N.J. hospital agrees not to force nurses to assist in abortions

NEWARK, N.J. -- A teaching hospital will hire additional staff to help perform abortions after a group of nurses claimed they were forced to participate in the procedures despite religious objections.

"No nurse is compelled to have direct involvement in a procedure to which she or he objects based on his/her cultural values, ethics and/or religious beliefs," Jeffrey Tolvin, a spokesman for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey said in a statement on Friday (Dec. 2).

"At the same time, we needed to find a solution that is in the best interest of the patients we serve. We are therefore hiring additional staff who will provide care to our full complement of patients."

In November, 12 nurses at UMDNJ filed suit, saying the hospital was forcing them to assist in the operations despite declared religious objections.

Aside from aiding doctors in the procedures, the nurses argued that post-operative patient care and administrative duties surrounding the procedures constituted involvement.

Archdiocese upset by St. Patrick's new home

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- And now, let us raise a toast to St. Patrick.

Once a cherished icon for generations of Catholics, a statue of Ireland’s patron saint from Sacred Heart Church in Newark has landed in a South Orange restaurant—much to the chagrin of local Catholic leaders.

On a recent night, as college-age students mingled at Cryan’s Beef and Ale House, St. Patrick watched silently from a corner in the restaurant section, a shepherd’s staff in his left hand.

The move, from pious to pub, has provoked some debate. The 6-foot-tall plaster statue was relocated after the Archdiocese of Newark closed the venerable church last summer.

Bar owner Jimmy Cryan said his family had long supported Sacred Heart, holding fundraisers at the bar and pitching in for restorations.

“The response has been overwhelming,” he said. “It’s just nice to have a piece of old Sacred Heart around.”

But archdiocese officials, who plan to reuse items from the church in other religious buildings, are not pleased.