in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District's_1st_congressional_district
and the Central Garden State

Sunday, November 20, 2011

SB 732 update

Please contact Sen. Sen. Dominic Pileggi (350 Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120; 717-787-4712; with the following message:

  • "Please support the Pa. House's position on SB 732 regarding waiver requests from ASF requirements. Please oppose any special treatment for abortion facilities".

We are asked to also contact our own State Senator with this message, IF our own state senator is pro-life.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Failure of Catholic Hospitals in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to Be True Flagships of Conscience

Michael B. Laign, Holy Redeemer
Kathryn Conallen, Mercy Fitzgerald & Mercy Philadelphia
Jeff Snyder, Mercy Suburban
Christina Fitz-Patrick, Nazareth
Greg Wozniak, St. Mary Medical Center
Judith Persichilli, Catholic Health East
Sr. Clare Christi Schiefer, OSF, Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association


Just across the Delaware, "A dozen nurses have filed a lawsuit against their employer, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, which told them they had to either assist in abortions or risk losing their jobs" (, 11/1/11). Now, how can faithful Catholic health care workers in secular settings - indeed any truly conscientious health care workers - hope for legal protection in standing up for life, unless our Catholic health care system is being a true flagship of conscience?

In 2009's Diagnosis Critical: The Urgent Threats Confronting Catholic Healthcare , Professor Leonard J. Nelson noted the failure of some Catholic hospitals to comply with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop's [USCCB's] Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services [ERDs] and warned of ramifications:

  • "compliance with the ERDs has been uneven when it comes to contraception and sterilization. Typically, obstetrician-gynecologists practicing in Catholic hospitals and physician office buildings owned by Catholic hospitals provide prescriptions for contraceptives to their patients" (p. 53).

  • [Some Catholic] "systems have entered into arrangements to provide services such as direct sterilizations and abortion referrals....The existence of such arrangements increases the risk of scandal and could embolden those who favor a mandate requiring all provide a full range of [so-called] reproductive services" (p. 102).

  • "any argument in favor of exemption from laws requiring a hospital to provide these services may be substantially undermined by the fact that the Catholic hospital is already, in some fashion, involved in either providing those services - as in the case of sterilizations - or involved in partnerships with entities providing such services" (p. 137).

For generations, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia enjoyed a reputation as being among the most faithful of American dioceses, in its schools, parishes, and institutions. Holy Redeemer and five hospitals under Catholic Health East constitute the six Catholic hospitals currently operating within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia:

In a 2008 speech given at Christendom College, Dr. John Bruchalski noted that there are many "Catholic" physicians in the United States, yet only "69 obstetricians & NFP only doctors out of 80,000." Of physicians listed in the Philadelphia Catholic hospitals' online directories, I was only able to find one gynecologist or ob/gyn specialist who is also found among NFP-only medical professionals in Pennsylvania (Note: I would be delighted to learn that I overlooked someone.).

Via Mercy Health System, Catholic Health East continues an association with a known abortionist (i.e., Dr. Frank Craparo, whom the blogosphere notes to be a popular provider of "selective reductions.")! To me, the absolute inappropriateness of this association seems clearly indicated by the USCCB's ERDs, as well as by the Vatican's Charter for Health Care Workers.

For hospitals to claim adherance to the ERDs, in the light of the above situations, strikes me as an insult to our intelligence - and their own! In my opinion, these situations speak to Philadelphia's Catholic hospitals doing a miserable job of exemplifying properly formed consciences. With the flagship operating in this manner, what hope of legal protection can there be for truly conscientious health care workers in secular settings?

I continue to pray that our new archbishop will do everything in his power to correct these situations. As his Excellency noted in Render Unto Ceasar, Catholics "can be disciples and missionaries, or we can be apostates; but there's no room for anything else."


The 10 Commandments

The Beatitudes (from "Jesus of Nazareth")

Our representation in D.C....

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