In writing that post I turned up this item from The Catholic Phoenix a couple of years ago. It’s special.
Denys Powlett-Jones is commenting on the leaking of the bishop’s infamous letter to Catholic Healthcare West by the Arizona Republic.
It is also no surprise that it is C(INO)HW who has decided to fight this one out in the media, and not the Bishop. Phoenix Catholics already know that our shepherd is not in the business of publicly correcting the dissent, disobedience, and scandal that are as much a part of the Church in Phoenix as they were of the Church of Corinth in St Paul’s day. Our Man in the Mitre is a vigilant shepherd, but he always works quietly and personally with tough cases, as a good pastor should; when nasty stuff in Olmsted’s diocese goes public, it’s always the wayward sheep that are doing the bleating.
C(INO)HW – geddit? Catholic in name only. Haw! That’s a good one. And note the dissent and “disobedience” deserve scorn, and the dissenters are bleating sheep. Catholicism in action!
Catholic Phoenix readers should really read the Bishop’s letter in its entirety. The circumstances that have necessitated its writing are lamentable—namely, the hospital’s performance of an induced abortion as a “life-saving” measure back in late 2009, a hospital nun’s approval of the procedure and her automatic excommunication, and the hospital’s continued public insistence that life-saving abortions are consistent with Catholic doctrine. But the bishop’s letter is a powerful and heartening portrait of a shepherd preparing to use his crosier not to try to pull the wayward in, but to push dissimulating wolves out of the fold.
Note the scare-quotes on “life-saving.” Note the cold contempt for the notion that life-saving abortions are consistent with Catholic doctrine. Note the blood-chilling implication that the hospital really really should have let that woman die rather than performing an abortion. Note that Denys Powlett-Jones will never die in that particular way.
In the letter, Bishop Olmsted takes on C(INO)HW’s claim in a previous letter that “many knowledgeable moral theologians have investigated this case…(it) is a very complex matter on which the best minds disagree.” (Note to dissident Catholics: this kind of thing makes you look really silly. “On the one hand, we have the Catechism and the Magisterium; on the other, we have someone with a degree from Georgetown whom we are paying, and she says something else. What’s a Catholic supposed to believe?”)
Note to Denys Powlett-Jones: this kind of thing makes you look really fascist.