A Phoenix hospital has been stripped of its ability to call itself Catholic because of a surgery that ended a woman’s pregnancy to save her life.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted announced the decision to remove St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center’s Catholic status at a news conference Tuesday.
Olmsted says “the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld.” He called the surgery an abortion.
Olmsted says the hospital is in violation of ethical and religious directives of the national Conference of Catholic Bishops. The 697-bed hospital does not receive direct funding from the church, but it will be prohibited from celebrating Mass and must remove the Blessed Sacrament from its chapel.
Hospital officials say the surgery was allowable under exceptions to the church’s abortion policy.
Jimmy Akin at the National Catholic Register, meantime, has posted the Bishop’s statement.
Stay tuned. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this in the hours ahead.
You can also watch video of the bishop’s press conference here.