UPDATE, 12:25p: Commenter topekaprolife suggested reading this LifeSiteNews.com story, which I agree provide "helpful comments on this case from respected Catholic physician Paul Byrne."
10:17a: Jivin J wrote May 17 about Sister Margaret McBride (pictured right), an administrator at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ, who was excommunicated and reassigned after Bishop Thomas Olmsted learned she was the key administrator responsible for approving an abortion supposedly to the save the life of a pregnant mother.
The scandal is spreading. ModernHealthcare.com reported May 20:
Catholic Healthcare West, one of the largest religious health systems in the country with 38 hospitals, is in danger of losing its status as a Roman Catholic institution in Phoenix as a result of recent incidents including an abortion approved by a nun at the system's largest hospital....
The Rev. Thomas Olmsted [pictured left], bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, said in written statements that Sister Margaret McBride was excommunicated from the church after she admitted to Olmsted that she approved of the abortion after the pregnancy was said to have threatened the life of the mother.
"The mother's life cannot be preferred over the child's. Both lives are equal," the diocese said in a statement. "It is not better to save one life while murdering another. It is not better that the mother live the rest of her existence having had her child killed."
A statement from 738-bed St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center [pictured right] in Phoenix said the hospital is standing by McBride, who remains on staff and has been appointed to a position focusing on strategic initiatives.
"We have always adhered to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services as we carry out our healing ministry and we continue to abide by them," St. Joseph's hospital said in a written statement. "In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother's life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy."
The bishop's statement went on to criticize St. Joseph's religious sponsor, San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West, which also owns 224-bed Chandler (AZ) Regional Medical Center where the bishop said hospital officials are known to have violated Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives in another, undisclosed incident.
"These realities are a scandal to the faithful and must cease if CHW wishes to ... maintain its recognition as a Catholic institution in the Diocese of Phoenix," the statement said.
Now we see an example of what I was getting at with my "Socially Catholic Evangelical Protestant" post the other day. The Diocesan statement is amazingly strong and clear, a must read. A key excerpt (click to enlarge)...
Again, I suggest all pro-lifers read the Diocesan statement so as to be armed to respond to blowback from pro-aborts and the uneducated on this crucial issue. This is becoming big news. Today CNN's Carol Costello called McBride's discipline the "excommunication heard around the world"...
You do realize that in this case saving both of them was not even remotely possible? An 11-week fetus can't survive outside the womb, so either they saved the mother or both died. Is it your opinion that in all cases where a pregnancy threatens a woman's life, the best thing to do is let her die?Posted by: Karen at May 21, 2010 10:35 AM
I am a pro-life Catholic (that means anti-death penalty too fyi to some in our movement) and am extremely distraught over the damage Bishop Olmstead has caused to a vital mission. Your uninformed opinion and faith paired with an insulting tone likewise do damage and ultimately result in the death of more babies.
I will pray for you and your ilk. See you in the pew on Sunday, where you are inevitably surrounded by the majority of Catholics who are non-extremists, reasonable, thinking, praying, informed conscience Catholics.
I am also an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist and look forward to celebrating the Blessed Sacrament with you when you repent of the grave scandal you are perpetuating and resume communion with your Catholic sisters and brothers.Posted by: Sensus Fidei at May 21, 2010 10:40 AM
"You do realize that in this case saving both of them was not even remotely possible?"
I don't know, but I will assume for the sake of argument that that is correct.
"Is it your opinion that in all cases where a pregnancy threatens a woman's life, the best thing to do is let her die?"
No. You do everything you can to save both lives. It isn't possible to save the life of the fetus. Okay. But does that imply that it is then morally permissible to directly kill the fetus in order to save the mother's life? No, one can never do evil to bring about good. So what should one do? Removal of the fetus via c-section would save the mother's life while not directly and willfully killing the fetus. True, it is foreseen that the baby will die as a result of this, but killing the baby is not the means by which you save the mother's life. If it were possible, the 11 week old fetus would be placed in an artificial womb or something of the sort. Unless one holds to a utilitarian ethic, the ends never justifies the means. The means matters, and because we are in a triage situation, the action that will save the most lives possible as well as avoid any evil action is to remove the fetus from the mother, and do everything you can to save him, even if everything we know about medical science today says that this is impossible. Because lives are pitted against each other, we must do everything we can to save as many as possible but without doing evil. Hope that helps. God love you.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 21, 2010 10:44 AM
The real question here is if there was anything that could have been done to save the mother other than abortion.
Was there a medication, even one dangerous to the child, that could have been given to the mother to control the situation until viability?Posted by: Lauren at May 21, 2010 10:47 AM
Karen and Sensus, you are obviously ignorant of the teachings of the Church. Sensus, I certainly hope you can find a good priest to talk to, one that can set you straight on this issue. Do you REALLY think that you are in a better position than the Bishop to talk about this particular (or any) issue in the Church. I fear you are, like too many catholics, blinded by misplaced charity to know the truth of the teachings of the RCC.Posted by: Kristen at May 21, 2010 10:48 AM
How do you know that saving both of them was not remotely possible? How does a doctor even really know it if he/ she doesn't even try?
No, of course an 11 wk old would not survive outside, but why can't they just try the treatment of the problem with baby intact in the uterus?
WHY does the baby automatically have to be killed? They CAN just treat the PROBLEM, and if the baby dies in the process, that would not be a direct killing of her baby. That is what the statement above is talking about.
I have a hard time understanding why people find this concept so confusing.Posted by: Lisa at May 21, 2010 10:51 AM
You are not a practicing Catholic; practicing Catholics are obedient even when its hard. The Bishop is a descendant from the apostles and, as such, speaks as one. Your self-righteous, malformed conscious is evident in your diatribe; you should stop trying to speak for the church.
