Monday, May 17, 2010

Nun excommunicated over Phoenix hospital abortion - CathNewsUSA

Nun excommunicated over Phoenix hospital abortion - CathNewsUSA

[please read above link first]

A Bishop who is a real shepherd, i.e., one who corrects and disciplines as well as teaches and protects. One could say Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, is a MANLY Bishop (not macho, but strong --- FORZA, as we would say in Italian). No one relishes impoing penal sanctions on anyone, least of all on a nun, but at the same time, to ignore a nun's participation in abortion would have been tantamount to gross spiritual negligence if not indirect participation in evil (through silence).

Sister McBride should know well Catholic morality is adamant: the ends never justifies the means. Evil may NEVER be directly intended. One may never deliberately perform an abortion even if it would save the life of the mother. Conversely, one may never deliberately kill the mother to save the life of the unborn baby. One must seek the preservation of all innocent human life and not choose one person as being more important than another. Unborn babies are as much a child of God as are full grown adults, toddlers, teenagers, young adults, middle agers, elderly and especially the termimally ill and severely disabled.

There is NEVER any medical condition which requires the doctor to directly and deliberately kill the unborn baby in the womb. There are some rare conditions where the mother absolutely requires immediate treatment which in all likelihood would induce premature labor, but that is morally permissable under the Principle of Double Effect. IF the unborn baby dies by natural consequences, it is a sad event but it is not considered abortion. If the physician injects poison into the fetus or crushes the baby's head, it is abortion (and MURDER).

Sister should know this. It is in every ethics and Catholic morality textbook. That she consented to the abortion is being a formal as well as material cooperator in evil. She is ipso facto excommunicated by her own actions. Bishop Olmsted did not excommunicate her, she excommunicated herself when she gave the green light to the abortion (in a Catholic hospital, of all places) Every ordinary means must be employed to save the lives of EVERY human being who enters the hospital. Only extraordinary means can be optional. Nutrition & hydration (food & water) and ordinary care (clean clothes, adequate shelter, pain relief, etc.) are non-negotiables. Only when the body itself rejects food and hydration (e.g., when the organs shut down, like the kidneys and stomach) and digestion cannot take place, then you merely make the patient comfortable WITHOUT ever being the direct cause of death (overdose of painkillers, e.g.). But directly killing an unviable fetus is a classic case of abortion and is immoral, unethical and unacceptable. I am sure the mother's life could have been saved using moral means. It may have been more inconvenient and/or more complicated, but it would have been acceptable and not murder.

The real scandal is that a Catholic nun who was also administrator of a Catholic hospital gave permission for an abortion to be done. Were it a parent of a teenager, one could at least blamed some of the error on misguided compassion. While still gravely evil, it is intensified that someone who took vows as a Bride of Christ and who represents the Church in the medical community is the one who sanctioned this nefarious deed. Then the usual non-sequiturs come out of the woodwork when you read some of the comments in the secular press: 'well, at least it was not a bishop covering up another incident of sexual abuse of children by the clergy.'  Both are grave evils. Killing the unborn and abusing children are evil, sinful and immoral. Sadly, silence has been the response in both types for too long in too many places. The same motive which impelled Bishop Olmsted to speak out in this case of abortion will also animate him to protect children from any form of abuse. Whether it is the 5th or the 6th Commandment, they both come from the same source.

1 comment:

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Thanks for sharing that - and pointing out why it's not nice to arrange for an abortion. Bishop Olmsted made a sensible - and counter-cultural - decision. Kudos!

My Blog List

Blog Archive