[New Updates with Father Zuhlsdorf chiming in]
[Breaking Update at the bottom of this post, more “mercy” killings by Sisters of Mercy]
Bishop Thomas Olmstead of the Diocese of Phoenix has confirmed that Sister Margaret McBride of Phoenix’ Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center had incurred an automatic excommunication or latae sententiae excommunication. What this means is as soon as the offense is committed Sister McBride was automatically excommunicated by her own actions.
Sister Margaret McBride made the decision to kill a critically ill mother’s innocent unborn child because there was a high risk of the mother not surviving the innocent child’s birth. In essence Sister McBride allowed for an abortion.
The decision was made in an ethics committee meeting due to the urgency of the situation.
The hospital vice president, Suzanne Pfister, said the hospital follows the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.
“In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother’s life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy,” Pfister said.
Pfister issued the four-paragraph statement on behalf of the hospital, its parent company Catholic Healthcare West, and the Sisters of Mercy, McBride’s religious order.
I looked up the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, fourth edition, and it specifically states under Part Four: Issues in Caring for the Beginning of Life, Section 45 that:
Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion, which, in its moral context, includes the interval between conception and implantation of the embryo. Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers.
Suzanne Pfister may have been referring to and misinterpreting Section 47 which states:
Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.
I believe this means that any attempts at saving the mother that may (secondarily) abort the innocent unborn child before viability is allowed, but Suzanne Pfister is wrong in this application because the hospital purposely procured an abortion because the innocent unborn child was a threat to the mother, ie, the innocent unborn child was treated as a disease.
After learning of the decision and the action of killing the innocent unborn child, the Diocese of Phoenix issued a statement.
“I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese,” Olmsted said. “I am further concerned by the hospital’s statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother’s underlying medical condition.
“An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother’s life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means.”
Olmsted added that if a Catholic “formally cooperates” in an abortion, he or she is automatically excommunicated.
“The Catholic Church will continue to defend life and proclaim the evil of abortion without compromise, and must act to correct even her own members if they fail in this duty,” the bishop said.
Sister McBride has been transferred to other duties within the hospital after learning that she excommunicated herself by her actions.
Board Chairwoman Sister Judith Carle, apparently unaware of above Catholic teaching, along with President and CEO Lloyd Dean, appealed to Bishop Olmstead.
“If there had been a way to save the pregnancy and still prevent the death of the mother, we would have done it,” the letter says. “We are convinced there was not.”
Basically Sister Judith Carle could have cared less for the innocent unborn child violating Catholic Church teaching, ie, the Fifth Commandment as well as the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.
 As soon as the offense is committed and by reason of the offense itself (eo ipso) without intervention of any ecclesiastical judge.
Update I: Early this morning it has been reported that a self-appointed angel of death, Sister Elaine Stahl, has dispatched more than a half-dozen aging nuns to their deaths in mercy killings at the Sisters of Mercy convent’s mother house and retreat center the in Auburn, California during 2009 A.D.
Last year, six elderly nuns – ranging in age from 68 to 100 – died at the convent.
A Sisters of Mercy spokeswoman have denied these claims of Auburn nun killings or what I call euthanasia.
Update II: Father Zuhlsdorf had these comments regarding Sister Margaret Mary McBride’s automatic excommunication:
[The idea here is that she automatically incurred the excommunication, latae sententiae, by her direct participation in the successful procuring of an abortion. Some may have questions about how proximate her participation was to the actual abortion. However, it seems that the bottom line here is that it could not have taken place without her approval.]