Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hooray for Bishop Olmsted

PHOENIX, AZ (Catholic Online) - We present the full statement of Bishop Thomas Olmsted declaring that St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix can no longer identify itself as a Catholic institution. It was released by the Diocese of Phoenix along with a formal decree revoking Episcopal Consent to Claim the "Catholic" name according to Canon #216.

We have covered this story at length as it has unfolded. It is tragic, but vitally important and historic. We affirm the clear and courageous action taken by the Bishop and ask our readers to pray for him. We also ask that you pray for those Catholics still in leadership of this institution. The Bishops statement sets forth with great specificity his pastoral concern, the necessity of his action, and the vital issues involved. It is followed by the formal Decree of Revocation.


Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix

Jesus says (Cf. Mt 25:40), "Whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me." Caring for the sick is an essential part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout our history, the Church has provided great care and love to those in need. With the advent of Catholic hospitals, the faithful could also be confident that they were able to receive quality health care according to the teachings of the Church.

Authentic Catholic care in the institutions of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) in the Diocese of Phoenix has been a topic of discussion between CHW and me from the time of our initial meeting nearly seven years ago. At that first meeting, I learned that CHW already did not comply with the ethical teachings of the Church at Chandler Regional Hospital. The moral guide for Hospitals and Healthcare Institutions is spelled out in what are called the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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