Thursday, January 31, 2013

Roman Catholic hospital argues foetuses aren't people


One of His Grace's Roman Catholic communicants, Sister Tiberia, sends this communiqué from the other bank of the Tiber:

I was quite delighted to hear that Colorado's three Roman Catholic Bishops will be reviewing the case quoted in this Denver Post article, in which the lawyers representing a Catholic hospital defending against malpractice have argued that fetuses aren't persons. A statement that made me weep (and hopefully should have made the Bishops weep as well, given the Church's teachings that life begins at conception).

The following is quoted directly from the article in the Denver Post.
Jeremy Stodghill filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in District Court in Fremont County after his 31-year-old wife, Lori, seven months pregnant with twin boys, died of a blockage of the main artery of the lung at St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City on New Year's Day 2006.

Stodghill's lawyer argued that her obstetrician, Pelham Staples, never made it to the hospital — even though on call for emergencies — and there was no attempt by any medical personnel to save the Stodghills' sons by cesarian section.The unborn children died in the womb.

The lead defendant is Englewood-based Catholic Health Initiatives, which runs St. Thomas More and hospitals in 14 states.

The Catholic Church has fought for decades to change federal and state laws to protect fetuses as persons. Yet, according to court documents, Catholic Health Initiatives argued in this case that the Colorado Wrongful Death Act requires the death of a person and the statute doesn't include the death of a fetus that wasn't born or delivered.

"The defendants argue that to be a 'person' one must at some point have been born alive," wrote District Judge David M. Thorson. "The plaintiffs, on the other hand, argue that a viable fetus who dies in utero should be considered a 'person' for purposes of the wrongful death statute."

In December 2010, the court found in favor of CHI and other defendants, as did the Court of Appeals. Stodghill's attorneys have appealed to the state Supreme Court.
We seem to have a case here where God's law and Caesar's law are at polar opposites, but up till now the lawyers acting on behalf of a Catholic hospital have been content to go with Caesar's law and hope that God won't notice. Or that the Pope won't notice. Or at least that the papers won't notice. This case has been ongoing since 2006 so is this seriously the first that the Bishops have heard about it? Yes, we're all aware that they're very busy men, but even so...

"From the moment of conception human beings are endowed with dignity and with fundamental rights, the most foundational of which is life. No Catholic institution may legitimately work to undermine fundamental human dignity," the Bishops have said.

Every Catholic should be delighted to hear this.

Can we then hope that the immediate follow-up to this news will be that the case will be uncontested by the lawyers at the state Supreme Court, and that a suitable rap on the knuckles will be forthcoming from the Bishops to whichever hospital authority chose to defend this case by denying one of the fundamental tenets of the Church's faith?

And let us not forget in our prayers the grieving husband of a wife whose life could not be saved, who is also the father of two little boys – not two foetuses, two children – who at a gestation of 32 weeks had a chance of life by immediate delivery, and were not given that chance. For the lawyers of a Catholic hospital to attempt to defend the case on the grounds that these two little boys were never ‘persons’ is appalling.

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

I also find it very sad that in direct contrast to the courtesy of His Grace who kindly offered space on this blog for a Catholic to express concerns, that His Grace is being attacked by Catholic readers both here and on Twitter for ‘attacking the Catholic Church’ without, it seems, ever addressing the concerns brought up.

Might I direct those Catholics to the wise words of His Holiness Pope Benedict who, in his World Day of Communications Message, explicitly calls for respect in social media: "Dialogue and debate can also flourish and grow when we converse with and take seriously people whose ideas are different from our own," writes the Holy Father.

He then continues: "In the digital world there are social networks which offer our contemporaries opportunities for prayer, meditation and sharing the word of God. But these networks can also open the door to other dimensions of faith. Many people are actually discovering, precisely thanks to a contact initially made online, the importance of direct encounters, experiences of community and even pilgrimage, elements which are always important in the journey of faith. In our effort to make the Gospel present in the digital world, we can invite people to come together for prayer or liturgical celebrations in specific places such as churches and chapels. There should be no lack of coherence or unity in the expression of our faith and witness to the Gospel in whatever reality we are called to live, whether physical or digital. When we are present to others, in any way at all, we are called to make known the love of God to the furthest ends of the earth" (From the Vatican, 24 January 2013, Feast of Saint Francis de Sales).

269 Comments:

Blogger Brother Ivo said...

A warm welcome to Sister Tiberia.

It is sad that your first post must be on such a sad and tragic topic with part of the Institutional Church forgetting Jesus' love for all his little ones.

May their father know that The Lord grieves with him.

31 January 2013 at 09:35  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

I am a Catholic and find the decision of the hospital to contest this case and refuse to acknowledge the humanity of the two boys who died to be disgraceful. Some misguided fool at the hospital needs a severe talking to; hopefully the bishops' enquiry will set things straight and the poor man who has lost his family will be compensated (as much as anyone in his situation can be).

As for those Catholics who are criticising Cranmer for drawing attention to this hypocritical debacle, understand that the whole of the Catholic Church should be appalled by the decision of the hospital to deny what is a simple fact of our faith – three lives were lost, not one.

31 January 2013 at 09:47  
Blogger Albert said...

I still fail to see how the objections put to you before Dr Cranmer, have been answered. This is an issue of lawyers arguing about civil law. Is the hospital guilty under civil (the only law by which they were being charged)? The answer is no. Is this law correct or just? No it isn't. The hospital should have been clearer about the injustice of that law. But, as so often, Catholic institutions have been colonised by liberal Catholics who do not share the Church's commitment to justice and collude with secular pragmatism.

Most likely this is not however the hospital, but the hospital's lawyers, or more likely lawyers working for the hospital's insurance company. I recall a case happening in the UK which had some similarities. The papers said it was the Catholic Church fighting it. In fact, I know that the bishop had actually said the Church should pay up, but it wasn't the Church's decision, but the insurers still fought the case, against the bishop's will, and the papers blamed the bishop.

This is why Cranmer gets criticised. It is not convincing to say he speaking up for the unborn. Nothing is gained for the pro-life cause in attempting to present that cause as hypocritical - especially when it appears the reality is somewhat different. But Cranmer does not only do that, he does so (as so often) with glee.

Moreover, it must be remembered that he belongs to an institution whose official position on this is gravely unjust. The CofE's position is this:

Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognised as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

But then, in a flat contradiction it goes on to say:

We do not believe that the right to life, as a right pertaining to persons, admits of no exceptions whatever [I thought they just said it was "inviolable"]; but the right of the innocent to life admits surely of few exceptions indeed.

So don't look to the CofE to defend your right to life. It only defends your right to life provided there's a good cause for you to have such a right. Which is of course, the same as denying the right of the innocent to life. This result of this utter muddle is the following morally repugnant declaration:

That in the rare occasions when abortion is carried out beyond 24 weeks, 'Serious foetal handicap' should be interpreted strictly as applying to those conditions where survival is possible only for a very short period.

So your inviolable right to life can be violated provided you are already very sick and vulnerable.

Nor, in direct violation of commands of God, does the CofE defend the right of the unborn child when that child is the consequence of rape.

How can anyone hold such contradictory views and then criticise others for holding them, when it is unclear that they do?

By all means lobby the hospital and the bishops to ensure this kind of confusion can never happen again. Bur don't give fuel to the enemies of life by misrepresenting the situation.

31 January 2013 at 10:36  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Albert,

This is a guest post written by one of your co-religionists. Clearly, your own prejudice against His Grace, this blog and the entire CofE blinds you to that clearly-stated fact.

31 January 2013 at 10:51  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

At it again Mr Cranmer. I agree with Albert who presented all these arguments a while ago when this was discussed.

"This is why Cranmer gets criticised. It is not convincing to say he speaking up for the unborn. Nothing is gained for the pro-life cause in attempting to present that cause as hypocritical - especially when it appears the reality is somewhat different. But Cranmer does not only do that, he does so (as so often) with glee."

31 January 2013 at 10:56  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Dodo,

Are you being purposely obtuse?

The authorship of this article is ROMAN CATHOLIC. The impetus of last week's tweet was ROMAN CATHOLIC. The concerns expressed were and are those of SISTER TIBERIA - a ROMAN CATHOLIC, who contacted His Grace, deeply upset. But, alas, any excuse to take a swipe at anyone who doesn't accord with your infallible, immutable dogmatic worldview. It really is time that you promoted yourself to the Telegraph blogs. You really would be much, much happier there.

31 January 2013 at 11:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Dr Cranmer,

As Dodo says, my point is that you were already attacking the Church. The present piece (to which I do not refer) in no way justifies your attack. That's why I started saying:

I still fail to see how the objections put to you before Dr Cranmer, have been answered.

I then rehearse the kinds of arguments I have already presented and conclude:

This is why Cranmer gets criticised.

I had in mind specifically, your earlier attack.

