[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.
Ed Stoddard of Reuters’ religion blog Faithworld carries a roundup of the skirmish between Congressman Patrick Kennedy, the son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, has claimed that Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin.
In conclusion, Stoddard asks:
This leads to a question about the consistency of views in the U.S. Catholic Church leadership. The Church opposes abortion and therefore liberal politicians who support abortion rights risk being refused communion. The Church supports a healthcare overhaul that would make the system more equitable. So does a conservative Catholic politician who opposes this reform risk being denied communion for ignoring the Catholic social teaching that justifies it?
How about support for capital punishment, which the Vatican says is unjustified in almost all possible cases, or for war? In the build-up to the Iraq war, Pope John Paul was so opposed to the plan that he sent a personal envoy to Washington to argue against it. Did bishops threaten any measures against Catholic politicians who energetically supported that war despite Vatican opposition?
The author’s questions reveal an elementary ignorance concerning the moral issues in question and their relationship to varying levels of Church teaching. While I am disappointed by his answer (Faithworld is generally one of the better and more educational “religion blogs” in the secular media), it is understandable — as even many Catholics find themselves confused on this matter. Continue reading