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Vatican questions sale of Catholic health-care system in Arkansas

November 19, 2012

The Vatican is questioning the sale of a Catholic health-care system in Arkansas to a secular corporation.

Mercy Hot Springs, the 8th-largest health-care system in the US, has announced plans to sell its 31-hospital system to Capella Healthcare. Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock has already indicated concerns about the sale, citing worries about the impact on the level of care for the poor and the failure to provide for a continuation of ethical treatment in accordance with Church moral teachings.

Mercy Hot Springs has now announced that the Vatican has asked the health-care system to provide further information about the consequences of the sale, and to discuss ethical concerns with Bishop Taylor. The bishop has said that he was not consulted about the plans to sell the corporation, which cannot be completed without ecclesiastical approval.


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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Nov. 20, 2012 1:28 PM ET USA

    This is one of my big heartaches, as in 1980, St. Joseph was finally able to re-open its ob department, having closed it earlier due to Medicaid restrictions that would have forced it to provide abortions and sterilizations. What a state we have come to...Now, Capella states that they will not provide sterilizations or abortions for a period of five years from the date of sale. Sad beyond measure.