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Arizona Nun Excommunicated For Authorizing Abortion To Save Life Of Mother

by @ 3:31 pm on June 2, 2010. Filed under Catholic Church, In The News, Religion

Sorry, but this is just insane:

PHOENIX (AP) — A nun and administrator at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix has been reassigned and rebuked by the local bishop for agreeing that a severely ill woman needed an abortion to survive.

Sister Margaret McBride was on an ethics committee that included doctors that consulted with a young woman who was 11 weeks pregnant late last year, The Arizona Republic newspaper reported on its website Saturday. The woman was suffering from a life-threatening condition that likely would have caused her death if she hadn’t had the abortion at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Hospital officials defended McBride’s actions but confirmed that she has been reassigned from her job as vice president of mission integration at the hospital. They said in a statement that saving the mother required that the fetus be aborted.

“In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother’s life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy,” hospital vice president Susan Pfister said in an e-mail to the newspaper. She said the facility owned by Catholic Healthcare West adheres to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services but that the directives do not answer all questions.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Phoenix Diocese, indicated in a statement that the Roman Catholic involved was “automatically excommunicated” because of the action. The Catholic Church allows the termination of a pregnancy only as a secondary effect of other treatments, such as radiation of a cancerous uterus.

“I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese,” Olmsted said in a statement sent to The Arizona Republic. “I am further concerned by the hospital’s statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother’s underlying medical condition.

“An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother’s life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means.”

So it’s better to just let them both die ?

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11 Responses to “Arizona Nun Excommunicated For Authorizing Abortion To Save Life Of Mother”

  1. Chris Byrne says:

    Olmstead has been a problem for a while. He’s made some choices and policies that are really causing issues in the diocese. I took my kids out of a school we loved because of them for example.

  2. Chris Byrne says:

    Oh and let me be clear, catholic law allows for abortions to save the life of the mother; but only as last resort.

    Catholic doctrine gives equal weight to the life of the mother and the child. If it is possible to save the life of the child, but the mother would die; an abortion would not be allowed for example.

    In this case, abortion was justified under doctrine; as both mother and child would have died.

  3. Barbara D. says:

    Based on my catechism, if the baby cannot survive outside the mother’s womb and the mother’s life is in danger, then saving the mother’s life is all that can be done. Without the mother, both mother and baby die at that point. Maybe I missed something in CCD classes.

  4. Nick says:

    But of course, when it comes to a priest sexually abusing a child… then we’ll transfer the guy around, and let him do other horrible things in other places. For this, they’ll excommunicate immediately.

  5. God Family Country says:

    Sorry to Chris Byrne and Barbara D.
    Neither are you ‘clear’ nor are you referencing (‘based on my catechism’) THE Catechism of the Catholic Church in interpreting to your personal point of view. The thing is, the doctors nor the nun KNEW (we are talking Omniscient Knowing – they ‘thought’ – big difference) that the mother might die. Faith and belief make way for God’s Will Be Done, not My Will Done. Easy to say when uttering the occasional ‘Our Father’ – the real faith is is the doing, not the saying. This was not the nun’s choice to make – our Cathecism is extremely clear. By simply permitting, facilitating, endorsing or otherwise this abortion, the Sister excommunicated HERSELF…the Bishop just made it known. As horrific as an act can be, the abuse of an individual by a priest still doesn’t take their natural life (don’t get me wrong, such a priest has more to answer for than I can fathom).

    CCC
    2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” “by the very commission of the offense,” and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

    2322 From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a “criminal” practice (GS 27 § 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.

  6. God Family Country says:

    To Chris Byrne and Barbara D.
    Unfortunately you are neither being ‘clear’ nor referencing (‘based on my catechism’) THE Catechism of the Catholic Church.
    Neither the doctors not the nun KNEW (we are talking Omniscient Knowing – they ‘thought’ – big difference than KNEW) that the mother would not survive without an abortion. The mere or tacit approval, facilitation, assistance, or procurement of the abortion meant that the Sister excommunicated HERSELF…the Bishop just finished up with a formal acknowledgement of what she did to herself.
    Faith or belief provides room for THY Will Be Done, not MY Will Be Done. It is easier to pass off in utterance of an Our Father – hard to live the belief by doing, not just saying.
    As abhorrent as the act is of priestly abuse of an individual (don’t get me wrong, such a priest has more to answer for than we can possibly imagine and I think there may be a special spot for them in Hell), it still does not take the natural life of the abused.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church
    2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” “by the very commission of the offense,” and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
    2322 From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a “criminal” practice (GS 27 § 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.

  7. Bill Jempty says:

    Would the Catholic Church ever money say $70-80 they pay in health insurance premiums more important than a diocesan employee who is hospitalized for preterm labor and in danger of losing her child? Life is more important than the risk to two human lives.

    Guess again.

    http://wizbangblog.com/content/2009/03/10/put-two-and-two-together.php

    Calling out the blatant hypocrisy of the Catholic Church gets you called Anti-Catholic. It is the Church that’s acting UnGodly way too often and seems never to learn any lessons from their mistakes.

  8. Bill Jempty says:

    Oh and read this story carefully as to just where this abortion took place.

    A Catholic Hospital.

  9. Theresa says:

    I am shocked and sadened by the decision to excommunicate a nun for saving a life. I am sure she would do the same thing again if given that chance. My kids are Catholic, only because my husband is, I am Protestant and so thankful I never embraced a religion that is so tunnel visioned to promote the death of two beings for the sake of following a rule that is not considering the context of a situation. Mother’s to be, think carefully about birthing your child in a Catholic hospital. You might find yourself in a situation where you are sacrificed for the sake of an unrealistic and in my opinion “unchristianlike” Catholic rule.

  10. Lucinda Nicholas says:

    Disgusting story. I am curious as to this woman’s reassignment and question further how the excommunication affects her future. Does she lose all support of the organization she has served and given her life to? Is she just cast out into the street, with no retirement benefits, health care etc.? I imagine this is a likely scenario considering the catholic church and its hypocrisy.

  11. kevin says:

    Yeah yeah, and the catholic church will automatically excommunicate you if you are abused by a priest and do not report it within 30 days. Tell all those sex abuse victims who lived in shame for years but kept going to church, that they were automatically excommunicated years ago. Sad for them too.

    I am sad for this nun, she devoted her life to this church, only to end up like this. She made the right decision.

    I am glad I dropped out of the Catholic church. Now the unborn’s life is more important than the already born’s life? They are choking into nonsense on their own twisted logic.

    You don’t need the church. God speaks directly to your heart. You don’t need an “intermediary”, especially one that makes such obvious mistakes. Yeah shuffle around the priests who were sexual abusers while excommunicating the nun. This church has lost its credibility.

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