Posted by: Dena`
at May 21, 2010 10:53 AM
You are not informed, thinking, praying or reasonable. You think you are God. If you want to be close to Him, trying moving past just being His advisor.
I'm going to say what I said on another forum. I was fairly sure I disagreed with this decision before I read that statement, but after reading it, I'm absolutely sure. They essentially say "The hospital should have treated the underlying condition and if that treatment resulted in the death of the child, then at least we didn't kill her directly." Which is a pretty horrible cop-out, I feel. This child was eleven weeks old. She wasn't nearly old enough to survive if delivered and then placed in NICU care. Either way, the child ends up dead, and while the exact details of this situation haven't been released, all the reports I've read (from both sides, by the way) sound like this pregnancy was severely threatening the mother's life. To the point where she probably couldn't have carried long enough to give the kid even a 50% chance of surviving if she were delivered early. Running around saying "We couldn't save the child, but we risked the mother's life just so we wouldn't have to directly kill the child!" makes no sense.
I really don't feel this decision is moral, ethical, or logical on the part of the Catholics. Is it tragic that these situations happen? Certainly. But they do, and sometimes you can only save one person.Posted by: Keli Hu at May 21, 2010 10:54 AM
The agenda of Sensus Fidei is given away by using the name Sensus Fidei which is code for rebellion. It means "sense of the faithful" and is used in liberal circles to mean that if they can get a big enough majority to believe something, then that overrules the teaching of the Church. So I am sure that when it comes to issues such as birth control or homosexual actions, we would find Sensus Fidei appealing to the "Sensus Fidei" to justify support for things like birth control. The phrase "conscious Catholic" is also a dead giveaway, as I am sure you are quite familiar with those appeal to their conscious as the final arbiter of moral truth. God love you.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 21, 2010 10:57 AM
@Sensus Fidei at May 21, 2010 10:40 AM "...where you are inevitably surrounded by the majority of Catholics who are non-extremists
"So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?" from Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Where was the justice for this child? Treatment of his/her mother's condition may have had the secondary effect of ending his life, but the intentional dismembering of this little one is immoral.
What does Jesus Christ Himself have to say about you appear to proud of? Matthew 7:13-14 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it."
Rev 3:16-17 "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth."
I would not brag that most are lukewarm wide-road travelers. Their end is sure.
Keli, I understand your position. The issue is that as Catholics, the hospital should adhear to the law of double effect. Essentially, one can not do evil so that good may come. However, if in doing good (administering medicine) a negative outcome occurs, there was good intention, and thus the action is morally permisable.
It might sound arbuitrary, but it is the foundation of a lot of ethical systems. Now, I'm inclined to say that if there was truely nothing that could have saved the mother's life other than terminating the pregnancy, the doctors had an obligation to do everything they could to save at least one life. As long as their intent was to save the mother's life, I believe the law of double effect applies.Posted by: Lauren at May 21, 2010 11:05 AM
Thanks Bobby. I knew it was off somehow. Sadly many of my friends from HS subscribe to the conscience catholic belief with the best intentions, but we all know where that leads.Posted by: Kristen at May 21, 2010 11:12 AM
She should have been referred to a Non-Catholic hospital, instead of a nun going against the beliefs and policies of this Catholic Hospital.
If I were in this situation, I would have done whatever possible to save the life of my child. Anything is possible for God, if it is His will and I would NEVER have an abortion under any circumstances. Just like with my "born" children, I will always prefer their lives over mine. I would do the same for my "unborn" children. Can't even imagine saving myself and allowing any of my children to die, in the womb or out.
The mother here knew that her heart condition made for a very high risk pregnancy and it is advised that women should not get pregnant when they have this condition. So, she knew full well before she got pregnant and she made the choice to get pregnant. She should have accepted that responsibility. Her unborn child did not ask to be conceived, rather was conceived by the woman's actions. But, the one to suffer is the innocent one? I am just thankful that we have a loving God and this innocent child is now in His hands.
Please read helpful comments on this case from respected Catholic physician Paul Byrne at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/printerfriendly.html?articleid=10051712Posted by: topekaprolife at May 21, 2010 11:16 AM
Lisa & Lauren's point about treatment is important. Just as some women have refused to accept abortion during cancer treatment, how would the medical community ever know what the outcomes could be? http://www.lifenews.com/nat4823.html
It reminds me of mid-wives sparring with OBs about the necessity of episiotomies for primipars. An OB saying he MUST do one or the mother will tear, when asked, "What percentage tear?" The response was, "Dunno--we always do the episiotomies." This circular reasoning is deadly to the child in the management of any condition during pregnancy. We don't know the details of this case, obviously, but surely somewhere someone has had PH during pregnancy and received treatment for the PH. Did those making the decisions research this, or was 'abort' the knee-jerk reaction?Posted by: klynn73 at May 21, 2010 11:32 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but nowadays, just being a faithful Catholic is already considered being an "extremists", right?
The key word is Faithful....to the Church and it's teachings.Posted by: RSD at May 21, 2010 11:34 AM
Thank you for the link, Topekaprolife, and God bless Dr. Byrne, we need more like him!Posted by: klynn73 at May 21, 2010 11:36 AM
When I read posts like Sensei’s, I am reminded of Jesus’ words wondering if there will be any faithful when he returns. There are so many unfaithful calling darkness light.
I am aware of a homeless, pregnant woman who was encouraged to abort at this hospital. My feeling is St. Joe's administration rarely sticks their fingers in the middle of issues, preferring to turn a blind eye to what their doctors do and say. They just got caught this time.
