Fetuses-aren't-people lawsuit: Bishops to review Catholic hospital's argument

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jeremy stodghill 250x375.jpg
Anthony Camera
Jeremy Stodghill
J.D. Flynn, the Archdiocese of Denver's chancellor, says the bishops decided to issue a statement because "there were a lot of questions about CHI and their line of argumentation, and a lot of confusion. With some of the media coverage, there began to be confusion about what the church teaches. We want to work with CHI to figure out what their arguments have been and why.... We want people to understand what the church believes about the dignity of all human life, including the life of the unborn."

Flynn says Catholic health care institutions follow guidelines set out in a document published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services."

"CHI talked to us yesterday about their compliance with the ethical and religious directives and their ongoing desire to comply with them," he says. "They didn't talk specifically about their strategic or tactical decisions" with regard to the litigation, he added. But, Flynn says, "We know they take the directives seriously. We want to look into this issue to make sure everything that's gone on was in compliance with the directives -- not only to respect the dignity of the unborn but to witness to it, as well."

Though Colorado's bishops work closely with Catholic Health Initiatives, Flynn says the organization is actually overseen by an office in the Vatican called the Congregation for Consecrated Life. The reason, he says, is because CHI was formed by the merging of Catholic health care institutions formerly run by nuns, who are overseen by that office.

Flynn says the bishops' review is in the early stages and he's not sure what exactly it will entail. But, he says, "a lot of people are curious about this and concerned about this. We want to be as thorough as we can. We want to be fair to the family, we want to be fair to CHI and we want to be fair to Catholics.

"The bishops want to underscore that the Catholic church believes unborn people have dignity and the way we act should reflect that. Until we know all the facts, it's hard to know what that looks like in this particular case."

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Fetuses aren't people, says Catholic hospital: Does argument contradict church doctrine?"

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I came across this information in a local newspaper in ND and was very disappointed that an instuition that claims to be part of a Catholic Health Care system would make a statement that a fetus is not a person. I work in a Catholic Health Hospital and we see posted throught about the mission and this definitely is not what it says and what is stated to us. As Catholic,I have been raised to respect life from time of conception till end  of natual life. St. Thomas Hospital made a mistake in the care of these 7 months old fetuses and now is not accepting the responibility for their mistake. Does the Catholic Church

change their teaching based on financial issues vs moral issues? The news media will have a hayday with this issue if not resolved according to the Churches teachings. I just watched 2 different Masses this last week in Washington, D.C. during the Right to Life week. This situation in Canon City, Colorado makes a makery of what the Right to Life organization is striving to protect the unborn of this country.


More than a decade ago, Catholic Healthcare West (now known as Dignity Health) and the Sisters of Mercy, went before the California Supreme Court to successfully argue that a black nurse ( incidentally born and raised a catholic), employed by their Catholic hospital was, like a fetus in Colorado, not a “person” as defined by law. In spite of Catholic teachings, doctrines, pious statements of Catholic social justice, hospital mission statements and vows espoused by the Sisters of Mercy (among other things dedicated to promote “women seeking fullness of life and equality in church and society” and promising to oppose discrimination against minorities, the poor, and all vulnerable persons), put all principals and religious teachings aside in their efforts to void California's Fair Employment laws.

In that California lawsuit, the “United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services" was referenced quite frequently. However, it was not used to advance the rights of “persons” or people, but was used as a wordy fig leaf to distract attention from the actions of the church, and to define, expand, advance and codify in law the power and authority of the church.  

Powerful Catholic religious organizations will use religion, not to guide their behavior, but to avoid laws and taxes so they can continue to act with impunity in the operation of their businesses; Leaving patients without a legal path to address malpractice, refusing access to some healthcare services, and to deny protections for the vulnerable, the disabled, the elderly, racial minorities, and those who may not accept or comply with Catholic teachings.

Here, money is religion, and the church, its bishops and priests do not do as Jesus would do.  


What's their official policy on meth and porn shops??

Meth-dealing Priest Purchased Adult Shop in North Haven

BRIDGEPORT - A Catholic priest busted for allegedly dealing crystal meth was suspended after church officials discovered he was a cross-dresser who was having sex in the rectory at Bridgeport's St. Augustine Cathedral.

Monsignor Kevin Wallin was relieved of his duties in May, but the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport continued to pay him a stipend until his Jan. 3 arrest — the day he was planning to fly to London on vacation.

Now dubbed "Msgr. Meth", at one point, Wallin was selling upwards of $9,000 of meth a week, according to his indictment.

Perhaps there's a future in the Catholic chuch for ex-Sheriff Patrick Sullivan?


Why not pose this question to, "Ask a Mexican?", and perhaps see how much more ridiculous it can really get after ONLY waiting 40 yrs on the church & state ...

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Comments being auto-deleted by MyVoiceNation software.

Ryan Terpstra
Ryan Terpstra

Now, the bishops in Pueblo, Denver and Colorado Springs have issued a statement: "Oh...shit. We won this case. So yeah, about that line of reasoning we used in court..."

BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@janisgartner You're right.  It's best to let them live so you can take away their welfare and shoot them with your conceal-carry firearms when they are stealing a loaf of bread later in life.

michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@janisgartner Very interesting post, Janis. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@slcutah Very interesting post, slcutah. Thanks for weighing in.


@Ryan Terpstra 

Like when the Vatican declared the largest rodents in the world to be "fish" so the newly converted savages in South America wouldn't be sinners when they ate it on Fridays.

Flexible "morality".

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