers in California, Arizona and Nevada. Founded in 1986, it is the eighth largest hospital system in the nation and the largest not-for-profit provider in California. According to its website:
CHW is committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable health care services with special attention to the poor and underserved. The CHW network of more than 7,500 physicians and approximately 40,000 employees provides health care services to more than four million people annually.
CHW member hospital St. Joseph’s of Phoenix, Arizona, became steeped in scandal earlier this year when the head of the ethics committee, Sr. Margaret McBride, approved the abortion of an 11 week preborn baby whose mother suffered from pulmonary hypertension. Bishop Olmsted, prelate of the Diocese of Phoenix, investigated the case and after interviewing Sr. McBride, informed her that she had excommunicated herself by approving the abortion. Since then, CHW has defended Sr. McBride’s decision, and after months of debate, Bishop Olmsted issued a letter to CHW declaring his intent to withdraw the Catholic identity of the hospital unless CHW met three specific conditions.
Prompted by Bishop Olmsted’s stern warning, American Life League conducted its own investigation into CHW’s activities and discovered that its scandals are not limited to one abortion in one member hospital. In just two days, ALL found that:
- CHW Arizona’s health care plan covers oral contraception and diaphragms
- CHW has granted money to at least six organizations that promote abortion, birth control and/or homosexual lifestyles
- At least one CHW member hospital promotes Planned Parenthood on its website, and another lists the provision of contraception as a service
- 12 CHW members (as of 2001) performed tubal ligations
- 20 members currently refer for vasectomies by staff physicians on their websites
- CHW funded and helped create the “Healthy San Francisco” health plan, which covers elective abortion
- CHW CEO Lloyd Dean made donations to the Obama campaign and gave strong endorsements for the USCCB-condemned Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
ALL’s report goes on to substantiate its findings by providing detail—quotations and links—and you can read it here (.pdf).
To read his detailed analysis (which is the third part of a series), click Here.
Bishop Olmsted announced 21st Dec. his measures in face of these abuses:
In light of all these failures to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Church, it is my duty to decree that, in the Diocese of Phoenix, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, CHW is not committed to following the teaching of the Catholic Church and therefore this hospital cannot be considered Catholic. The Catholic faithful are free to seek care or to offer care at St. Joseph’s Hospital but I cannot
guarantee that the care provided will be in full accord with the teachings of the Church. In addition, other measures will be taken to avoid the impression that the hospital is authentically Catholic, such as the prohibition of celebrating Mass at the hospital and the prohibition of reserving the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel. For seven years now, I have tried to work with CHW and St. Joseph’s, and I have hoped and prayed that this day would not come, that this decree would not be needed; however, the faithful of the Diocese have a right to know whether institutions of this importance are indeed Catholic in identity and practice.
The fulltext of his announcement: St. Joseph’s Hospital no longer Catholic
Statement of Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted (Pdf).