It was this past May when Bishop Thomas Olmsted took the agonizing step of excommunicating Sister Margaret McBride, the nun who approved surgically aborting an 11-week-old preborn baby. Since that time few have reported the case accurately or with a full understanding of Catholic doctrine.
It is the Catholic Church’s infallible teaching that there is no circumstance under which a child may be murdered prior to birth by an intentional act of surgical abortion. It is not and never has been Bishop Olmsted’s personal opinion. It is, rather, his obligation to defend the teaching of the Church and make clear the ramifications that follow when a Catholic disobeys a fundamental teaching such as that on abortion.
Bishop Olmsted did everything he could to convince Sister McBride of her error and, when all of his efforts failed, he had no other choice but to excommunicate her.
Most recently, Bishop Olmsted has acted again, this time issuing a decree
clarifying that St. Joseph’s Hospital, the hospital in which the abortion occurred, is no longer Catholic. Prior to his decree, Bishop Olmsted learned of the many infractions against Catholic teaching by hospitals associated with Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) including St. Joseph’s
. He reviewed the well-documented facts carefully and made his decision. He then pursued efforts to persuade CHW
of the destructive nature of its policies and, when he failed, the decree was issued.
As Bishop Olmsted stated, “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 response to Olmsted has been fast, furious and ridiculous. The Catholic Health Association’s Sister Carol Keehan, for example, took sides with the hospital, claiming
, “They carefully evaluated the patient’s situation and correctly applied the ‘Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services’ to it, saving the only life that was possible to save.”
Keehan’s statement is at odds with Bishop Olmsted, but that should surprise no one since she is a collaborator
with pro-abortion president Barack Obama and has on several occasions publicly contradicted
the Catholic bishops of our nation. Keehan is no friend to doctrine unless the doctrine in question suits her politics.
Most recently another voice of dissent, namely Marquette University professor M. Therese Lysaught
, has publicly proclaimed that there was no direct abortion performed at St. Joseph’s Hospital,
telling the media
, “The mother and fetus were both in the process of dying …” She then proceeds to say that due to natural causes the child was dying and, “The only morally good thing that can be chosen here is to save the life of the mother.”
Aside from the fact that her statements contradict each other, there is never a moral reason to take an innocent human being’s life. The greater good is not accomplished by killing someone.
It should be noted that Catholic Healthcare West asked Lysaught to render her opinion
, which is actually a 24-page analysis. Curious, is it not, that a theologian would be doing the bidding for an entity that has on many occasions contradicted Catholic moral teaching, deferring to its skewed version of what is “good” for the patient.
One is left wondering if CHW actually did a little theologian-shopping and made its request of Lysaught for dubious reasons. After what the public has learned, and Bishop Olmsted has studied, it is CHW that should answer that query, not American Life League. Let’s see if they do.
Finally, we note that the mainstream media has been very unkind to Olmsted, posing questions
such as where the intersection between faith and medicine exists and accusing him of erroneously using the word “abortion” as though he were somehow incapable of knowing the difference between good and evil.
Since faith informs the conscience and thus guides the actions of medical practitioners, bishops and reporters, we leave the reader to determine who is serving God and who is serving evil.
• Contact Bishop Olmsted
via e-mail or regular mail and let him know you support his valiant actions in defense of truth.
Check out your own local Catholic hospital and make sure its policies are in compliance with Catholic medical ethics. A good reference work is “Human Embryology and Church Teaching
,” by Dr. Dianne Irving.