I know the perinatologist who works at St. Joe's- the same one who was trying to get my nurse's phone number while I was delivering and who's head nurse wears see-thru shirts without a bra. Yea, just what we wanted to see. Thanks.
This is a preventable situation where a woman with a known condition got pregnant. There are two patients here- and if one only looks up the dr's BOMEX record, there is PLENTY of evidence he is wrong about a lot of cases. We should stop assuming he was not mistaken about abortion being necessary. We should stop assuming he is a man of good will, period. His record at St. Joe's is well known.Posted by: Dena at May 21, 2010 11:37 AM
As Catholics we are to be obedient to Church leaders, we're also to adhere to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church (Magisterium in very simplistic terms is the teaching side of the Church).
In this case the Bishop was right. As Catholics, we're never to directly kill the unborn child. The doctors are supposed to do everything possibly to save both lives. If, for some reason, the child dies indirectly and nothing could've prevented it, then they did their best.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla was in a similar situation. She told doctors to do whatever it took to save her child. She ended up dying some days after the child's birth. Her husband family were interviewed in a DVD I watched about her and they said that she was a giving and loving person. The baby (who is an adult now) said she is grateful to her mother for her sacrifice. (You can find some Info here: http://www.saintgianna.org/main.htm ).Posted by: Mother In Texas at May 21, 2010 11:41 AM
Excellent link. I think that article pretty much sums up this situation. She didn't have to have an abortion. It was NOT medically necessary.Posted by: Allie at May 21, 2010 11:50 AM
I hope that the Bishop will add to his statement - to include 'medical abortions' (instead of only referring to surgical ones). Then his statement would be more complete.
Any direct act of abortion is murder and not allowed. They could have given the woman medication or tried other options.
There has been surgeries on the pregnant mothers and for children in the womb. I am confident that there was some procedure or medicine to try - even if experimental, that could have given a better outcome.
This is why we need good people with proper moral sense to run hospitals and health care systems. Help for all.
No direct killing of anyone - including the unborn, elderly and disabled.Posted by: joyfromillinois at May 21, 2010 11:50 AM
I am thinking of that story of the mother with dwarfism whose toddler son is now as tall as she is. I forget the mother's name but I remember in the story the docs were telling her to abort too for fear it could kill her. She didn't and her son is alive.
How do we know this pregnancy WOULD kill the mother? Many many mothers with dreadful heart conditions carry to term.
My husband's friend has an older sister who was told a pregnancy could kill her as her heart was as bad as an 80 year olds (she was only 35). She wanted kids so she got pregnant anyway and though the pregnancy was high risk she did deliver her son and went on to have another son the next year!
Heart conditions CAN be managed? I just think 11 weeks into a pregnancy how can you be sure the pregnancy will be fatal? Its so early...
I'm not a doc, I don't know the details of this woman's health, it just seems to me that abortion is always the big cop out to prevent lawsuits. If the mother may even have a SLIGHT chance of death or injury it seems they've already got the suction machine out. Why is it always the first line of "treatment"?Posted by: Sydney M. at May 21, 2010 11:54 AM
"I will pray for you and your ilk. See you in the pew on Sunday, where you are inevitably surrounded by the majority of Catholics who are non-extremists, reasonable, thinking, praying, informed conscience Catholics."
Posted by: Sensus Fidei at May 21, 2010 10:40 AM
There is an important difference between a "well-formed conscience" and an "informed conscience", as you call it. A well-formed conscience must include enlightened moral judgement, furthermore,
Excerpt from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
II. THE FORMATION OF CONSCIENCE
1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.
This was NOT a REAL nun/sister. A REAL Nun/Sister wears a habit and does not approve of abortion. Was there no other way to treat the condition that would NOT result in the DELIBERATE death of the child? There are ob/gyns that specialize in high risk pregnancies. Did they know if it was possible for her to reach viability and then perform an emergency c-section? A real doctor always tries to save BOTH mother AND child whenever possible.
topekaprolife, good links, thanks will add to post.Posted by: Jill Stanek at May 21, 2010 12:24 PM
Thank you all for your concern for my faith and ministries. I can assure you I have every bit the Catholic paperwork you do and in fact was a sponsor at Confirmation a few weeks back. It was a wonderful celebration! (The only sad reality is most of the children haven't a clue about the Holy Spirit but due to the Bishops' decision 5th & 6th graders are confirmed. Consequenty, we lose them as they often do not return to religious education classes. Very tragic but it's the climate we created since Bishops rather than K-12 religious ed experts making these decisions.) Btw, earthly paperwork is meaningless to me, but to you perhaps it has value.
In our RCIA classes, primarily comprised of thinking, informed, Biblically based peeps, we discuss many practical real world faith and ministry experiences, amid our confraternity of christian doctrine discussions. Our varied team of Sister, parents, and an occasional priest makes it very engaging, instructive, heartfelt and prayerful. Candidates questions are hardball and you better be prepared. Apologetics need not apply; we relay faith to their hearts and minds and they won't accept less than this complete catechesis model.
Respectfully, you need to know how much damage your end of the spectrum is doing. If you don't, it's because you are too far gone. We thank God for faithful such as Sean Hannity & Bill O'Reilly who often bring unholy cases like this to light. They too are saving grace for many, showing how you can keep the baby Jesus & partake of Holy Sacraments and discard the filthy bath water. Even my parents who are very staunch Catholics have recently recognized and identified serious concerns with the hierarchy and practices.