Now how about actually answering some of my objections? Or, given that directly killing an unborn child is morally worse that accidentally failing to prevent a death of an unborn child, how about asking one of your Catholic correspondents to publish a critique of the Anglican position? Surely the Anglican position is far worse than the present legal muddle in the US?

In fact, if you really are pro-life, why don't you publish such a critique yourself? I.e. one that might actually uphold the pro-life position rather than undermine it (I was alerted to your earlier comments by David B who clearly thought they discredited the Catholic and pro-life position).

Do you gather or scatter on this one?

Your most recent attack on Dodo suggests it is you who is not reading the posts.

31 January 2013 at 11:12  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

"As Dodo says, my point is that you were already attacking the Church."

Where? How? Evidence? Source?

31 January 2013 at 11:15  
Blogger Albert said...

It was a tweet - we've already discussed it. Come on, keep up with your own posts!

31 January 2013 at 11:20  
Blogger bluedog said...

'Might I direct those Catholics to the wise words of His Holiness Pope Benedict who, in his World Day of Communications Message, explicitly calls for respect in social media: "Dialogue and debate can also flourish and grow when we converse with and take seriously people whose ideas are different from our own," writes the Holy Father.'

Excellent advice, don't you think, Messrs Albert and Dodo?

31 January 2013 at 11:29  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Cranmer rarely misses a chance to take a swipe at the Church, but I'm bound to admit that on this one, he's got the high ground. He rarely responds to angry Popesters because in his heart, he knows he likes winding us up; this time he has responded to both Dodo and Albert because this time, he's not actually taking a dig. He feels hard done by, and on this one, he probably is.

As to the substance of the post, yes, it's an outrage that the Church (even at one remove, through the insurers) is fighting on these grounds. Fortunately, if the bishops don't do their job, I suspect the uberkraut in Rome will do it for them; who says centralization is always a bad thing?

On a related point, I always think it's the height of hypocricy for the American legal system to recognize the killing of an unborn child as homicide (as 35 states do) while the US Supreme Court consistantly holds that these laws do not contradict or in any way constrain the "rights" of the abortion industry and ideologically driven feminism.

31 January 2013 at 11:30  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Albert,

The tweet was the precise wording received from your co-religionist - as already stated. Come on, keep up.

Like Dodo, you impugn motive and disparage the medium because it is Anglican.

31 January 2013 at 11:34  
Blogger Albert said...

I think the whole situation is outrageous (that why I said it was unjust). I think though, that it is more complicated than people are making out, and that the manner of critiquing it, that Cranmer has employed harms the pro-life cause.

I'm just wondering if anyone is going to respond to my objections. I'm particularly looking forward to Cranmer savaging of the CofE's stated position on this - after all, if Cranmer is so worried about the US position, he must by utterly disgusted by the position adopted by his own ecclesial community.

31 January 2013 at 11:37  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

"..the manner of critiquing it, that Cranmer has employed.."

Okay, you're clearly not reading, or being purposely obtuse. So, one final attempt: Sister Tiberia is ROMAN CATHOLIC. The authorship of the article is ROMAN CATHOLIC. Ergo the critique is not His Grace's, but that of a ROMAN CATHOLIC. Do you now understand?

31 January 2013 at 11:40  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Chill, Cranmer: you're a man who enjoys taking the occasional smarmy poke at your estanged brethren. You really don't have a lot of room for complaint when you're not getting your full credit now. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands.

31 January 2013 at 11:42  
Blogger Albert said...

The tweet was the precise wording received from your co-religionist - as already stated.

I've just read it. It does not say that on the tweet, it merely says you said it. But even if it has come from someone else, surely we must have the sense to see how others will read such a question. This is it:

Archbishop Cranmer: Is the Roman Catholic Church saying here that foetuses are people unless it's going to cost them money?

I.e. the Catholic Church can be safely ignored because it won't follow it's own teachings when it will cost the Catholic Church money. Therefore, we can do what we like to the unborn.

Note carefully, that what is referred to here is the Catholic, not the hospital, not lawyers, not reference to the relevant law.

Why would someone who keeps quiet about his own community's position be so outraged?

Does anybody seriously believe that the manner in which this just protest is being presented is helping save the lives of unborn children?

Seriously?

31 January 2013 at 11:43  
Blogger Albert said...

Okay, you're clearly not reading, or being purposely obtuse.

No, I am just reading the tweet. It does not say what you seem to be trying now to say it says.

Now how about getting your own community to stop supporting the killing of the unborn.

31 January 2013 at 11:45  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

"There should be no lack of coherence or unity in the expression of our faith"

This is what a Catholic is meant to do and probably why it is unacceptable to others because the tenets of the Catholic faith does not leave room for personal preferences.Catholics do believe that Catholicism is the true Christian faith and that Protestanism is a breakaway from the truth.This may be unpalatable to Protestants but that is the way of it.It does not mean Protestants are despised. It means that Protestants have strayed from God's chosen path.We are not brought up with the animosity that you have for us because it is considered to be a sin to hate anyone.

Blue Dog, His Holiness did not have you and the other belligerent anti Catholics in mind when he was giving the advice that you quoted.
You are being hypocritical . You have no respect for the Pope's advice whatsoever. If a Jew or Muslim's Spiritual leader was held up to the disgusting denigration that the Pope receives on this site, there would be an outcry. It's OK because it's Catholic Bashing.It's so much part of being a Catholic especially in a country where Catholics are in the minority that it is part of life.
Catholics cannot be detected by their appearance so they tend to assimilate easily but we still have ears and bleed as much as any Shylock.

31 January 2013 at 12:10  
Blogger Nia said...

I see nothing in His Holiness's words that suggest that anyone is excluded from this advice. The courtesy and love is something required of all of us

31 January 2013 at 12:56  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

I have read the case on the LEXUS law reporting service.

‘This is an issue of lawyers arguing about civil law’ is irrelevant as in all law cases where statutory interpretation is in dispute – lawyers will argue.

‘Is the hospital guilty under civil (the only law by which they were being charged)? The answer is no.’ It is ‘no’ because the Catholics’ argument that the child was not a person was successful.

‘The hospital should have been clearer about the injustice of that law.’ The case was not about the ‘injustice of that law’ (that is a proper issue for another forum or a case brought on different grounds). Furthermore, there was no such thing as an unjust law in this case as the issues were justiciable – that is why the parties were in court.


‘Most likely this is not however the hospital, but the hospital's lawyers, or more likely lawyers working for the hospital's insurance company.’ For the former does not make any sense (as the power to hire and dismiss lawyers lies with the defendant Catholics) and the latter is pure conjecture as there is no evidence in support.

31 January 2013 at 13:04  
Blogger Albert said...

Mr Singh,

Well it's nice to see someone actually addressing the issues!

‘This is an issue of lawyers arguing about civil law’ is irrelevant as in all law cases where statutory interpretation is in dispute – lawyers will argue.

That is hardly irrelevant. It is the civil law that matters.

Is the hospital guilty under civil (the only law by which they were being charged)? The answer is no.’ It is ‘no’ because the Catholics’ argument that the child was not a person was successful.

Not so. It is clear that under civil law unborn children are not persons. Otherwise abortionist would go down for murder.

Furthermore, there was no such thing as an unjust law in this case as the issues were justiciable – that is why the parties were in court.

Are you saying that because a law exists it is necessarily just? There is a clear gap between the law and justice when it comes to innocent life.

pure conjecture as there is no evidence in support

There is no direct evidence -if there were, the story would dissolve. But I know the following: when actions of this sort are attributed to the Catholic Church, it is usually their insurers' lawyers who are the ones acting. Secondly, the position attributed to the hospital is plainly contrary to Catholic teaching.

If everyone wishes the US to be governed by Canon Law and Catholic moral teaching, I will be the first to say bravo!

In the meantime, I suggest the priorities are as follows:

(a) Stop giving fuel to the anti-life position - especially as there is clearly more going on here than meets the eye.
(b) By all means protest to the hospital and the Bishop to make sure all Catholic institutions abide by Catholic teaching - if that means ridding them of the liberal governors, then better still.
(c) Work to change the law, so that it protects the unborn.
(d) Protest against unjust institutions like the CofE that actively support killing the unborn.

31 January 2013 at 13:25  
Blogger Albert said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 January 2013 at 13:28  
Blogger Albert said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 January 2013 at 13:30  
Blogger Albert said...

Sorry I pressed "post" by accident. When I say "It is the Civil Law that matters," I mean that matters in the court's judgment. Lawyers are meant to be arguing about Civil Law not Canon Law. The legal position here is one of jurisdiction, though as I say, if people want the US to be under Canon Law, that would be a good thing!

31 January 2013 at 13:31  
Blogger Jon said...

The Catholic Church is prepared to abandon its principles where money is at stake? Surely not! I almost fell off my chair in surprise....

