Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mercy Suburban & ERD #53

The history of Mercy Suburban is akin to the histories of countless Catholic hospitals, schools, and social service providers, which were founded by an "army" of priests and religious who came to our shores from other countries.

  • The Sisters of Mercy were founded in 1831 in Dublin, Ireland by Catherine McAuley, an heiress who used her inheritance to serve the poor, especially women and children....The Sisters of Mercy arrived in Philadelphia in 1861 and immediately began visiting the sick in their homes and setting up schools for the instruction and care of children and adults. The Sisters of Mercy founded Misericordia Hospital (now known as Mercy Philadelphia Hospital) in 1918 [Around 1922, Catherine _______ entered the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin. Until her retirement and death, Sister Madeleine taught school in England.]....Mercy Health System is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and Hope Ministries through Catholic Health East, a multi-institutional Catholic health system which is co-sponsored by nine religious organizations" (Mercy Health System web site).

While many institutions founded by heroic priests and religious survive, we see fewer and fewer staffed by priests and/or religious. Maintaining Catholic identity, and the commitment to truth which that embodies, challenges all those institutions:

Considering that not a single gynecologist from Mercy Suburban is to be found listed among Pennsylvania's NFP-only physicians, that is quite a claim! In fact, several gynecologists associated with Mercy Suburban are from a private practice, which openly advertises provision of sterilizations (at least outside Mercy Suburban).

  • Dr. Jeffrey Blatt, Dominick Giuffrida, and Joann Sansone of East Norriton Women's Health Care, PC, which advertises several sterilization procedures. As per ERD #53

      "Direct sterilization of either men or women, whether permanent or temporary, is not permitted in a Catholic health care institution. Procedures that induce sterility are permitted when their direct effect is the cure or alleviation of a present and serious pathology and a simpler treatment is not available."

Wouldn't it be naive to assume that physicians, whose advertised practices are opposed to Catholic teaching, can temporarily embrace the truth when inside the walls of a Catholic hospital - so much that they do not tell Catholic hospital patients how to contact them elsewhere? Doesn't this situation seem akin to the fox guarding the hen house? Our Lord told his Apostles: "Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves" (Matthew 10: 16). Jesus did NOT counsel gullibility.

For those of us who have had family members in the Sisters of Mercy, this situation is particularly painful. I am praying that the Archdiocese, the Sisters of Mercy, and Holy Redeemer Hospital will correct this scandalous situation.


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