I'm in your pew, on your side but here to give you a vital reality check. In youth ministry, many are about numbers... how many kids were there, blah blah... Not me, I always focus on quality. But there comes a time where numbers are very telling and the impact is imminent.
As long as the few of you (scan other faith blogs, you'll instantly see the extreme minority you are on this) can make up the financial difference from "fallen away" Catholics, perhaps that's all that paramount to you.
Don't persist in further alienating or disparaging your loved ones and friends! It is to your own peril, truly. We all know many good people who found faith elsewhere and it hurts, as the tremendous loss should. If you don't truly shed a tear when a treasured soul departs from our Church, that's very teling about your priorities and lack of a basic Christian attitude.Posted by: Sensus Fidei at May 21, 2010 12:40 PM
Sensus Fidei, it would help enormously if, instead of blathering on about your own life in the church and how great your faith is (yeah, we get it), you actually explained just where your disagreement with us lies in this case? Because even after reading your post, I don't have a clue. Why do you think we are "extremists"?Posted by: Lori Pieper at May 21, 2010 12:44 PM
Sensus Fidei what is your point? How are we doing damage to say that all life has value?
I'm not being snarky. I am truly clueless to what your ACTUAL POINT is. Please explain.Posted by: Sydney M. at May 21, 2010 12:45 PM
Bobby, you are very right to be upset about the misuse of the word "sensus fidei" by some dissenting Catholics (they are not only on the left, but on the right), but to avoid confusion, it should be stated that the "sensus fidei" or "sensus fidei fidelium" is a time-honored Catholic concept stretching back to the Church Fathers and honored by the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and John Paul II as well.
If I understand it right, it refers to the supernatural sense given to the faithful to understand and make sense of the revelation of the faith through the Holy Spirit. That is, if you receive the faith and cooperate with grace, you will have an intuitive understanding of the faith.
Needless to say, this is a very different thing from the pride that leads dissenting Catholics to say that they know more about the faith than the Church hierarchy. (I'm not necessarily applying this to anything Sensus Fidei says, because I basically can't make heads or tails of anything he/she is saying).
If anyone is interested in the quotes from the Fathers, etc, here is an interesting article on the subject (I've only read the first part, but it seems to be very good).Posted by: Lori Pieper at May 21, 2010 1:02 PM
The mother's "life threatening" condition was "pulmonary hypertension." Was medication prescribed to alleviate the symptoms?Posted by: Badger Catholic at May 21, 2010 1:19 PM
I do apologize, believe me if you only knew I'm not one to speak much about myself, only when necessary. I'm a listener and faithful in parishes feel comfortabe sharing with me. I have interactions with both ends and mostly those in-between. But, I felt it important to relay my involvement so we can try to understand each other, knowing we're on the same team and facing the same problems. It seems I'm one of the few who even venture here.
Right or wrong, at least acknowledge the majority. I'm sure you don't think they're inherently evil or disobedient, again they comprise your family, friends and neighbors. You are a very prayerful, faithful group so your natural response should be to show them basic respect. And of course they should do likewise to you, no question.
It's demeaning to lump them in a bunch, such as Cafeteria Catholics (which in reality we all are, with different life experiences how could we not approach issues in different degrees). Just because they are astounded that a proven good servant Sister Margaret "excommunicated herself" don't assume they are in favor of BC, abortion, married priests etc... That's not accurate or fair. And they (me) likewise shouldn't be prejudice and assume there may be some here who would not also fight the death penalty with the same fervor as abortion. I sincerely apologize for that.
With this tragic case, many are blinded (if that's how you term it) by what appear to be the facts that an 11 week precious fetus (not very viable again in the average non-medical person's opinion) was likely going to die and the only question was could the mother be saved. Please, again no offense, but it is inconceivable to most (Catholics and non) that a mother of 4 would need to die in this instance as described. This may sound uninformed to you and crazy. Many salute Sister Margaret because in the midst of a horror no one who wasn't there would understand, she chose to save the mother given the eventual reality the blessed fetus would face anyway.
I posted on secular family blogs and am astounded by the terrible emergency room stories from many women. They know, I don't and many of them say by the grace of God they survived.
Theology books probably weren't handy in the emergency room and Bishop Olmstead might not have been on Sr. Margaret's speed dial. She followed her informed conscience. Sr. Margaret didn't, understandably, have the benefits of conferring Extreme Unction, just another reality which could impact the decisions of her informed conscience. Emotion and theology maybe shouldn't ever mix, but perhaps Sr. Margaret saw this young mother's children out in the hall worriedly waiting, we don't know. Did she tremble at the thought of having to tell those innocents their mother was deceased? These are the thoughts of regular people, please know this.
Did this need to be reviewed afterwards, of course, always. But for Bishop Olmstead to make a public proclamation (yes we know it was auto exco, etc.. but again understand the average Catholic and non doesn't understand or have concern for that) at this time and in this climate is honestly enough to take some over the Cafeteria Catholic cliff. At some level I'm sure you can understand that outrage.
I hope and pray the reasonable among you recognize that had Sr. Margaret not made this life saving choice we'd be having a far more tragic discussion at all levels.Posted by: Sensus Fidei at May 21, 2010 1:27 PM
To Sensus Fidei at May 21, 2010 10:40 AM
This is a first that I have ever heard a Catholic identify as a Pro-life Catholic. Can you please explain what a pro-choice Catholic is? I don't believe you are a Catholic. I believe you may be a CINO, Catholic In Name Only. How sad that the Catholic Church possibly has frauds administering the Holy Eucharist. You have now been officially called out as a fraud.Posted by: txcath at May 21, 2010 1:43 PM
"it should be stated that the "sensus fidei" or "sensus fidei fidelium" is a time-honored Catholic concept stretching back to the Church Fathers and honored by the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and John Paul II as well."
