a great column today about a Phoenix Catholic hospital which was stripped of its Roman Catholic affiliation because it terminated the pregnancy of a woman who most certainly have died without it. Also, the bishop in question excommunicated a nun who serves on the hospital's ethics commission. Way to be pro-life! Not!
Two quotes from the column are worth repeating--the first is by Kristof:
To me, this battle illuminates two rival religious approaches, within the Catholic church and any spiritual tradition. One approach focuses upon dogma, sanctity, rules and the punishment of sinners. The other exalts compassion for the needy and mercy for sinners — and, perhaps, above all, inclusiveness.
The thought that keeps nagging at me is this: If you look at Bishop Olmsted and Sister Margaret as the protagonists in this battle, one of them truly seems to me to have emulated the life of Jesus. And it’s not the bishop, who has spent much of his adult life as a Vatican bureaucrat climbing the career ladder. It’s Sister Margaret, who like so many nuns has toiled for decades on behalf of the neediest and sickest among us.
The second one is from Jamie L. Manson, columnist for the National Catholic Reporter:
"Though they will be denied the opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist, the Eucharist will rise out of St. Joseph’s every time the sick are healed, the frightened are comforted, the lonely are visited, the weak are fed, and vigil is kept over the dying.”