One of Ophelia Benson‘s commenters found a link to the complete letter that Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix wrote to the Hospital that performed an abortion on an 11 weeks pregnant patient with pulmonary hypertension to save her life last year. In my view, reading this letter, even if you account for the obviously egomanic self-centered personality of Mr Olmsted, tells us a lot about what is wrong with religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular.
Specifically, you stated in a letter to me dated 6 July 2010, “As you know, many knowledgeable moral theologians have reviewed this case, and reached a range of conclusions. If we may assume that these individuals are motivated by their faith and desire and for justice, one must at least acknowledge that this is a very complex matter, on which the best minds disagree.” Thus, it would appear that your intention is to resolve our disagreement by asserting that there is no single “correct” answer to the question of whether the procedure that led to an abortion at St. Joseph’s Hospital under the Ethical and Religious Directives of the USCCB. In effect, you would have me believe that we will merely have to agree to disagree. But this resolution is unacceptable because it disregards my authority and responsibility to interpret the moral law and to teach the Catholic faith as a Successor of the Apostles.
Nevermind the delusions of grandeur here. What matters is that for Olmsted and the Church, the world is binary, there are no complex issues, and if the Church morals say that pregnant women have to die if it avoids aborting a fetus, then that’s what has to happen. This is important, because it is excatly why religious morals based on stone age culture have no place in the society of 2010.
I have attempted to do my part in calling CHW and your hospitals to uphold the dignity of human life, and to embrace the fullness of what the Catholic Church teaches on the immorality of those actions that are an affront to the gift of human life and its inherent goodness from god.
Translation : I tried to bully you into killing a mother of 4 because that’s what my wretched doctrine tells me to do.
The irony of our present state of affairs is that an organisation that identifies itself as “Catholic” (CHW), is operating a Hospital in my(sic !) Diocese that does not abide by the ERD’s, and in the case of St. Joseph’s Hospital, has actively engaged in an abortive procedure that is immoral.
Here it is, folks. You need to read this again in case you missed it. Performing an abortion, to save a mother of 4 children from complications of pregnancy, is immoral in the eyes of the Bishop of Phoenix and the Catholic Church.
Read the rest of the wretched piece if you can stomach it. I have posted this here because one of my key messages, and one of the main reasons I started blogging, is to show everyone that religion has no answers for the moral questions humans face in the 21st century. By insisting on enforcing centuries-old dogma based on stone age writings, religions just add to human suffering.