Yes, amen! I hope I didn't give the impression that it was something made-up. What makes it so tricky is the fact that it IS is real thing, yet hijacked.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 21, 2010 1:47 PM
Sensus, your arguments are ludicrous and unorthodox. You say that you're the majority like that actually means something important. Umm, please cite that reference in the Catechism. All I'm recalling is the little fact that he's come to divide the sheep and goats. Jesus himself was part of that minority that sat in the pews with the white washed tombs.
Yes, here in Phoenix, we do use speed dial. Yes, some of the best priest- like Fr O. who is a dr himself- are more than capable of answering tough questions in the real world. Maybe you ought to spend the time on your own catechism. It is better that one not be born than to lead a little one astray. That ought to rock your world if you have any fear of the Lord in you. Check your paperwork! Helping kill a baby severs a person's relationship with God. You should worry less about how your friends and family feel about it. Not everyone who cries Lord Lord enters the kingdom- especially with the blood of an innocent on their unrepentant hands.Posted by: Dena at May 21, 2010 2:10 PM
I like how Sensus is insisting the Bishop is wrong, and doing so much damage, yet completely ignoring the fact that he/she is preaching is NOT the Church teaching. WHO is doing the damage? Let me correct you, YOU are Sensus.
Another thing, YOU dont have a clue about the Holy Spirit because if you did you would know that the Holy Spirit guides and protects the Church. So called Catholics like you are wholly ignorant of this fact and continually try to undermine an institution that will not bend to your desires.
What is the name of your bishop?Posted by: Kristen at May 21, 2010 2:11 PM
If you don't truly shed a tear when a treasured soul departs from our Church, that's very teling about your priorities and lack of a basic Christian attitude.
Posted by: Sensus Fidei at May 21, 2010 12:40 PM
That statement is very telling about your priorities.
It seems you cry because they left due to the Church not accommodating what they choose to believe.
I cry because they do not believe the divine wisdom of the Church.
I also object to your statement about all of us, in reality, being cafeteria Catholics. I assure you I am not. It is, of course, difficult at times and I surely sin in moments of weakness, but NEVER do I believe my sin is justified and the Church is wrong.Posted by: Kristen at May 21, 2010 2:28 PM
Please forgive my sins and very pitiful attempt to be respectful, prayerful and open with those who choose to attack many brethren. Please forgive all insults as we truly do not know what we are doing to You. May we trust and praise you as did St. Dismas, to whom you promised paradise on that very day. By Your grace and infinite divine mercy, make us all contrite and able to receive Your precious Body and Blood this
Pentecost Sunday! "Lord send out Your Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth!"
May Our Lord's peace be with everyone here. You'll continue to be in our prayers and we trust one day we will be truly united in faith, heart and mind.
"After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them,
he said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep."Posted by: Sensus Fidei at May 21, 2010 2:32 PM
Thanks, Bobby, I knew that non-Catholics here (perhaps even some Catholics) would be confused about this question.
Sensus Fidei, thanks for the clarification. I wouldn't say that you a bad Catholic. Nevertheless you should know that the "majority" does not rule in matters of faith; the Magisterium of the Church does. A direct abortion is still wrong, no matter what. We can feel compassion on anyone facing this situation. If Sr. Margaret were genuinely agonized over the decision, and didn't know for sure if she were right, and went ahead, all she would need to do is go to confession and the excommunication problem would be solved right away. It's not even necessary for the bishop to be involved in absolving a "latae sententiae" abortion case, if I remember rightly.
However, I strongly suspect that this is not what happened here. I found Dr. Paul Byrne's comments in the article linked to above very enlightening. I'll put the link again here.
He says that in the case of the illness the mother suffered from, pulmonary hypertension, pregnancy has only a negligible effect on her condition during the first two trimesters. In the case at issue here, the pregnancy was 11 weeks along - roughly the end of the first trimester. Dr. Byrne said that it is generally possible to let the pregnancy continue until the child is old enough to survive outside the womb at 22-24 weeks.
I suspect that in this case the whole"the mother's life was in imminent danger" plea was just "spin" by Sister Margaret and the hospital to justify their decision, made for whatever reason. You can't just say "the mother has a condition that in some or many cases turns out to be life-threatening later in pregnancy, so we can abort in the first trimester." This is NOT in accordance with Catholic teaching.
I would certainly like to hear more details in the case. And the fact that this is not the first such case this hospital has been involved in is also interesting. I would want to wait to hear more before actually judging.Posted by: Lori Pieper at May 21, 2010 2:35 PM
First off, Nuns don't HAVE to wear a habit to real nuns (I know real nuns who don't wear habits). A real nun is someone who upholds Catholic teaching, submits to authority of the Church and follows the Magisterum, as well as fulfills her vows. I know nuns who wear conservative, very modest clothing that aren't habits, but are very faithful to their vows and to Catholic Church teachings.
The Catholic Church states that a person is a person from the very beginning of conception (that is the minute the sperm and egg join together). Whether a child is "viable" or not does NOT change that said unborn being is, in fact, a human being and child of God made in the image and likeness of God, THEREFORE, the willful killing (that is, ABORTION) is WRONG.
Furthermore, we DON'T know FOR CERTAIN if both mother and child would've died. We have to trust that such things are in God's hands. When you use abortion, you take such things OUT of God's hands.
