Sunday, December 23, 2012

St. Mary, Holy Redeemer, & the Motu Proprio - Please add your voice!


On page A11 of the 12/12/12 Bucks County Courier Times, an ad appeared for St. Mary's maternity services.  Noting "24 OB/GYN specialists" and "high-risk pregnancy management experts," the unsuspecting are encouraged to "Call 215.710.5888 for a Physician referral or visit"
NONE of St. Mary's "24 OB/GYN specialists" (nor any of their "high-risk pregnancy management experts") are to be found on a list of NFP-only physicians. ALL of St. Mary's "high-risk pregnancy management experts" are associates of Dr. Frank Craparo at Abington Perinatal Associates, which is known for "reductions" - a euphemism for "abortions" (cf., See

Holy Redeemer's website tells the unsuspecting: "If you’re pregnant or planning on having a baby, you’ve come to the right place. Our board-certified obstetricians offer the latest medical expertise that can help maintain your health and the health of your baby at a convenient location near you."  While NONE of Holy Redeemer's obstetricians are to be found on a list of NFP-only physicians, ALL of their "Reproductive Endocrinologists and Obstetricians" are IVF specialists (i.e., Drs Larry Barnat and Jennifer Nichols of Abington Reproductive Medicine; Drs Arthur Castelbaum, Martin Freedman, and Benjamin Gocial of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia; Dr Maria Pia Platia of Fertility and Gynecology Associates)!

How could it be believably argued that either Saint Mary's or Holy Redeemer are MERELY providing hospital privileges to providers of morally prohibited services under some sort of supposed duress? These advertisements indicate that both PROMOTE providers of services condemned by Church teaching!  To call these facilities "Catholic" seems tantamount to false advertising. Such mislabeling endangers the physical and spiritual health of the unsuspecting!

While acknowledging hideous conditions at Catholic hospitals such as are described above, some argue that we can only respond with our own example.  While that is certainly true, I also recall a tune from when I was a young man and dinosaurs roamed the earth:
            "That's just the way it is
            Some things will never change
            That's just the way it is
            Ah but don't you believe them
            " (Bruce Hornsby)
The Holy Father's recent Motu Proprio provides indication that our own good example is NOT synonymous with sitting back and accepting that this is "just the way it is"! Those of us who are parents and grandparents have every right to expect authenticity in the institutions which call themselves "Catholic."

    "Art. 7. - § 1. The agencies referred to in Article 1 § 1 are required to select their personnel from among persons who share, or at least respect, the Catholic identity of these works.
    "§ 2. To ensure an evangelical witness in the service of charity, the diocesan Bishop is to take care that those who work in the Church’s charitable apostolate, along with due professional competence, give an example of Christian life and witness to a formation of heart which testifies to a faith working through charity [emphasis added]. To this end, he is also to provide for their theological and pastoral formation, through specific curricula agreed upon by the officers of various agencies and through suitable aids to the spiritual life....

    "Art. 11.The diocesan Bishop is obliged, if necessary, to make known to the faithful the fact that the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the Church’s teaching, and then to prohibit that agency from using the name 'Catholic' [emphasis added] and to take the necessary measures should personal responsibilities emerge....

    "I order that everything I have laid down in this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio be fully observed [emphasis added]...and enter into force on 10 December 2012" [emphasis added] (Apostolic Letter Issued 'Motu Proprio' of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI on the Services of Charity).
Please consider contacting our archdiocesan respect life office ( - with copies to Bishop McIntyre ( and Archbishop Chaput ( - with regard to Holy Redeemer and Saint Mary Medical Center.

Thank you,

P.S. It should also be noted that Holy Redeemer's Making Your Own Health Care Decisions and Advance Directive Form fail to specify
1) Catholic teaching with regard to nutrition and hydration, and
2) that health care services cannot honor advance directives opposed to Catholic teaching (cf., Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, Charter for Health Care Workers, 1995; Address of John Paul II to the Participants in the International Congress on "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemnas", 3/20/04; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Responses to Certain Questions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration, 8/1/07; USCCB, Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (5th ed), 11/17/09).

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