Thomas J. Olmsted is the bishop of Phoenix. Today he stripped that town’s oldest Catholic hospital of its affiliation with that benighted faith. The story began last summer:
A woman with a history of pulmonary hypertension sought treatment at the hospital when she was 11 weeks pregnant. The condition, which affects the heart and lungs, is often fatal for pregnant woman. While at St. Joseph’s, the woman’s condition worsened to the point that doctors described her as “moribund.”
Health workers consulted with the hospital’s ethics board and agreed that terminating the pregnancy would be allowable under church health rules, because the intent was not to kill the fetus but to save the woman’s life.
In addition to throwing the hospital out of the Catholic club, he also announced that a nun on its ethics board had excommunicated herself by participating in the decision.
Last month he wrote a pissy letter to hospital officials in which he said that as “Successor of the Apostles” he’s the only one with the authority to make these decisions. Not once did he mention the poor woman except to state that by saving her life the hospital had “engaged in an abortive procedure that was immoral” and that it was “a grave scandal.”