Based on what we DO know it looks like there should've been other methods (ones more in line with Catholic teaching) used and they weren't.Posted by: Mother In Texas at May 21, 2010 2:46 PM
Please don't leave out the other important parts like bishops descending from the apostles- and our necessity of obedience to them as a mandate from Christ.
"I loved you like the Father loved me. Now continue in my love. I have obeyed my Father's commands, and I continue in his love. In the same way, if you OBEY my commands, you will continue in my love."
"The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19].
On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).
Please stop your false piety. It may work temporarily for your 5/6th graders, but maybe that's why they stop going to your class. Being part of the Church means to agree to the whole ball of wax. Maybe there were problems in the hierarchy, but Jesus Himself did not make a mistake. You owe respect and obedience to Bishop Olmstead.Posted by: Dena at May 21, 2010 2:49 PM
Oops, I was mistaken. It was another hospital under auspices of the same organization (Catholic Healthcare West) that had a similar incident.Posted by: Lori Pieper at May 21, 2010 2:49 PM
I"m sorry for the rude demeanor in my above posts, SF, but I must say that nothing gets me more upset than those who profess to be faithful Catholics and lead the faithful astray in very slick and underhanded ways. I'm not saying that you do that, SF; it's just that that phrase Sensus Fidei is almost always nowadays used in the very manner I just mentioned.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 21, 2010 2:49 PM
Bobby, no problem and no offense. I truly admire your faithful witness, wisdom, character and charity. I didn't know Sensus Fidei has that type of connotation, post VII peep here. I remember first learning this term in a class where the Pastor beautifully explained how the Assumption became Doctrine. It really touched my heart to hear how laypeople were so moved and convinced of this and that's how this miraculous event came to be known!
If I dare may say, others who profess to be Catholic here need to show it by correcting anyone who continually disrespects, attacks and personally insults others, herself and our God in a Catholic based forum.
Faithful folks, this is an instance where belief should become reality. I've been tempted to admonish, but it would be far more meaningful and poignant if someone else in authority did.Posted by: Sensus Fidei at May 21, 2010 3:05 PM
"post VII peep here."
"I remember first learning this term in a class where the Pastor beautifully explained how the Assumption became Doctrine."
Thank you for sharing this. I think this very well illustrates the true meaning of the Sensus fidelium, and I'm very glad you had such a positive experience with it. God love you.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 21, 2010 3:09 PM
Sensus, along that same line of thinking, shouldn't you say that you are incorrect and all faithful Catholics should adhere to the teachings of the Church, and show obedience to the Pope, however difficult that may be at times?
Posted by: Kristen at May 21, 2010 3:14 PM
Also, I don't know if anyone can relate to this but like many, assuming, I didn't vote for Obama. A primary reason was his horrifying pro-abortion (truly) record and his "out of pay grade" whatever answer to the good Pastor Rick Warren. It told me all I needed to know.
Well we all know how the Catholic vote went, we can't deny the stats. For quite awhile afterwards I was so confounded how a majority of Catholics could vote for him. I had a lot of confusion which became anger, "how could they?" I even wondered who was next to me in the pew. Maybe some of you felt that way. Of course since then I know a bunch of Catholics who wish they could've taken that vote back. So we pray and act for others, not much else to do pre 2012.
Anyway, different events unfolded as we know in our Church and that brought about grave concerns. Now I'm more in the middle but just goes to show how some of us really can fluctuate based on various factors and how it can affect our relationships with faithful. I really believe balance is healthier in many ways, at least for me.Posted by: Sensus Fidei at May 21, 2010 3:16 PM
By your own words, Sensus, you attack and insult my own bishop:
...I am extremely distraught over the damage Bishop Olmstead has caused to a vital mission. Your uninformed opinion and faith paired with an insulting tone likewise do damage and ultimately result in the death of more babies.
I will pray for you and your ilk. See you in the pew on Sunday, where you are inevitably surrounded by the majority of Catholics who are non-extremists, reasonable, thinking, praying, informed conscience Catholics.
I am also an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist and look forward to celebrating the Blessed Sacrament with you when you repent of the grave scandal you are perpetuating and resume communion with your Catholic sisters and brothers.
You should stop fluttering in the wind between what your friends and neighbors think and how your fellow pew members voted. It's orthodoxy you should be concerned with- don't be putting yourself up as an authority on the faith in any classroom or on a board without it.
Please retract your statement.
Sensus, quit pretending to be something you are not. I believe you voted for Obama and you are not Catholic. You are coming across as a liberal/communist plant that I'm trying hard not to find despicable. You really need to go back to the drawing board, your work is not perfected in trying to be what you think Catholics are and how they think. I apologize to the other readers and Jill for my harsh comments.Posted by: txcath at May 21, 2010 4:11 PM
Read this post entitled "When is a Catholic hospital not a Catholic hospital" at http://catholickey.blogspot.com/2010/05/when-is-catholic-hospital-not-catholic.htmlPosted by: topekaprolife at May 21, 2010 4:20 PM
"As long as the few of you (scan other faith blogs, you'll instantly see the extreme minority you are on this) can make up the financial difference from "fallen away" Catholics, perhaps that's all that paramount to you."
Not only should being in the extreme minority have nothing to do with this debate, money should have nothing to do with it either.
By their Fruits shall ye know them. . . . . .Posted by: Praxedes at May 21, 2010 4:57 PM
That same Catholic key blog link links directly to the Ethical and religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services by the US. Conference of Catholic Bishops - the ones the hospital was supposed to be following, and they are very clear:
"45. Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion, which, in its moral context, includes the interval between conception and implantation of the embryo. Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers.