For those Catholic attacking the blog owner, or indeed the author (between whom they seem unable to distinguish) because the post has highlighted something they may prefer remained unnoticed, it may interest you to note that the Denver Post has also covered the story, as is mentioned in the blog post. Perhaps, in light of your Church's recent sins of omission in mentioning widespread institutional child abuse, you'll forgive the rest of the world if we don't entirely rest on your assurances that there's nothing here of interest.

In any case, where the Catholic Church believes a law to be unjust because a higher standard is merited, it ought to hold itself to the higher standard it would impose on others? Is this not what you are commissioned to do?

This was the essence of my objection to Brother Ivo's post on hypocrisy. If you lot aren't prepared to abide by the standards you incessantly witter on about in latin, why should you get to impose them on the rest of us?

31 January 2013 at 13:41  
Blogger D. Singh said...

‘That is hardly irrelevant’.

It is irrelevant: their forum is a civil court – not a criminal court. It would be relevant, and therefore worthy of comment, if in the civil court they deployed arguments from the criminal law field.

‘It is the civil law that matters.’

Which other law would matter in this case? The criminal law?

‘Not so. It is clear that under civil law unborn children are not persons. Otherwise abortionist would go down for murder’.

At the risk of repetition the interpretation of the statute was disputed – the defendant Catholics’ argument that the unborn are not persons was successful (and the plaintiffs’ argument that these children are persons was defeated by the Catholics).

‘There is a clear gap between the law and justice when it comes to innocent life.’

You mean there is a clear gap between law, justice and bad law that produces manifestly ill effects.


‘There is no direct evidence - if there were, the story would dissolve.’

There is no direct or indirect evidence in support – and even if there were the defendants would still be required to appear in court (or take an action such as settling out of court) – the story would run and run – and fail to ‘dissolve’.

31 January 2013 at 14:01  
Blogger OldJim said...

This one is eminently simple: we are all clear that lying is sinful. It is just not necessarily obvious that using temporal punishments against lying in all circumstances will be either practicable or effective. Let's say for the sake of argument that I am in favour of civil penalties against lying.

Then, let's say that I am arrested under charges of committing perjury.

There is absolutely nothing hypocritical in my defending myself on the grounds that I was not under an oath

I am merely availing myself of a defense against the charge brought. Being "under oath" is a matter of legal definition - I might well think that my aye should be aye and my nay nay, but that is not a matter of civil law.

Likewise "person" is a legal term, as well as a metaphysical one - I might think that the legal term does not adequately cover the metaphysical concept, but that does not authorize a court to try me by a metaphysical standard - they can only try me by their legal definition, which I might advocate changing but nonetheless am to be tried by whilst it stands.

One of the current political parties might favour changes to laws stipulating how parties are funded - if they should receive more money than they think ought to be legal from one donor, should we prosecute them under the stipulations of their proposed policy?

If David Nutt, he that advocates for the legalisation of drugs, were to be arrested in a men's bathroom in Suffolk with a big bag of cocaine, should the court try him by the laws he advocates or the laws of the land?

The question is one between the rule of law and arbitrary government, between order and anarchy.

There are questions to be asked here. If I were an administrator of this hospital, I should have wanted to offer an out of court settlement to this poor chap, and to have dealt very swiftly and severely with the staff responsible for this mistake.

But the focus on the legal arguments as though they were telling signs of hypocrisy is specious. I actually think it is quite clever - the hospital either retains its money and continues to advocate for the change in the law, or the court takes the hospital's money - at the price of strengthening the legal definition of "person" to better accommodate the unborn.

In other words, play a courts' secular disdain for life against their horrific anti-Catholicism - wise as serpents indeed.

31 January 2013 at 14:28  
Blogger D. Singh said...

The reasom why the allegation of hypocrisy sticks is that the Catholic defendants failed to make an out of court settlement.

31 January 2013 at 14:41  
Blogger OldJim said...

D. Singh: the relevant definition of the term is found in the Wrongful Death Act. It defines a person as "born alive".

The plaintiff did not have a different account of Colorado's definition of "person" - he wanted the definition of "person" changed.

So would I, and so would the Catholic Church. But that couldn't have happened without the case being brought and being successful, and so even on that account the best way for the Catholic hospital to give the law a chance to change would be for them to dispute the case.

That this seems counter-intuitive does not make it untrue.

On the other hand, if the definition is to remain as it is, it is unclear why the Catholic Church should be uniquely penalised by the legal system simply because it advocates a change in the law. The law applies in the same way to everyone!

31 January 2013 at 14:43  
Blogger D. Singh said...

The definition of who is a person is well estabished under the state law of Colorado.

Therefore, if the Catholics were motivated to change the law the route would be through the state legislature.

31 January 2013 at 14:57  
Blogger OldJim said...

And yes, I agree that it sticks in the craw that the hospital did not treat the bereft husband and father better, though of course we do not know all the facts.

All I am pointing out is that this focus on the ostensible "hypocrisy" of wanting to change the law and insisting on being tried under the law as it stands is insane, arbitrary and motivated. That is not hypocrisy at all.

Just imagine a gang of slavers trying the only abolitionist among them on the grounds that he once held a slave - after all, he's the one who wants slavery to be illegal, let's see how he likes it. But not us.

And Cranmer, you could have requested or been provided with a piece giving this opposite account by any of your Catholic communicants. Of course, you are not obliged to seek out such a piece. But equally, you are not obliged to publicise with your large electronic soapbox any old block of text that comes your way.

You cannot disown this one any more than a printer can disown a novel on the grounds that it is the work of a novelist -you have given tacit approval.

31 January 2013 at 14:59  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Mr Cranmer

Thank you for suggesting the Telegraph blog but, with your good grace, I shall remain here.

I do hope you will reflect on the posts of Albert and also Old Jim. It would assist the pro-life movement if you or *Sister Tiberia* (an interesting nane for a nun) focused on the issues presented by them.

I would also say that because one Catholic fails to understand the nuances of the situation does not mean she is correct. There are a lot of 'modernists' seeking to damage the Church and the Pope because of the Vatican's position on abortion, contraception, divorce, women priests and homosexuality. All issues on which the Church of England has given ground and for which it is now reaping the whirlwind it sowed.

31 January 2013 at 15:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'insane'?

Are you people mad?

Far better, in this case, to endure the allegation of hypocrisy (as the possibility of reform is open) than to charge the Roman Catholic church with insanity.

31 January 2013 at 15:23  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Sister Tiberias has reported the facts with precision - I have checked.

I am shocked that a fellow Catholic questions her faithful report.

This risks non-Catholics adding the charge of shame to hypocrisy.

31 January 2013 at 15:32  
Blogger John Magee said...

Catholic Health Iniatives is a private (private is the key word)health care system (company which claims it shares "Catholic values":

CHI Mission:

"The mission 3 of CHI is to nurture the healing ministry of the Church by bringing it new life, energy and viability in the 21st century. Fidelity to the Gospel urges us to emphasize human dignity and social justice as we move toward the creation of healthier communities".

The world SOCIAL JUSTICE perked my ears instantly. When I hear or read "social justice" in connection with anything to do with the RC Church or any other church I know that is a code world for liberal.

Also, CHI's "bringing new life" and all the rest sounds wonderful too but they don't mention saving the lives of unborn babies ...

There is something "fishy" about this terrible story and I think the "fish" smell is liberalism at work within the RC Church.

Even worse, this story may be about CHI putting money before fetus's and who know what else in the future. Euthanasia for the elderly or mentally ill?

Nothing would surprise me today in or outside the Church when liberals are at work trying to destroy traditional Christian values in the name of a new version of interpreting the Gospels in the name of "social justice" which means left wing politcal "justice".

31 January 2013 at 15:38  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Sister Tiberia would like to add that she makes no claim to Holy Orders of any kind, and the pseudonym was chosen purely to demonstrate her position on the opposite bank of the Tiber from His Grace (the Roman Catholic side), and that she is a woman.

One assumes that the poster "Dodo" is making no claims to be an extinct flightless bird.

31 January 2013 at 15:40  
Blogger D. Singh said...

I am surprised that a Catholic, in the context of this tragedy refers to the child by the dehumanising term 'fetus'.

31 January 2013 at 15:46  
Blogger John Magee said...


It's odd a C of E Archbishop would shed tears over abortions since his national church allows abortion under the following conditions:

1.There is a severe risk to the mental or physical health of the mother or existing children
2.The child will suffer from a severe mental or physical disability
3. Rape

The three reasons to allow abortion by the C of E sound "reasonable" and make "common sense" to all common sense liberals. But would Christ approve of this?

The Nazi's killed living human beings for the first two reasons listed above but without the "
or physical health of the mother or existing children" in the first one...

31 January 2013 at 15:46  
Blogger Albert said...

This whole discussion is extraordinary. Here's the original quotation that kicked off the debate. It came from Cranmer on twitter:

Archbishop Cranmer: Is the Roman Catholic Church saying here that foetuses are people unless it's going to cost them money?

