Not much surprises us in these days of deception. In fact, when a known abortionist is aligned with a Catholic hospital, and the diocesan vicar for administration says that the hospital in question “remains in full compliance” with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services, we barely feel shock. Such tragic scandals have been occurring for so many years that the only question we can ask at this point is, “When is the Lord coming back because the Church is a mess?”
Having said that, we must also add that, in this particular case, grassroots Catholics have stepped up in force to change the situation and, we pray, get the abortionist removed—regardless of what the vicar might be saying. Here’s the story.
Abortionist Richard Grossman, who has said, “The reason I perform abortions is because I am a Christian” is a man who has no concept of evil. If he did, he would condemn a practice in which he participates because it results in the death of innocent preborn boys and girls. Grossman’s presence on a Catholic hospital staff in any capacity, including janitor, is an insult to Christ Himself.
But what is even worse is that he is being protected by officials within the leadership of the Pueblo, Colorado, diocese. The USCCB Health Care Directive #45 states in part: “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.”
Yet the public statements of Father Michael Papesh use these very words to defend the presence of the abortionist on the Catholic hospital staff. What Papesh is saying flies in the face of all that is consistent within the body of Catholic medical ethics. To argue, as he has, that Mercy Hospital “disallows him [Grossman] to offer or perform abortion related services associated with the hospital” is no different than a Catholic hospital saying it permits a known practitioner of euthanasia to care for the elderly as long as he does not kill anyone on its premises. Such arguments are insulting to Catholics everywhere!
It is helpful for the newcomer to these brazen examples of dissent and disregard for truth to understand that the horror of permitting an abortionist to hold any sort of position in a Catholic hospital is overshadowed by the obvious fact that the diocese has no problem with it. Otherwise Papesh would not be in the position he now holds.
Furthermore, Papesh is no stranger to controversy. For example, the Defenders of Church (DOC) Society of St.Paul-Minneapolis had many insights about Papesh and his actions long before he went to Colorado. He has been a lightning rod for liberalism in the Church for some time. In an America magazine article, Papesh wrote about what he defines as the repressive nature of a “clerical culture.” He denigrated the idea of celibacy because, he argues, teaching celibacy can create an atmosphere that represses “exploration of male sexuality.” This article alone suggests that Papesh is neither pleased with nor willing to accept the traditional teachings of the Church.
Perhaps that is why Papesh has seen fit to twist the language of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Health Care Directives to suit his protective stance when it comes to the likes of abortionist Grossman.
Whatever the reason, we are extremely grateful for the actions of Mercy Protest. The goal listed on its website states, “End the scandal at Mercy Regional Medical Center,” and it is music to our ears.
Defending preborn babies is something we all must do daily. Though most of us are not able to protest at the hospital, there are some things we can do:
• Go to the Mercy Protest website and sign the petition opposing the presence of an abortionist on a Catholic hospital staff.
• E-mail your concerns about Father Papesh and his obvious defense of the abortionist’s position at the hospital to Bishop Fernando Isern, DD, at
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• Pray for everyone involved in this tragic situation.