Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement on that outrageous lawsuit filed by the ACLU which attempted to portray Catholic hospitals as negligent or delivering substandard care because they refuse to kill the unborn.
Kind of a weird time we live in when hospitals are accused of substandard care for NOT killing.
Abp. Kurtz wrote:
This claim is baseless. The ERDs urge respectful and compassionate care for both mothers and their children, both during and after pregnancy. Regarding abortion, the ERDs restate the universal and consistent teaching of the Catholic Church on defending the life of the unborn child—a defense that, as Pope Francis recently reminded us, “is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 213). This same commitment to the life of each human individual has motivated Catholics to establish the nation’s largest network of nonprofit health care ministries. These ministries provide high-quality care to women and children, including those who lack health coverage and financial resources. The Church’s rejection of abortion also mirrors the Hippocratic Oath that gave rise to the very idea of medicine as a profession, a calling with its own life-affirming moral code.In a godless universe where individual human life holds no inherent vslue, utilitarianism might make sense. And if you believe you currently reside in a universe like that, those who cling to values and believe we are made to love are countercultural and dangerous. And in a utilitarian universe you know what happens to the dangerous. Bad things man. Bad things.
The Church holds that all human life, both before and after birth, has inherent dignity, and that health care providers have the corresponding duty to respect the dignity of all their patients. This lawsuit argues that it is legally “negligent” for the Catholic bishops to proclaim this core teaching of our faith. Thus, the suit urges the government to punish that proclamation with civil liability, a clear violation of the First Amendment.
A robust Catholic presence in health care helps build a society where medical providers show a fierce devotion to the life and health of each patient, including those most marginalized and in need. It witnesses against a utilitarian calculus about the relative value of different human lives. And it provides a haven for pregnant women and their unborn children regardless of their financial resources. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will continue to defend these principles in season and out, and we will defend ourselves against this misguided lawsuit.