Now, even granted that this is a question, it's pretty obvious how people are going to read it, and people did read it, as meaning the Catholic Church only follows it's own teachings if it isn't financially costly. So here are my questions:

1. Is it a fair suggestion that this is the "Catholic Church" which is acting? It clearly is not. It is, at best, a Catholic hospital. More likely, it is lawyers acting for the hospital, or their insurers' lawyers. If however, there are liberal Catholics on the governing body of the hospital who have played a part in this, then they should be removed.

2. Is Cranmer's presentation of the issues going to do anything to advance the pro-life cause on this question?

Again, the answer seems pretty obvious. But anyone who seriously thinks it is, should look at Jon's post at 1341.

Now here then is the really important question: in view of the fact that Cranmer's original comment encourages people to misrepresent the Catholic Church, and damages the pro-life cause, and that Cranmer belongs to an ecclesial community whose official position on life issues is ambiguous at best, why is Cranmer presenting this issue in this way? I think there are only two answers:

1. To damage the Catholic Church.
2. He is pro-death.

In this case, 1 also damages the pro-life cause, so assuming Cranmer is being consistent, I have conclude that 2 is the case - unless he comes up with a convincing explanation to the contrary.

31 January 2013 at 15:51  
Blogger Albert said...

Sister Tiberia,

I wonder if you could clarify something for me. Cranmer now attributes his original tweet to you (it wasn't clear from the tweet):

The tweet was the precise wording received from your co-religionist - as already stated.

Here's the tweet:

Is the Roman Catholic Church saying here that foetuses are people unless it's going to cost them money?

Is that your wording? If so, why did you so obviously misrepresent the situation (or is there some other interpretation of events I am missing?).

31 January 2013 at 15:54  
Blogger D. Singh said...

The lawyers, as has been repeatedly pointed out have been instructed by the Catholic defendants.

31 January 2013 at 16:04  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Albert/Dodo/whoever,

His Grace would like to retract 'precise' wording.

Sister Tiberia didn't used the word 'Roman' of her church, but did use it to describe herself. It doesn't change the substantive point.

31 January 2013 at 16:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

This is highly irregular. A commends me for addresing the issues and then proceeds to ignore not only the issues but also normal legal procedures.

That is irrational.

In this legal case it is the Catholic defendants who instructed their lawyers to adopt a pro-death position.

To the rational observer that is undeniable.

31 January 2013 at 16:17  
Blogger Albert said...

Mr Singh,

The lawyers, as has been repeatedly pointed out have been instructed by the Catholic defendants.

That may have been asserted. I do not see that it has been demonstrated. If the example from the UK that I have mentioned is correct, your statement is likely to be false.

But you may be right. If Catholic Health Care Initiatives has taken this line, then they seem to be in direct violation of their contractual agreement with the Catholic Church. Which was already set out prior to this case. In that case, as well as failing the family, they have also (which is much less important) failed the Church as well.

The key thing therefore is directing anger against those who really are at fault. It is simply wrong to direct anger against those who are not at fault, especially when it damages the pro-life cause.

31 January 2013 at 16:17  
Blogger D. Singh said...

His Grace - pro-death? Lol - you've lost it mate.

31 January 2013 at 16:22  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Dr Cranmer:

Sister Tiberia didn't used the word 'Roman' of her church, but did use it to describe herself. It doesn't change the substantive point.

Exactly. So not only was there no evidence that anyone but you wrote it, but it contained wording that would have unlikely have come from a Catholic.

Here is the key point (and this addresses Mr Singh's point in this legal case it is the Catholic defendants who instructed their lawyers to adopt a pro-death position) were they acting for the Catholic Church? As far as I can recall, we have had no evidence that they were. All we have heard is that they were - at most - acting for Catholics, who were themselves acting not only against the teaching of the Catholic Church, but even against their own contractual obligations towards the Catholic Church.

It is therefore, profoundly unjust to blame the Catholic Church for this and profoundly damaging to the pro-life stance. That cannot be justified.

His Grace - pro-death? Lol - you've lost it mate.

I was being ironic. But would you care to fault my reasoning or my premisses? Something has gone wrong here!

31 January 2013 at 16:23  
Blogger Albert said...

Mr Singh,

A commends me for addresing the issues and then proceeds to ignore not only the issues but also normal legal procedures.

I'm not sure why you think that. Surely, all I am saying is that the proper legal procedures are those of State rather than Canon Law. But the issue really is who the lawyers are acting for.

31 January 2013 at 16:26  
Blogger John Magee said...

D Singh

When I saw the word "social justice" as part of CHI "mission" that was the key word in this whole mess.

There are many groups around calling themselves "Catholics" and they stand for everything from abortion to Gay marriage and always include "social justice" in discribing their goals.
These groups are NOT approved of by the Pope or the RC Hierarchy.

"Sister" Tiberia is beginning to sound as suspicious as the so called "Catholic" Jerry Slevin "a lifelong Roman Catholic and a retired Wall Street lawyer"
in HG's Saturday, January 19, 2013
article "The End of Papal Primacy and the Restoration of Accountability".

31 January 2013 at 16:35  
Blogger John Magee said...

D Singh

When I saw the word "social justice" as part of CHI "mission" that was the key word in this whole mess.

There are many groups around calling themselves "Catholics" and they stand for everything from abortion to Gay marriage and always include "social justice" in discribing their goals.
These groups are NOT approved of by the Pope or the RC Hierarchy.

"Sister" Tiberia is beginning to sound as suspicious as the so called "Catholic" Jerry Slevin "a lifelong Roman Catholic and a retired Wall Street lawyer"
in HG's Saturday, January 19, 2013
article "The End of Papal Primacy and the Restoration of Accountability".

HG may not be pro abortion but his national church does approve of abortion under the circumstances I posted above. That's the way it is when you belong to an organization that has tried to please everyone since the time of Henry VIII and 500 years later end up surrendering your Christian beliefs to please Christ's enemies.

31 January 2013 at 16:41  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'That may have been asserted'?

It is a fact which you are ignorant of probably because you have not studied law.

31 January 2013 at 16:50  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Who are the lawyers acting for?

The defendant Catholics as the court's record states.

I get the feeling that you wish to substitute reality with fantasy.

31 January 2013 at 17:01  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Let me clarify

"Sister Tiberia" is the pseudonym adopted by a female Roman Catholic in her middle forties. Baptised and confirmed, and therefore with as much right to call herself Roman Catholic as any other member of the Church.

Sister Tiberia has chosen to write pseudonymously like everyone else here.

Sister Tiberia was profoundly horrified by the behavior of a hospital in the States laying claim to the name of Catholic, but acting in a manner that seemed contrary to basic Roman Catholic teaching. As, judging by many other blogs, are a lot of other Catholics across the Church, whether conservative or liberal.

If we are called to anything as Catholics, then we are called to uphold higher standards than this. If we believe in the fundamental personhood of the unborn child then we may not hide behind the law at the point where to affirm that personhood will cost us money. Thankfully it seems that the Bishops agree here - time will tell.

If we believe that we are called to show Gods love in all things, then we may not attack those we disagree with, we may only dispute with them in love. If we believe in the seven virtues of the Catholic catechism, then we may not throw them out of the door in an online environment.

Yes, life as a Catholic is very difficult sometimes. Nobody ever promised us it would be easy though. :)

31 January 2013 at 17:12  
Blogger Albert said...

Mr Singh,

It is a fact which you are ignorant of probably because you have not studied law.

I fail to see what difference it makes whether or not I have studied law. I know of cases in this country where it has been the lawyers for the insurers for Catholic institution who make the case in court, against the will of the Bishop.

But if you have found the court records online, I'd be grateful if you would post a link. I'd be interested in reading them anyway.

But I've conceded the point that the lawyers may be acting directly for the hospital. If so, as I have said more than once, the hospital acted against the Church and those responsible should be removed.

Remember, this is tweet I am discussing:

Is the Roman Catholic Church saying here that foetuses are people unless it's going to cost them money?

1. Do you think this fairly represents the situation as you know it?
2. Do you think it helps the pro-life cause to present it in such terms?

31 January 2013 at 17:13  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Sister Tiberia,

Thankfully it seems that the Bishops agree here - time will tell.

Indeed, I think we all agree on that. The only questions are why, in the very beginning, was this presented as a question of the Catholic Church misbehaving for money, rather than a Catholic institution behaving against the teaching and agreements it has made with the Church? Secondly, whether this presentation helps or hinders the pro-life cause?

31 January 2013 at 17:16  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I think the question of whether this is the Church or only an organisation naming itself as Catholic which is attempting to save money is a question that simply cannot be answered yet, it depends entirely on what the Bishops decide on this case.

And I believe this helps the pro-life cause. Because anything that brings the personhood of the unborn child to the forefront of discussion, even if it is brought there as a result of the profound bad behaviour of an organisation calling itself "Catholic", can only help in that it raises questions in the minds of those who might not otherwise question. Change cannot come until questions are asked.

