Home / News / Bishop Explains Catholic Church's Position in Severing Ties with St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix for Terminating Pregnancy to Save Mother's Life

Bishop Explains Catholic Church's Position in Severing Ties with St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix for Terminating Pregnancy to Save Mother's Life

Bishop Thomas Olmsted

Bishop Thomas Olmsted takes reporters' questions.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Phoenix Catholic Diocese insists that the St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix did the wrong thing in 2009 when it terminated a pregnancy to save a mother's life. The woman needing medical care was raising four children.

The church severed ties this week with St. Josephs because the hospital did not comply with Catholic morality.

Olmsted explained to reporters that the pregnancy termination was morally wrong because according to the Ten Commandments, the life of a human being cannot be deliberately taken.  When two innocent persons are involved, such as a mother and child, Olmsted said that every effort should have been done to save both lives.  Although the hospital staff  believed that it was necessary to terminate the pregnancy to save the mother's life, Olmsted said that the hospital directly killed an innocent life, thus violating Catholic policy.

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About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • Maryland, USA

    More than 20 years ago, in his Saturday morning sermon, my rabbi rattled off a number of ways that Jewish law and Catholic law differ. In one example, under Judaism a pregnancy may be terminated–some scholars say, MUST be terminated–to save the mother's life. After each difference, my rabbi added, "They cannot–both–be right!" Indeed, they cannot.

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