ScandalMy dad never went to college, and he was certainly no expert on the scriptures or on moral theology. Yet my dad was well aware (and would often remind us) that our Lord Himself used incredibly strong and frightening language in saying that we 'd be better off to have "a millstone...put around...[the] neck and...be thrown into the sea than...to cause one of these little ones to sin." Like my dad, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us of our Lord's "little ones":
Misleading Our Lord's "Little Ones"
- "As a Catholic health system, the ERT [Saint Mary Medical Center's Ethics Resource Team] adheres to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services."
- "As a Catholic healthcare provider, Holy Redeemer expects that all health care practitioners adhere to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services at health system locations."
St. Mary's is Misleading Our Lord's "Little Ones" Regarding OB/GYN ServicesSaint Mary Medical Center advertises itself as having "Bucks County's most trusted and preferred maternity services." Noting "24 OB/GYN specialists" and "high-risk pregnancy management experts," the unsuspecting are encouraged to "Call 215.710.5888 for a Physician referral or visit www.StMaryHealthCare.org/Maternity."
24 OB/GYN specialists" (nor any of their "high-risk pregnancy management experts") are to be found on a list of NFP-only physicians. ALL of St. Mary's "high-risk pregnancy management experts" - including Dr. Stephen Smith - are associates of Dr. Frank Craparo of Abington Perinatal Associates, which is known for "reductions" - a euphemism for "abortions" (cf., See http://www.fertilethoughts.com/forums/selective-reduction-termination-due-health-issues/714760-selective-reduction-twin-singleton.html). Dr. Smith's name was previously removed from St. Mary's online directory; it is less than three years since the Huffington Post reported the following:
- "Dr. Stephen Smith of St. Mary's performed an ultrasound on an expecting mother and confirmed that the fetus had polycystic kidney disease, a fatal condition in infants. Smith recommended an abortion....local abortion opponents publicized Smith's advice....any pledge to support Catholic doctrine on medical matters is broadly viewed as a formality to be agreed to and then summarily ignored."
Holy Redeemer is Misleading Our Lord's "Little Ones" Re: OB/GYN ServicesHoly Redeemer's website tells the unsuspecting: "If you’re pregnant or planning on having a baby, you’ve come to the right place. Our board-certified obstetricians offer the latest medical expertise that can help maintain your health and the health of your baby at a convenient location near you." While NONE of Holy Redeemer's obstetricians are to be found on a list of NFP-only physicians, ALL of their "Reproductive Endocrinologists and Obstetricians" are IVF specialists (i.e., Drs Larry Barnat and Jennifer Nichols of Abington Reproductive Medicine; Drs Arthur Castelbaum, Martin Freedman, and Benjamin Gocial of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia; Dr Maria Pia Platia of Fertility and Gynecology Associates)!
Give Me a Break!
How can it be believably argued that either Saint Mary's or Holy Redeemer are MERELY providing hospital privileges to providers of morally prohibited services under some sort of supposed duress? These advertisements indicate that both PROMOTE providers of services condemned by Church teaching! To allow these facilities to continue to call themselves "Catholic" seems tantamount to false advertising. Such mislabeling endangers the physical and spiritual health of the unsuspecting!
Aren't "Catholic" Hospitals in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Dishonoring the Memory of Philly Native Terri Schiavo?Neither Saint Mary's Advanced Directives and Living Wills nor Holy Redeemer's Making Your Own Health Care Decisions and Advance Directive Form nor Mercy Health System (encompasses Mercy Fitzgerald, Mercy Philadelphia, Mercy Suburban, and Nazareth)'s Vendor Compliance Program properly specify
1) Catholic teaching with regard to nutrition and hydration, and
2) that health care services cannot honor advance directives (e.g., non-specific directives to forego nutrition and hydration) opposed to Catholic teaching (cf., Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, Charter for Health Care Workers, 1995; Address of John Paul II to the Participants in the International Congress on "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemnas", 3/20/04; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Responses to Certain Questions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration, 8/1/07; USCCB, Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (5th ed), 11/17/09).
Protect Our Lord's "Little Ones": "prohibit that agency from using the name 'Catholic'"The Holy Father's recent Motu Proprio provides indication that our own good example is NOT synonymous with sitting back and accepting that this is "just the way it is"! Those of us who are parents and grandparents have every right to expect authenticity in the institutions which call themselves "Catholic."
- "Art. 11. – The diocesan Bishop is obliged, if necessary, to make known to the faithful the fact that the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the Church’s teaching, and then to prohibit that agency from using the name 'Catholic' [emphasis added] and to take the necessary measures should personal responsibilities emerge....(Apostolic Letter Issued 'Motu Proprio' of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI on the Services of Charity).