31 January 2013 at 17:22  
Blogger William said...

Attacking the Catholic church is not the same as attacking the pro life movement. The two are not the same. One organisation seeks primarily to preserve the lives of unborn children, the other seeks primarily to preserve its reputation, as demonstrated by some of the comments here.

Highlighting hypocrisy is a good in and of itself and will help the Pro life cause for the reasons Sister Tiberia has given.

31 January 2013 at 17:39  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Sister Tiberia,

I think the question of whether this is the Church or only an organisation naming itself as Catholic which is attempting to save money is a question that simply cannot be answered yet, it depends entirely on what the Bishops decide on this case.

If that is the case, would you agree that it is surely wrong, on the present evidence to implicate the Church (as opposed to the institution) in any wrong-doing? Presumably, we do not have evidence of the Church's involvement in this, except that the hospital had an agreement with the Church, not to do such things. Yes, more evidence may come out, but at the moment, we do not have the evidence to implicate the Church.

And I believe this helps the pro-life cause. etc.

There I have to disagree. Because the function of such stories - at least those which implicate the Church is to undermine the Church's moral force to speak for life. People simply say "It can't be that important, even the Church doesn't bother to follow its teachings when it doesn't suit. So why should I when it doesn't suit me."

What would have been wonderful, of course, would have been if the hospital had refused to answer the claim in court that a foetus is a person. If that had happened, the court may have had to rule that a foetus is a person. That would have certainly complicated the pro-death position somewhat!

31 January 2013 at 17:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Why weren't the foetuses removed given that they were viable? It seems like an extraordinary situation.

31 January 2013 at 17:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Attacking the Catholic church is not the same as attacking the pro life movement.

Of course it isn't, but as I have just indicated, it can have the same effect. For the child on the receiving end, it doesn't really matter which was attacked if the end result is death.

the other seeks primarily to preserve its reputation, as demonstrated by some of the comments here.

Every just person will want to see the reputation of the Catholic Church on this defending, unless or until evidence is produced to the effect that the Church has been wrong in this.

As a Catholic, let me say clearly, if any Catholic, be it a doctor, a manger, the local bishop, even the Pope himself has acted in such a way as deny Church teaching or threaten the lives of the unborn, they should be properly dealt with by the appropriate authority. But that does not alter the fact that an unjust attack on the Church should be abhorred by all faithful Christians.

31 January 2013 at 17:43  
Blogger Jon said...

Your Grace's ministerial expansion is causing consternation! The Roman tin- foil mitred brigade are in full cry!

Albert, the idea that, by bringing a story to the attention of blog readers, our host or Sister Tiberia are besmirching the Church or being "pro death" (whatever that means?!) is utterly absurd! It's not His Grace or Sister Tiberia who are prosecuting the case, but your co-religionists, so perhaps you should take it up with them?

And in your arrogance, you seek to imply that the only reason to question the lawyer's motives is to be anti the Church's normally stated position (albeit not the one of the Catholics in this sorry tale) is astounding. Maybe you should purchase some indulgences to make amends?!

One can be anti- abortion and not Catholic you know?! As much as you'd like to think it's infallible, most people recognise that your Church has very little of the moral high ground left, and it's therefore a good job for you that your church isn't the only voice on your side of the abortion debate, or it would have been lost some time ago.

The correct approach here for your Church would have been sorrow for the family, humility for your failings, and soul searching for how this can be avoided in future. What a shame that lessons from recent scandals have not been learnt, and your response is instead to shoot the messenger. Plus ca change.

31 January 2013 at 17:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good Lord. What a remarkable blood strewn thread !

One looks on in admiration as the Roman Catholics gather like so many white blood cells at the point of suspected infection…

Archbishop. A friendly suggestion old chap. If it is a guest post, then please indicate this always at the end of the offering. That way, a busy fellow such as the Inspector who does not have the time to spend hours at the keyboard is in absolutely no doubt as to the authorship. Been meaning to mention this for some time, and now that Brother Ivo is sharing the burden, really rather essential, what !

Anyway, to business…

"The defendants argue that to be a 'person' one must at some point have been born alive," wrote District Judge David M. Thorson. "The plaintiffs, on the other hand, argue that a viable fetus who dies in utero should be considered a 'person' for purposes of the wrongful death statute."

The Inspector, if he was so charged with the defence, would argue the following. “The hospital as a Roman Catholic institution recognises the foetuses as unborn life. The State does not. Therefore the plaintiff cannot argue that unborn life was lost. This is an unfortunate situation which the church wishes was not this way, but unequivocally, there is no charge to answer on that count”

And the justification for that stance ? We live in a world under some laws that have been formulated after consulting with the Devil. Let’s not make it any worse for ourselves by ignoring that and denying the presence of The Great Liar in jurisdiction. If you want to fight the Devil, you do so on his ground, and in this case, maximise the publicity the case has raised to that of a positive. Tell the people, look what is happening under your laws. Look at the position it has left us in !!





31 January 2013 at 17:59  
Blogger Jon said...

William at 17.39 has it right.

Albert - it's a shame your institutional loyalty apparently outweighs your moral convictions.

31 January 2013 at 17:59  
Blogger D. Singh said...

A you can't appreciate the chasm because you have not...

Can't post link as mob won't allow - report services paid for by company.

Ars Hendrick - brilliant.

Br Ivo no evidence that defendants forgot the love of Jesus for the little ones.

The case was about negligence - no person no negligence.

31 January 2013 at 18:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Jon.most people recognise that your Church has very little of the moral high ground left,

Dear boy, wishful thinking on your part, but one does concede the church has suffered damage in it’s integrity. Having said that though, criticism by a homosexual may be seen as a damn cheek, as we know what you are alluding to, and we also know the sexual orientation of the villains of the piece...





31 January 2013 at 18:09  
Blogger John Magee said...

Sister Tiberia

I am one of several here who choses to use their real first and last name.

To be honest it happened by accident and is a long boring story of computer problems. My old name in HG's Blog was "Pennswoods".

Maybe you should have called yourself "Sister Canterburia"...

31 January 2013 at 18:17  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Sister Tiberia

As a Roman Catholic it might have been better if you had presented the case in a more sensitive manner and without a swipe at the Church hierarchy.

" ... the lawyers acting on behalf of a Catholic hospital have been content to go with Caesar's law and hope that God won't notice. Or that the Pope won't notice. Or at least that the papers won't notice. This case has been ongoing since 2006 so is this seriously the first that the Bishops have heard about it? Yes, we're all aware that they're very busy men, but even so..."

Was this necessary? At least one blogger on here has drawn a comparison with the child sexual abuse scandal and the hierarchy turning a 'Nelson's eye' to it.

Sister Tiberia would like to add that she makes no claim to Holy Orders of any kind ...

One assumes that the poster "Dodo" is making no claims to be an extinct flightless bird."


Well anything is possible you know ... I might be ... but I most certainly would never masquerade as a Minister of the Church or as a Bride of Christ!

"I also find it very sad that in direct contrast to the courtesy of His Grace who kindly offered space on this blog for a Catholic to express concerns, that His Grace is being attacked by Catholic readers both here and on Twitter for ‘attacking the Catholic Church’ without, it seems, ever addressing the concerns brought up."

It is sad. And I think you will agree the issues have been thoroughly addressed above. (One is also tempted to say he's big enough and ugly enough to fight his own battles.)

Given his low opinion of Rome ("infallible, immutable dogmatic worldview" ... or was that just me?), do you really think the manner of the initial presentation of this complex issue on Twitter was likely to attract ecumenical praise?

Really?!

31 January 2013 at 18:23  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Brother Ivo

"It is sad that your first post must be on such a sad and tragic topic with part of the Institutional Church forgetting Jesus' love for all his little ones."

Ummmm .... since when were law firms representing a hospital or their insurers a part of the "Institutional Church"?

31 January 2013 at 18:27  
Blogger Albert said...

Jon,

Albert, the idea that, by bringing a story to the attention of blog readers, our host or Sister Tiberia are besmirching the Church or being "pro death" (whatever that means?!) is utterly absurd!

It is not the writing about the story itself that I am objecting to. It is the insinuation that the Church itself is at fault. No one has produced any evidence for this, yet to defend the Church is apparently some kind of sin.

And in your arrogance, you seek to imply that the only reason to question the lawyer's motives is to be anti the Church's normally stated position (albeit not the one of the Catholics in this sorry tale) is astounding.

Interesting. I have not said that. I do not believe it. I think the lawyers took the line they did to defend clients. If those clients were Catholics they (the Catholics) were wrong to seek such a defence.

One can be anti- abortion and not Catholic you know?!

I do know, I said so at 1743.

The correct approach here for your Church would have been sorrow for the family, humility for your failings, and soul searching for how this can be avoided in future. What a shame that lessons from recent scandals have not been learnt, and your response is instead to shoot the messenger.

I agree 100%. And in saying that, you indicate you have not in fact followed the thread. The key thing is that it isn't the Church that is the actor here (contrary to the implication of the original tweet).

