Bishop Olmstead receiving lessons in dictatorship from Sheriff Arpaio, a man Olmstead has never questioned publicly and who runs a veritable concentration camp for supposed illegals.
It sure does seem that Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix is addicted to the adrenaline rush of controversy---and exercising his authority. I've been out of touch this week as I worked the GVD shift at my new/old job, so I missed out on Omstead's latest controversy with the Catholic hospital which opted to save the life of a mother of four by the therapeutic abortion of her fifth pregnancy. Olmstead thought it was more Catholic to let both mother and child die. As I read through his letter to the hospital, it strikes me that from Olmstead's position the controversy has absolutely nothing to do with correct medical ethics and everything to do with his authority to rule all things in his diocese. Olmstead is waging a sort of a small scale version of the large scale battle the Vatican is waging with China over who has the authority to appoint real Chinese bishops.
As a Catholic though, I am completely befuddled by some of the latest 'teachings' of my American leadership. I keep thinking about Archbishop Broglio, head of our Military Archdiocese, babbling on about the rights of Catholic chaplains when it comes to DADT in the military. Did he forget this same military is engaged in two unjustified wars? Seems to me DADT would be very small potatoes for a Catholic Archbishop in his pastoral duty to over see the souls of Catholic military who are actively engaged in two wars declared unjust by Pope JPII. After all this same Archbishop certainly overlooks the fact military personnel are issued condoms like candy, so it can't be the illicit sex on his mind with his DADT obsession. Hopefully there is something else, otherwise I will be forced to conclude Broglio is another publicity seeking episcopal hypocrite, but I digress.
I wonder how as a Catholic I am expected to tolerate the moral muddle of Catholic priests serving a military institution dedicated to killing in a war which JPII declared unjustified, while at the same time I'm expected to support Olmstead's authority in one very grey medical case. I can only determine that the over riding issue has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ, or reason applied to faith, and everything to do with mindlessly supporting the rights of tin pot dictator bishops to interpret Christ and Catholicism in any way they see fit.
Olmstead actually says his chief complaint is the hospital's refusal to recognize his authority. Unfortunately for Olmstead, his isn't the only authority to which a hospital or it's employees have to answer. It is not Olmstead who issues professional liceneses to practice medicine. It's the state. The state has it's own notion of appropriate medical care. Allowing a woman and her fetus to die when one can be saved is not considered ethical medical practice. It's considered malpractice. Maybe Olmstead doesn't understand that most professionals would rationally determine their licensing board has more authority to decide a professional course of action than a non trained religious figure. Even Archbishop Broglio does not tell the US military how to wage their unjust war. He just over sees the sacramental and pastoral availability for military personnel engaged in that unjust war.
Maybe the Military Ordinariate represents the solution. Instead of having any hospitals define themselves as Catholic, hospitals could apply for pastoral and sacramental support from a specialised diocese or archdiocese. If individual Catholic practitioners had a moral issue with a hospital they would have the same options Catholic military personnel have: confessing or finding other employment.
The issue which really gets to me is that Olmstead is waging his war against this particular hospital over notions of what constitutes murder. This same issue NEVER comes up in the Military Ordinariate. Sacraments are not refused, Masses are still said, pastoral care given no matter the circumstances, and chaplains don't tell other officers how to do their job, much less demand those professional officers accept their opinions on how to wage warfare. Why is the hospital system and the practice of medicine different from the military system and the practice of large scale unjustified warfare? Please, don't tell me it's all in the name --as in Catholic Hospital. Medicine is medicine and regulated by the state, no matter the name on the hospital.
Until someone can give me a real reason for this bizarre discrepancy in the application of the fifth commandment with regards to hospitals vis a vis the military, I will continue to put my own conscience ahead of blind obedience to the USCCB or the Vatican.