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San Francisco archbishop to consult with Catholic Healthcare West on ethical policies

December 24, 2010

Archbiship George Niederauer of San Francisco has indicated that he plans to “initiate a dialogue” with officials at Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), after the corporation’s commitment to Catholic ethical principles was questioned by Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix.

The San Franciscio archdiocese, in which CHW has its headquarters, issued a statement acknowledging that Bishop Olmsted had raised questions about CHW policies, as he announced that St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, a CHW affiliate, could no longer be considered a Catholic institution.

In explaining that decision, Bishop Olmsted disclosed that he had conferred with CHW officials, who failed to reassure him that their hospitals would follow the ethical norms set forth in the US bishops’ document, Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service.

“Some questions have been raised” about the CHW policies, the statement from the San Francisco archdiocese allowed. That statement went on to note that an abortion had been performed at St. Joseph’s Hospital, that hospital officials have stood by their decision to allow that abortion, and that the Ethical and Religious Directives state that abortion can never be morally justified.


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  • Posted by: polish.pinecone4371 - Dec. 29, 2010 1:29 PM ET USA

    I can't say this incites in me the greatest feelings of encouragement. Granted the archbishop is a successor of the Apostles and it could be that the grace of that charism will work in him. However, he's never been known as one who is willing to confront the forces of the world, which are all too operative in his archdiocese. So yes, Savanarola, let's pray for him. But let's also not get our hopes up too high.

  • Posted by: Savonarola - Dec. 26, 2010 3:39 PM ET USA

    Let's pray that Niederauer will back the courageous action of Bishop Olmsted !

  • Posted by: JACK.E.BOUCHER3524 - Dec. 25, 2010 4:09 PM ET USA

    "Cheers for Bishop Olmsted, and a real razzing for the hospital and its associates. Let this courageous act resound across America, It is about time to be grateful for Catholic doctrine