31 January 2013 at 18:28  
Blogger Albert said...

Mr Singh,

Fair enough about not being able to post the court reports. How about answering the questions I put to you at 1713 instead?

31 January 2013 at 18:31  
Blogger Albert said...

Ummmm .... since when were law firms representing a hospital or their insurers a part of the "Institutional Church"?

Well said, Dodo. Brother Ivo, in the very first post on this page demonstrated exactly the fundamental point: this has been presented by Dr Cranmer in such a way as to make it sound as if it is the fault of the Church.

But no evidence has been forthcoming to defend that position. All we can see, from a few posters on this site, is how such things damage the pro-life cause.

31 January 2013 at 18:33  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dikkie

"Well anything is possible you know ... I might be ... but I most certainly would never masquerade as a Minister of the Church or as a Bride of Christ! "

Ernst seems to remember in the not too distant hazy past a certain bird 'fessing' to a famous historical RC under the pseudonym of 'CHANCELLOR MORE' as one ID amongst the plethora.

"Given his low opinion of Rome ("infallible, immutable dogmatic worldview" ... or was that just me?), do you really think the manner of the initial presentation of this complex issue on Twitter was likely to attract ecumenical praise? " Poor Sister Tiberia, it appears there are just not enough indulgences in the world to make up for your heinous sin of telling it as is?

Perhaps the id Sister Siberia would make your fellow RC's happier and where they would like to put you and those that 'Think' rather than 'Obey' first more


Dikkie..You are such a cad..a stubborn rhino rather than an extinct exotic bird seems more approp, don't you think?!

Blofeld

31 January 2013 at 18:38  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

"It wasn't me. It was that Insurance Company you gave me. She gave me the fruit and I ate it."

carl

31 January 2013 at 18:44  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Michele Sindona, Roberto Calvi and the Vatican Bank..no "Institutional Church" there then either?
*Humungous Rib Shaking*

Blofeld

31 January 2013 at 18:46  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

I do not intend to be drawn into long discussion here. I have no wish to criticise the Catholic Church generally, only those responsible for authorising this " defence".

I think it unlikely that the Insurers would have objected had they been asked to accept a release from their contractual indemnity in relation to the children( whilst retaining the separate liability in respect of the mother) in return for not advancing this line of defence.

It would have required the Church to embrace the costs of discipleship but it might be that the father would have moderated his financial claim in return for having avoided this hurtful assertion that his children lacked personhood.

31 January 2013 at 18:49  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The RCC could recover this situation. All it has to do is:

1. Offer restitution to the surviving husband.

2. Repudiate the hospital, and deprive it of the right to call itself Catholic.

carl

31 January 2013 at 18:53  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

I think that is the best outcome. Perhaps it will now come, or perhaps changes will take place at the hospital (and elsewhere)that render 2 unnecessary.

31 January 2013 at 18:56  
Blogger Albert said...

Brother Ivo,

I still think you are conflating the hospital and the Church.

31 January 2013 at 18:57  
Blogger Albert said...

I'm still wondering if any of the Anglicans, who are so irate here would like to defend or critique the CofE's stated position on this question. I offered a summary (gleaned from the CofE's own position paper) at 10.36.

31 January 2013 at 19:00  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

When an organization with the name 'Catholic' in the title goes into court and defends itself on the basis of the non-personhood of an unborn child, the RCC is going to feel the impact. And rightfully so. It is responsible for those organizations it allows to bear its name. You can't isolate the RCC from it's subsidiaries.

carl

31 January 2013 at 19:01  
Blogger Bridget said...

Albert,
Good for you, and all.

The husband sought acknowledgement of, and civilly awarded damages for, malfeasance under a particular law. He chose that route. (He may or may not have sought acknowledgement and damages by other routes too, I don't know, but that is not the issue here.)

Lawyers acting in a case are morally obliged to argue in terms of the civil laws at issue in that case. If the defending lawyers had not argued as they did they would have been morally culpable. Imagine the defending lawyer standing up and saying: yes, your honour, we understand that the law does not recognize the unborn twins to have been "persons" yet we feel that you should contravene what is explicitly set out in law and pass a verdict of wrongful death. We invite you to act against the law and the duty entrusted to you as a judge and to make it up as you go along.

The church authorities for their part should have acknowledged that whatever reasonable steps could have been taken to save the lives of the twins should have been taken. And that, so far as it was in their control,  procedures would be implemented to ensure that such steps will be taken in similar cases in future. 
Although it would be interesting to know how much control the church authorities have here. Could they, for example, censure the obstetrician, even if under cicil law he did nothing wrong? Could the obstetrician or other involved staff file suit against the church authorities if the authorities did try to bring control or exert censure? Who knows? Not the mischief maker Cranmer, I suspect. 

31 January 2013 at 19:02  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 January 2013 at 19:06  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 January 2013 at 19:19  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Bridget. That's an extremely interesting take on this. I didn't know all that legal stuff about the obligations of lawyers. It certainly sheds an additional, complicating light on this tragic case.

31 January 2013 at 19:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One wonders whether the unprincipled and greedy US lawyers forced the unfortunate to go court rather than accept a settlement. US lawyers today appear to Britons to be on a level with prostitutes.

Just to add a bit of sauce to the proceedings, if that is the case then this would be the result of the New York lawyers and their precedence. Of course, to be a REAL New York lawyer, you have to be a Jew...

DISCLAIMER Corrigan made me say it...{AHEM}...


31 January 2013 at 19:27  
Blogger len said...

I wonder what the Catholic posters 'take' on this tragedy would have been if this had occurred in any other than a 'Catholic Hospital'?.

Some things need to be faced honestly rather than rushing to defend something merely because it has the name of the religious denomination attached to it?.

31 January 2013 at 19:28  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 January 2013 at 19:28  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

When an organization with the name 'Catholic' in the title goes into court and defends itself on the basis of the non-personhood of an unborn child, the RCC is going to feel the impact. And rightfully so. It is responsible for those organizations it allows to bear its name. You can't isolate the RCC from it's subsidiaries.

Up to a point yes. That's why the Church should now take action to see why the hospital did not behave as it had promised to, and how it was that the Church did not either spot the problem or respond to it properly. But that is a slightly different issue from the crime the Church stands accused (wrongly it still seems to me - especially in the light of Bridget's post).

To take a comparison, if a CofE school, breaks it's agreements with the CofE in some way, it is surely the school that is wrong. We can talk about whether and how the Church can react, but people of good will will wish to recognise the difference. It's no good, if the Head of a CofE school is caught with his hand in the til, saying "Is the CofE saying stealing is only wrong when it is other people doing it?"

In the end, if people working for a CofE school misbehave, it is those people who are at fault. We should not allow responsibility to be deflected from them to the wider institution (which of course, has in fact been harmed by the violation of its code).

Moreover, the most important point is that conflating the Church and the hospital so as to insinuate that it is the Church that is arguing against its own doctrine to save money, is harmful to the pro-life cause, I think.

31 January 2013 at 19:30  
Blogger John Magee said...

Carl

"Repudiate the hospital, and deprive it of the right to call itself Catholic."

Good suggestion but if this would happen the hospital in question will most likely keep it's name, that of a very famous English Roman Catholic Saint, St. Thomas More, and continue existing pretending it serves Christ and live off it's reputation in the region by keeping the name of St Thomas More Hospital.

I am familiar with very famous teaching hospital still called "Presbyterian University Hospital". In fact this hospital severed all it's connections with the Presbyterian Church USA 25 years ago yet keeps the name (legally) for public relations purposes. Few people realize this and assume it is still owned by the Presbyterian Church. What shocked people who knew about the change from a religious to a secular hospital was that the old chapel was closed the day of the transition. Now the new "old" hospital has a "meditation room" without a cross...

Hospitals, like colleges and universities, like to keep their names even if they no longer have any historic or moral connections with their founders

@ Bridget

Well said. A defense barrister (lawyer) must do what the title days. Defend his client.

Maybe that's why people hate barristers because they defend people we all assume to be guilty. Many people feel this way until they need a defense barrister.

If and when that time ever comes in our lives we pray we can find good one.

31 January 2013 at 19:33  
Blogger John Magee said...

Inspector

The WASPS today still have the market cornered on the best law firms in the USA west of the Hudson River and even on the Island of Manhattan.

31 January 2013 at 19:36  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


John, as this thread has developed into vicious trench warfare, with various big guns going off, it would come as no surprise to this man if the providence of the defence team is revealed...

31 January 2013 at 19:45  
Blogger bluedog said...

In a changing world, Your Grace, some things never change, to whit, 'You are being hypocritical . You have no respect for the Pope's advice whatsoever. If a Jew or Muslim's Spiritual leader was held up to the disgusting denigration that the Pope receives on this site, there would be an outcry. It's OK because it's Catholic Bashing.'

Thus spake Cressida de Nova @ 12.10.