47 Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.Posted by: Lori Pieper at May 21, 2010 5:16 PM
Look, at the very least, if you can't accept the fact that through the eyes of God, that little fetus was just as precious as the mother and thus deserved not be be killed, know this:
Given the presentation, pulmonary hypertension, the case was not imminently emergent. There are many non-Catholic hospitals in the area. If the family truly felt that an abortion was necessary (which, by what I've read, I find hard to believe) then they could easily have just transferred to another hospital where they don't follow Catholic ethics and gotten the abortion there. Catholic crisis averted.
To comment on a minor issue first, several of the nuns at the school I went to from kindergarten through high school didn't wear habits. They'd wear long blue skirts with white or blue blouses/shirts, or long blue dresses, and always wore large silver crosses. Not habits, but they were easily distinguishable as nuns, which I think all nuns should be.
If Dr. Byrne from the article linked to has been working in neonatology since 1963 and a board-certified neonatologist since 1975, I believe him when he says that it wasn't medically necessary to abort the baby to save the mother. What he says makes sense - he's not denying that she had a health issue, but he thinks that the baby could have been delivered prematurely with both mother and baby surviving.Posted by: Marauder at May 21, 2010 7:04 PM
Wow. I've written it before and I'll write it again: I love you people. Dena, txcath, and Kristen - thank you for writing what I could not.
I am so saddened by this story - it is another example of the consequence of lax teaching of the catechism. In this case (and in others, I fear), a baby has been killed because of it. I get exhausted just thinking about correcting the falsehoods put out in the world by "nuns" like this one (e.g. abortion is okay in some circumstances). Understanding that the horrific death suffered by this child is the worse consequence of this "ethics" panel's decision, there is also the post-abortive stress syndrome this mother will deal with, and the damage done to the Church as a whole.
I honestly hope this was not an easy decision or "knee-jerk" as I think I read here or somewhere else. I honestly hope the devil had to work overtime on this one. I am reminded that the devil may have won this battle but we all know Who will win the war.
Sensus Fidei: I hope I am wrong about you. I truly do. But, I have to say that you are giving me the creeps. One thought keeps entering my mind when reading your posts: the devil is insidious. No matter what, you are a child of God and I will pray for you.Posted by: MamaMT at May 21, 2010 10:51 PM
Late to the table. We were celebrating Joseph's 11th Birthday yesterday, beginning with 7 AM Mass said for him, then a day of golf, dinner, and general mayhem. Today, a party with his friends.
Much has been written on this, and I can't recapitulate all that I have done by doing it here. So I'll link to my 4 articles in order.
1. General issue from a Catholic moral/bioethical perspective:
2. Response to an NPR article conflating this with Priest pedophilia. Here I detail exactly where Sr. McBride and the physicians failed. This case isn't medical, so much as it is one of administrative failure. Read here:
3. A pediatric Cardiologist and I debate this issue, as she weighs in on Sr. McBride's side:
4. A recent graduate of my alma mater writes a few comments to tell me that she was taught in college that Catholic doctrine actually allows for abortion to save the life of the mother. Her other, more extended comment is here, along with my reply:
If anyone actually reads all of that, give yourself a Purple Heart Medal!Posted by: Gerard Nadal at May 22, 2010 4:57 AM
Good grief. I've been trying to be good, and to get my "real-life work" done, for the past weeks... but then this type of comment from "Sensus Fidei" had to come forth and virtually drag a reply out of me!
I can assure you I have every bit the Catholic paperwork you do and in fact was a sponsor at Confirmation a few weeks back.
(*sigh*) With all due respect: do you not realize that your laundry-list of alleged "Catholic credentials" makes you sound defensive and insecure in your position, if not pretentious? If your point is logically sound, then you should be able to prove it without recourse to CV's and resumes, yes? In this day and age, "Catholic paperwork"--lamentably--has nothing, WHATSOEVER, to do with orthodoxy of belief... which is precisely what seems to be lacking in your views. Archbishop Milingo, for example, had far more such "paperwork" than you do, but it didn't prevent him from descending into a morass of disobedience, heresy and excommunication (in addition to "marrying" a follower of "Rev. Moon").
Seriously: even on a purely logical level, don't you see that it makes no sense for you to appeal to your "RCIA experience", your participation as "extraordinary minister of the Holy Eucharist [sic; see below]", your "staunch Catholic parents", and the like, in defense of your views (as opposed to appealing to, say, the teaching of the Church)? All one would need to do is find someone with similar "credentials" who flatly disagreed with you, and you'd be sunk! No... you'll have to make your case by sane reason, and not by an appeal to your portfolio, friend.
In our RCIA classes, primarily comprised of thinking, informed, Biblically based peeps, we discuss many practical real world faith and ministry experiences, amid our confraternity of christian doctrine discussions./i>
God, help us! You teach RCIA, with ideas as muddled as the ones you've shared here? Do you not understand that you are BOUND to teach the truths of the Holy Faith, and not simply an admixture of half-learned doctrines and personal feelings/sentiments/opinions?
Our varied team of Sister, parents, and an occasional priest makes it very engaging, instructive, heartfelt and prayerful.
You seem very captivated by the sentimental, feelings-based approach to things. I wish I could say that I was surprised. Grieved, yes; surprised, no.
Candidates questions are hardball and you better be prepared. Apologetics need not apply; we relay faith to their hearts and minds and they won't accept less than this complete catechesis model.
By saying that apologetics is *not* an integral part of "complete catechesis", I'm afraid you show your ignorance of the very topic. You may have a sort of combative, belligerent "bash-over-the-head" idea of "apologetics" in your mind (which would be in keeping with your seemingly emotion-based approach to all this), but that has nothing to do with true apologetics (which is merely a necessary and mandatory application of 1 Peter 3:15, among other things).
