Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix Sends a Message

2010 was a horrible year for health care — that is, if you believe abortion is not “health care.” The ObamaCare health legislation, if not amended by the next Congress, will result in hundreds of thousands of federally funded abortions that would not happen without that funding.

But Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, who is a “walk-softly-but-carry-a-big-stick” type of bishop, has stripped the label “Catholic” from the St. Joseph Medical Center. Olmsted confirmed reports that an abortion had been performed at St. Joseph’s, and get this — with the full consent of its administrator, Sr. Margaret McBride.

Bishop Olmstead also announced that, by giving her approval, Sr. Margaret McBride had excommunicated herself from the Catholic Church.

“She consented in the murder of an unborn child,” says the Rev. John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix. “There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But — and this is the Catholic perspective — you can’t do evil to bring about good. The end does not justify the means.”

What the Bishop did not announce was that Sister Margaret will very likely start on a speaking tour of Jesuit colleges and universities, picking up a few awards along the way for her “service to the Church.” Yes, Sister Margaret is to follow in the footsteps of Sr. Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, as a martyr to the cause of “health care.” 

Bishop Olmsted is one of those bishops, like Archbishops Dolan and Chaput, who know how to handle the press, in part, because they control the framing of any questions they answer. 

For example, in this video below from yesterday’s press conference in Phoenix, Bishop Olmsted was asked if he had read the reaction in the blogosphere to his pronouncement. Though he didn’t mention his special fondness for InsideCatholic.com, he did answer by saying he got up “every morning,” did a holy hour, and set out to please his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, not anyone else.

News Conference at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, Dec. 21, 2010 from Diocese of Phoenix on Vimeo.

Deal W. Hudson

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Deal W. Hudson is ​publisher and editor of The Christian Review and the host of "Church and Culture," a weekly two-hour radio show on the Ave Maria Radio Network.​ He is the former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.

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