M/s de Nova, you repeatedly call my posts hypocritical, when not making more outrageous attacks and calling me names. Do you know the difference between irony and hypocrisy? I confess occasionally to using irony rather than insult to refute a point, as is your own practice. I like to think that I post with integrity, which is to say, I mean what I say.

As a flagrant plagiarist with not may original thoughts of my own, I naturally tend to steal any good ideas that I can. Thus when a relevant thought is posted by the Pope, I gain quiet anti-Catholic pleasure in using the Pope's words against the more tedious Papists on this site. Wonderful!

If that is hypocritical, surprise me by explaining why in a civil fashion.

31 January 2013 at 20:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



Bluedog, if you’re plagiarising ‘to whit’ from the Inspector, it’s spelt ‘to whit’

--:}



31 January 2013 at 20:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Er "to wit"

31 January 2013 at 20:24  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thanks, Mr Inspector. Happy to agree.

31 January 2013 at 20:32  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Ernsty

Is your recollection of history failing you? Chancellor More was not a man of the cloth! Unlike his murderous contemporary, who shared his Christian name, he understood his vocation was married life and accepted this as God's will. There was no finer man in England at the time.

While we're on pseudonyms. let's look at yours. According to the novels of Ian Fleming - an overweight man with pitch black eyes; intent on world domination; asexual; amoral; and eventually strangled to death by Bond.

Excellent role model!

31 January 2013 at 20:37  
Blogger Albert said...

Bluedog,

Your quotation from the Holy Father is most welcome. The difficulty is that taking seriously people whose ideas are different from our own requires, not misrepresenting them (for example by insinuating the Catholic Church has broken it's own teaching in this case for financial reward). Had that not happened at the beginning we could have had dialogue and debate flourish and grow. We could, for example have discussed the question of abortion (for example, why the CofE breaks its own teaching on the matter...in its own teaching).

Or, more profitably, we could have got on to how Christians should respond to such tragic cases as when a Church institution breaks its agreement with the Church. At least that way, we would have been looking at how to assist this poor father and give his sons the recognition they deserve - rather than arguing over whether this kind of misrepresentation actually helps the pro-death cause.

31 January 2013 at 20:43  
Blogger William said...

Albert

"... But that does not alter the fact that an unjust attack on the Church should be abhorred by all faithful Christians."

Agreed, but you go further:

"Every just person will want to see the reputation of the Catholic Church on this defending, unless or until evidence is produced to the effect that the Church has been wrong in this."

It is Christ's reputation that must be defended here, not your church. Ars Hendrik managed to do this well in the second comment of the thread. Then you came along and started washing your hands straight away before trying to turn the topic into the inadequacies of the CoE's position on abortion. Is this a faithful Christian defending his church against unjustified attack?

31 January 2013 at 20:48  
Blogger Albert said...

William,

"... But that does not alter the fact that an unjust attack on the Church should be abhorred by all faithful Christians."

Agreed


So you agree, I take it, that Cranmer's original presentation was unjust. Why then do you not complain about it.

It is Christ's reputation that must be defended here, not your church.

For justice to be justice, it must apply to all. Besides, the Church is the bride and body of Christ, he loves her and gave up his life for her. Would he not want her defending? Moreover, as I have repeated many times here, this take on the story undermines the pro-life position. Do you really think Our Lord does not care about that (as well as not caring about justice and his Church?)?

Then you came along and started washing your hands straight away before trying to turn the topic into the inadequacies of the CoE's position on abortion.

So you think it is possible to turn a blind eye to the teaching of the CofE on this, and attack the Catholic Church on this false grounds and consider the latter attack reasonable? Is that really your position?

31 January 2013 at 20:56  
Blogger OldJim said...

Well said, Bridget

Quite aside from the question of the extent to which the acts of the legal team of a hospital can be ascribed to the hospital, and to what extent the acts of a hospital can be ascribed to "the Roman Catholic Church", what cannot be overstated is that this is a legal matter that took place in a courtroom

If I gave testimony in a courtroom and the court had neglected to take my oath, and I had lied, then, were I prosecuted for perjury, I should defend myself against the charge. I did lie, but as there was no oath my case did not meet the law's definition of perjury.

If the state defines personhood as an individual human who is "born alive" then foetuses are not "people" in that legal sense.

This is what I was trying, and perhaps failing, to point out earlier. It strikes me as bizarre that people expect the Church to be prosecuted and to defend itself without regard to the legal definitions and instead by reference to the Church's preferred or ideal definitions.

As Christians we are understandably of the belief that there is real theological law that must be obeyed in order to be just. But there is also procedural justice: a trial is not just unless the law of the land is followed.

In this instance, like it or dislike it, the relevant definition of person in this law is an individual who is "born alive". In order for the criterion of procedural justice to be met, the trial must be administered according to that definition.

As we live under the common law, adversarial tradition, the defense is professionally obliged to make their case according to the existing civil law.

In doing so, they provide no commentary on what they would wish that law to be. They merely work as handmaidens in the administration of the existing law.

That is why there is no hypocrisy in insisting that personhood inheres in an individual from the moment of conception and that the law should reflect this, and simultaeously defending oneself on the grounds that the law does not define "personhood" in such a way as to legislate against an act that you believe should be legislated against.

Of course, though, this appears to be a PR disaster for the Church.

And of course the hospital ought to make every effort out of court to provide for the father whatever satisfaction they can offer. No-one has disputed this, as far as I can see.

31 January 2013 at 21:32  
Blogger Albert said...

Oldjim,

This is what I was trying, and perhaps failing, to point out earlier.

It was beautifully clear. Perhaps that was the problem. There seems to have been a need for some people to blame the Catholic Church for this. It was easier to ignore your point.

It seems to me that there are at least two responses to the charge that the Catholic Church has violated it's own teaching:

(i) It was not the Church that was acting - or even represented - in court.
(ii) Once things get into the hands of lawyers they take on a life of their own - as you and Bridget have demonstrated.

And of course the hospital ought to make every effort out of court to provide for the father whatever satisfaction they can offer.

Exactly. And that is quite different from who did what and why in court.

31 January 2013 at 21:43  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"Chancellor More was not a man of the cloth! Unlike his murderous contemporary, who shared his Christian name, he understood his vocation was married life and accepted this as God's will (Tosh. One quote in Matthew 19:12 completely misinterpreted by Rome {Jesus did acknowledge that marriage is not for everyone. This would correspond to Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 7. However, both Paul and Jesus stressed that relatively few people were called to a life of celibacy . It has to be a calling. God is the one who looked at a sinless man and said that it was not good for him to be alone (Genesis 2:18). So marriage is the rule, and living single for the sake of the Gospel is the exception. Paul, who advocated remaining single if a person was called to do so (1 Corinthians 7:24-28), said that it was a doctrine of devils to forbid marriage to ANYONE (1Timothy 4:1-3) ST Peter was and 1 Corinthians 9:5 states ; Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas (Peter)? , perhaps he should have divorced her..damned by Rome if you do and if you don't. Your church is the one that blasphemes scripture (and promotes that which it is strictly forbidden to do, thereby laying a sin burden on man and laity) and changes it, not the other way around} and it overrules everything else that Jesus stated about marriage {oh the truth of the term 'ecclessia non novit sanguinem' but it will have one so doing it from a secular ministry, on it's bidding. I see no difference between More and Calvin} There was no finer man in England at the time. (William Tyndale..that fellow who was on the run for his life from that nice 'More' chappie)"

Blofeld

" According to the novels of Ian Fleming - an overweight man with pitch black eyes; intent on world domination; asexual; amoral; and eventually strangled to death by Bond." But Ernst is a 'reformed and reformed further' new creation but retains his wits and wherewithal from his previous existence. All things NEW my boy..It's Scripture!

You see old bird, looking down at man we have somethings in common but looking upwards towards God, the unity is, err, exceedingly sparse.

31 January 2013 at 22:58  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Your Grace,

This thread has unfortunately turned into another Protestant -Catholic dispute. I will confess to never realising the depth of the antagonism between the two parts of Christianity.

If some of the chaps here could help me out on the following.

The facts were :

1. A mother and two babies died.

2. The husband sues the Hospital for negligence.

3. The court case resolves around the deaths of the two babies and as they were not 'born', under the state law they are not considered to be people, hence no liability is attached to any negligence proven.

So what about the mother, who would have been considered to be a person under that state law?

Presumably, it seems no-one is disputing the liability, as the case was about who is and is not a 'person', so I am not sure how the insurers or the hospital wriggled out of their liability for the death of the mother? Unless there is more to the case than we have been presented with?

Besides which, if it were the insurers denying the claim, they could simply repudiate the section to do with the children and pay out in respect of the mother.... and the hospital could have made an Ex gratia payment, even if there were no civil legal liability,for the loss of the children (given the Catholic views on life?).

Is this perhaps- I agree not the most sensitive language to use- more 'cock-up' than conspiracy?