Respectfully, you need to know how much damage your end of the spectrum is doing. If you don't, it's because you are too far gone.
First: you've tipped your hand as a member of the "other end of the spectrum"; as such, you show that you've bought into the nonsensical "liberal vs. conservative" dichotomy artificially cut-pasted from politics to religion. Such a dichotomy is MEANINGLESS when referring to Christ's Church!
Second: your dismissive (and arrogant) second statement is mere ad hominem fluff, which anyone could say about anyone, without bothering to see if it corresponds to reality (which yours does not).
We thank God for faithful such as Sean Hannity & Bill O'Reilly who often bring unholy cases like this to light. They too are saving grace for many, showing how you can keep the baby Jesus & partake of Holy Sacraments and discard the filthy bath water.
Forgive me, friend, but--especially in the case of dissident Catholics such as Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly (both of whom openly reject the Church's teaching against artificial contraception--and even use their respective pulpits to promote dissent against it)--you're talking nonsense. Your idea of "filthy bath water" is so vague and "plastic" that it encompasses anything which doesn't suit your personal tastes.
Even my parents who are very staunch Catholics
Hm. Nancy Pelosi described herself as a "fervent Catholic", as well. Surely you see how useless such statements are, when used in the emotion-based sense that you use? If "staunchness" is merely a function of emotional intensity, then your "faith" is reduced to the number of micrometers of adrenaline in your bloodstream at any given moment! Surely you see the folly in this?
have recently recognized and identified serious concerns with the hierarchy and practices.
There will always be serious concerns about the practices of Christians--even those in high office--and Our Blessed Lord assured us that we would always endure such scandals while the world endured (cf. Luke 17:1, etc.). That says nothing at all useful to your case.
If you don't truly shed a tear when a treasured soul departs from our Church, that's very teling about your priorities and lack of a basic Christian attitude.
Mm-hmm. "Basic Christian attitude." I seriously doubt whether you've taken even ten seconds' hard thought as to what you really mean by that phrase (as opposed to "going by your feelings of the moment"); but if your "basic Christian attitude" involves writing us off as money-hungry, politically-motivated demagogues (see your earlier comments), while you promote an amorphous, self-sculpted, obedience-free pseudo-Catholicism (apparently borrowing a great deal from political liberalism), then I can only say it's dreadfully and grievously removed from the truth.
As a side note: the correct term is "Extraordinary Minister of Holy COMMUNION"; the only minister of the Eucharist is a priest/bishop. See Redemptionis Sacramentum, and related documents with which--as an RCIA instructor/sponsor, you should be familiar:
=== quote from Redemptionis Sacramentum, 156===
This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not "special minister of Holy Communion" nor "extraordinary minister of the Eucharist" nor "special minister of the Eucharist", by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened.
=== end quote ===
Posted by: Paladin at May 22, 2010 11:58 AM
Posted by: Kristen
at May 22, 2010 12:16 PM
It's like the scripture says that what the devil intended for evil God uses it for our good. I really believe that when the dust settles that people who are staunch supporters of abortion, and attending mass and receiving Holy Communion will start leaving churches. I think as this happens true revival will come to churches. I really feel what happened with that nun is an attack against catholic teachings because a hospital is suppose to be a place of life. When death does happen it should be of natural causes.
I think too that while not agreeing with those who are staunch supporters of abortion it is our obligation to hold them up in prayer. The time of my last post reminded me of this. I find the scripture for me when I'm going through a very dark place brings healing to my soul and reminds me I have a Savior.Posted by: myrtle miller at May 22, 2010 3:32 PM
Thanks for your enlightening post.
Whoops... one correction:
"then your "faith" is reduced to the number of [cubic micrometers of adrenaline..."
Phooey. I thought I'd typed that... :)
And to Kristen & Janet: ;)Posted by: Paladin at May 22, 2010 6:13 PM
Another take on a mother's endangered life...Posted by: Leslie at May 22, 2010 8:36 PM
Bravo!! You should be chairing an aoplogetics department somewhere.
Nicely done.Posted by: Gerard Nadal at May 22, 2010 9:29 PM
Yes, Much thanks Paladin. May the Holy Spirit continue to work through you. God Bless.Posted by: Praxedes at May 22, 2010 10:49 PM
Sorry for the delay; preparing and grading final exams will keep me submerged for the better part of 2 weeks!
Bravo!! You should be chairing an apologetics department somewhere.
:) Thanks... but then who would inflict mathematics on the next generation?
Praxedes: ditto to you! :)Posted by: Paladin at May 24, 2010 5:43 PM
I suggest everyone on here go on the NPR discussion board and flood the heck out of these pro-aborts with rational reasons why what the Bishop did was right and why this has nothing to do with pedophilia. They have too many lefties on there commiserating among each other and ganging up on the pro-lifers: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126985072#commentBlockPosted by: Carrie at May 24, 2010 5:55 PM
"but then who would inflict mathematics on the next generation?"
I'll handle that, Paladin!Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 25, 2010 8:22 AM
What type of math?
"but then who would inflict mathematics on the next generation?"
I'll handle that, Paladin!
:P Gee, thanks! I try to bow out gracefully, and you yank me back onstage by my necktie! Nice to be in company with other math addicts, though...
What type of math?
:) I'm tempted to say, "GOOD math... but I repeat myself!" I teach high school math, up through AP Calculus. The nice, deranged stuff that has little or no application to reality...
(Just kidding, physics people!)Posted by: Paladin at May 26, 2010 11:51 AM