Illinois bishop faces challenging audience at talk on same-sex marriage

Bishop Thomas Paprocki walked into a beehive when he agreed to speak about same-sex marriage before in Phoenix over the weekend.

Phoenix bishop gives ultimatum to hospital

Updated: Dec. 17

The Phoenix diocese released the following statement Friday:

The Diocese of Phoenix has been in continuing conversation with Catholic Healthcare West about their Catholic identity and adherence to the teachings of the Church regarding their facilities within the Diocese of Phoenix. Late on Thursday, Dec. 16, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted was in receipt of further communication from Catholic Healthcare West officials. Given the ongoing communication and attempts to rectify the situation, Bishop Olmsted is extending his deadline until Tuesday, Dec. 21.

PHOENIX -- St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center here is on a Friday deadline for an ultimatum that could determine whether it can remain a Catholic hospital.

As of Thursday afternoon, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix was waiting for hospital administrators to respond to an ultimatum he had sent the month before. Olmsted has been in a dispute with the hospital over a medical procedure performed at the hospital last year that the bishop deemed an abortion.

Olmsted’s chief complaint is that hospital has “not acknowledged my authority to settle this question.”

His ultimatum: The hospital must comply with three demands or St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals in the Phoenix area, would lose its Catholic status. The deadline is tomorrow, Friday.

Nun excommunicated for allowing abortion

PHOENIX -- A Catholic nun, who was a member of a Phoenix Catholic hospital's ethics committee, was excommunicated and reassigned last week for her role in allowing an abortion to take place at the hospital, according to the Phoenix diocese. The surgery was considered necessary to save the life of a critically ill patient.

The surgery took place at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. The decision, involving Sister of Mercy Margaret McBride, physicians and the patient, drew a sharp rebuke from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Phoenix diocese. He said abortion is not permissible under any circumstances.