ARE WOMEN JUST INCUBATORS TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?
I never realized, until the Diocese of Phoenix excommunicated Sister Margaret McBride, that the Catholic Church has such a low regard for women.
This horrible case makes me ask if women are seen by the church only as incubators for new baby Catholics, not as human beings whose own lives are worth protecting or saving.
It makes me ask why mothering children already born isn’t as important to the church as giving birth yet again.
At least in the Diocese of Phoenix under Bishop Thomas Olmsted, this case makes it clear that when it comes to compassion, there’s no there there.
Sister Margaret was a much loved and respected senior administrator at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix who has been a Catholic nun for decades. In 2009, she was faced with a most agonizing decision: a 27 year-old mother arrived at the hospital in her 11th week of pregnancy, suffering from serious complications of pulmonary hypertension, making it highly unlikely she could survive the pregnancy.
Her doctors all agreed that to save her life, it was necessary to terminate the pregnancy. The issue went to the Ethics Committee that included Sister Margaret. The committee agreed—as did the family—and Sister Margaret added her voice of agreement.
To decide otherwise meant killing both the woman and her unborn child. And while it hasn’t been reported in Phoenix, national stories have noted the pregnant woman had four other children at home. So to decide otherwise meant leaving four children motherless.
While abortion is opposed by all religions, most at least make an exception to save the life of the mother. Some even acknowledge abortions in the case of rape or incest. But not the Catholic Church. I have a copy of the email that Medical Ethics Director Fr. John Ehrich sent to Catholic clergy. Here’s what he said: “The Catholic position is much simpler; ‘We are always against abortion’. Every abortion is murder since it constitutes the unjust killing of an innocent life. Thus, it can never be justified under any circumstance.”
Read that statement again and realize it’s really saying “No life is preferred if an abortion is involved—neither the mother’s nor the child’s” because in this case, both would have died.
Now read it again and realize it’s also saying: “Besides being incubators for new children, women have no real worth to the Catholic Church.”
Bishop Olmsted announced that Sister Margaret was “automatically excommunicated” because she agreed to the abortion.
This from the same Church that has disgraced itself with how it hid and ignored and protected priests who were raping alter boys and girls. Most of them have not been excommunicated. Some have been suspended and defrocked, but they weren’t often thrown out of the church.
So rapists and pedophiles can still take the sacraments in the Catholic Church, but Sister Margaret can’t.
I know people who know this “saintly nun” quite well, and they’re all shocked at this ungodly turn of events. One doctor from the hospital wrote The Arizona Republic that she was “the moral conscience of the hospital.”
At least Sister Margaret has a conscience. And her agonizing decision shows she values ALL life, including the life of a mother of four.