ACLU Concerned That Catholic-based Hospital Takeovers Will Put Patients in Jeopardy

The Washington state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has stepped up to the plate to defend citizens against Catholic health care organizations that would impose their religious dogma on non-Catholic patients.

Joining ten other groups concerned with health care advocacy or civil liberties, the ACLU sent a letter to Governor Jay Inslee (PDF), requesting a moratorium on hospital mergers until a “community health needs assessment” can investigate the impact of an institution’s religious affiliation on the availability of legal and medically appropriate care. The letter notes that all Catholic-run medical institutions are required to comply with the USCCB’s Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, which prohibit contraceptive use, sterilization, and abortion, as well as most types of assisted reproduction.

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Catholic School Teacher Fired for Getting Pregnant via Artificial Insemination Wins Lawsuit

Before she conceived her daughter, who is now a toddler, Christa Dias worked as a technology coordinator in two Ohio parochial schools, both governed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

This same diocese now owes Dias more than $170,000 — $100,000 in punitive damages, $20,000 in compensatory damages, and $51,000 worth of back pay — as the result of a wrongful dismissal suit. After revealing her pregnancy at 5 ½ months gestation, when she went to speak to school administrators about her options for maternity leave, Dias lost her jobs at Holy Family School and St. Lawrence Elementary.

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Did Pope Francis Perform An Exorcism? (And Does It Matter?)

Stories were flying all over the Internet last week alleging that Pope Francis may have performed an exorcism on a wheelchair-bound man — said to be a 43-year-old Mexican pilgrim called Angelo — in St. Peter’s Square, following the Mass for Pentecost.

Even better, the moment was caught on video: after a few words from a priest accompanying the young man, the pontiff placed his hands prayerfully upon Angelo’s head, a gesture commentators have declared “a real act of exorcism.” Some have said the Pope wore a grim expression as he approached the task, though the low-quality video makes it difficult to be sure. Under the Pope’s prayerful touch, Angelo convulses and slumps in his chair. The Pope moves on to greet the next child, but not before Angelo’s priest hands over a file folder, taken by a member of the Pope’s suit-wearing security team.

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Aussie Cardinal Confesses That the Catholic Church Concealed Child Abuse

Australian Cardinal George Pell has admitted during a parliamentary inquiry in Victoria that the Catholic Church has worked to systemically cover up child sexual abuse in Australian parishes.

The recent papabile described the rape of children as young as five-years-old in response to questions from the inquiry. He declared that he was “fully apologetic and absolutely sorry” for the Church’s complicity, and — when asked whether he considered the acts “totally un-Christ-like” — admitted, “I would have to agree with you.”

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