31 January 2013 at 22:59  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

John Magee

if this would happen the hospital in question will most likely keep it's name

There is an organization out there somewhere that calls itself "Woman Priests." Periodically, it ordains a gaggle of women as "Catholic priests." The media fawns over them and trods over to the local RC bishop for a reaction. Whereupon the RC bishop says "We have nothing to do with these women. They aren't part of the RCC." End of story.

It doesn't matter if the hospital includes 'Catholic' in its name. What matters is formal affiliation with the RCC. If the RCC could say "We have nothing to do with this hospital" then there wouldn't be a story.

carl

31 January 2013 at 23:09  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Old Jim

This is what I was trying, and perhaps failing, to point out earlier. It strikes me as bizarre that people expect the Church to be prosecuted and to defend itself without regard to the legal definitions and instead by reference to the Church's preferred or ideal definitions.

It strikes me as unconscionable that an organization affiliated with the RCC would appeal to legal definitions that the RCC morally repudiates. It's identical to saying "Well, I am opposed to abortion, but little Muffy is pregnant, and she is only 16, and well ... it's just not a good time in her life for her to have a baby. After all, abortion is legal."

carl

31 January 2013 at 23:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Carl, unfortunately, you being an extreme protestant renders you advice worthless. Just thought you should know that....





31 January 2013 at 23:15  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

The other thought is, why didn't the plaintiff's legal team point out to their client that there was this state law which defined who a person is and the [near] certainty of them not winning this part of their action, or perhaps the client noted this and still wanted them to proceed? Who knows. But the whole case and how it turned out,does seem strange.

31 January 2013 at 23:19  
Blogger OldJim said...

Mr Kavanagh

The woman in question arrived at the hospital experiencing vomiting and shortness of breath - she had a heart and lungs full of clots, though this wasn't clear at first.
The doctors try to find the pulses of the twins and get nothing, deciding against performing a perimortem c-section.

Within an hour of being admitted, she had a severe heart attack and died. The foetuses died with her. There is no question that there was nothing to be done in order to save the mother. The question is only whether the doctors were negligent in not performing a c-section on her at the time of her death.

Unfortunately, legal arbitration on the question of whether the hospital was negligent can only be given in a situation in which the court recognises a person or people to whom the hospital could have acted negligently. In this case, there were no such "people".

However, whether the hospital believes it was negligent or not, it should be able to see that in order to give the lie to the claim of hypocrisy, it should provide the father with satisfaction outside the courtroom.

He was never going to get satisfaction within the courtroom with the law as it is, though. We are in the odd situation where both defendant and plaintiff recognise that there is a potential moral offense to be investigated and arbitrated upon, but the court and the law do not recognise any crime, or in fact any victim against which that crime could have been perpetrated.

31 January 2013 at 23:30  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Old Jim

We are in the odd situation where both defendant and plaintiff recognise that there is a potential moral offense to be investigated and arbitrated upon, but the court and the law do not recognise any crime, or in fact any victim against which that crime could have been perpetrated.

If that is true, then why did the case end up in court?

carl

31 January 2013 at 23:40  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Old Jim,

Thank you for the clarification on the secular legal aspect of this case. I agree with your conclusions that the hospital in question (or whoever owned it) should have paid appropriate compensation given the hospital's moral worldview on what is considered to be life (as contrasted with the state's legal definition). I am surprised that this wasn't done in the first instance.

I guess the next issue to discuss, is whether or not his Grace is being 'anti-catholic'. I do not believe that he is, because as he has noted, this piece is written by a person who says that she is in communion and fellowship with said Church.

The very fact that he is permitting a non-Anglican to post on his website surely shows that?

As for the views of his own Church, I am not sure if this is strictly relevant, because I am assuming that given the stance of the C of E as outlined by John Magee, an Anglican would have been under equal moral (if not legal) obligation to try and save these children via a C- section?

31 January 2013 at 23:46  
Blogger OldJim said...

Carl

I do not accept the analogy. In the first instance, the question is whether a crime was committed under which the state would have the authority to prescribe a temporal punishment. In the second instance, the question is whether the existence of a civil law suffices to determine whether a given action is moral or permissible.


We cannot procure an abortion simply because it is legal - however, in a state in which abortion is legal, having procured an abortion, we are under no moral obligation to be imprisoned for murder where the civil law does not admit of the offence, because imprisonment is a temporal punishment allotted by the state for acts which violate the civil law.


As Christians, we are obliged to obey the precepts of God's law, and of the civil law where it does not gravely violate these precepts. We are also obliged to seek to conform the civil law to God's law. But we are only obliged to suffer temporal punishments imposed by the state for crimes that the civil law admits of.

The defense in the trial did what the defense is meant to do - it demonstrated that the law provided the court with no grounds to prosecute the case. To fail in this duty simply because the defense believed that a wrong had in fact been done would have been to flout procedural justice in the name of retributive justice - historically, we are in the realm of soviet show trials when we go there.

If I were in any position of authority within the Hospital or the Church, I would attempt to establish an independent ecclesiastical trial to evaluate claims of negligence - because both church and plaintiff plainly recognise that there were people to whom wrong could have been done.

The court didn't and couldn't, and the defense pointed this out. It's that simple.

31 January 2013 at 23:58  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

David K said ...

" ... this piece is written by a person who says that she is in communion and fellowship with said Church.

Well, no she hasn't actually said this. What she said was that she was:

" ... a female Roman Catholic in her middle forties. Baptised and confirmed, and therefore with as much right to call herself Roman Catholic as any other member of the Church."

1 February 2013 at 00:02  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

"Dialogue and debate can also flourish and grow when we converse with and take seriously people whose ideas are different from our own," writes the Holy Father.

"His Grace has an ever-present Cyber Swiss Guard, plaguing every thread Tweets Cranmer.

1 February 2013 at 00:09  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

"Dispute with them in love"
American Catholicism with overtones of Anglicanism at its best...inauthentic and twisted and a complete misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the ther term
'love'

This post of Tiberia's was aimed to take a swipe at the Church...she should have chosen a story where the Church was at fault. This was not one of them.

Sister Tiberia is most likely one of those
" you can crush our petals but you cannot stop the Springtime ..let me be me " American Catholics. This is the first time I have felt pity for Magee ..being surrounded by these phonies makes me wonder why he converted at all ,at least in America.

1 February 2013 at 00:14  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2013 at 00:15  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2013 at 00:16  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

I can see why his grace talks of the cyber swiss guards.

Strange that in threads below, there are Catholics who say that nothing (re Jews) should be beyond whatever pathetic criticism they can pluck out of the air, but presumably you guys do not think any discussion of your own Church is valid? or those who say things about mocking real accusations of anti-semitism....

Yet this post is bigotry?

Yet it isn't bigotry when gay are attacked in quite colourful language on the comment sections of this blog?

To my mind, I can accept the issues of the secular legalities of this case, but surely it must agreed that the Church's image and it's ability to argue its case, is diminished, given it is in a farcical position of having used (legally) a law with which it goes against morally?

1 February 2013 at 00:19  
Blogger Andrei said...

This is of course a nuisance law suit.

Having sued the hospital and lost in the case of the death of the mother, the lawyers for the father want anothe bite at the cherry by suing the hospital for the deaths of the unborn twins who if delivered would have been at the very limits of viability.

Whether we agree or not about the unborn having the rights of full human beings there is no a case under current Colorado law to be answered - this is a matter of facts as they are on the ground

1 February 2013 at 00:22  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Hannah,

I think it is only a few Catholics who think like that, the rest are just defending their faith as they see it. From what I can read on this blog the old wounds are not healed between the two sides.

1 February 2013 at 00:33  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Hannah,

If our Catholic friends are the cyber swiss guard, perhaps the Jews here should form a Shayetet 13 unit?

1 February 2013 at 00:33  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Dodo,

Are you suggesting that the author of this post isn't a RC? Have I used the wrong choice of words?

1 February 2013 at 00:36  
Blogger John Magee said...

Carl

"There is an organization out there somewhere that calls itself "Woman Priests." Periodically, it ordains a gaggle of women as "Catholic priests."

The liberal media parades members on of this group of a couple hundred excomunicated radicals on the TV shows as somehow representing a large part of the liberal Catholic Community. My worst nightmare is they may be right.

I know them well. They ordained 8 female priestesses in nearby Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2006. This "mass" odination of priestesses took place on one of the tour boats on the 3 rivers which gives Pittsburgh it's unique location. Dr. Gisela Forster, one of the community's presiding bishopettes perfromed the "ordinations". More than 350 invited guests burst into applause and cheers for eight priests (priestesses(and four deacons (deaconesses) of the group Roman Catholic Womenpriests (priestesses). But the Catholic Church, which the women claim to have been ordained for, says they have excommunicated themselves through their actions.

Hurray for Pope Benedict XVI!

This is the fourth such group ordained worldwide since 2002, and the first in the U.S. The women came from across the nation. All have been held on boats, because they are a traditional symbol of the church.

The ceremony followed the form of the Catholic rite, but with changes in ritual and language

"This is a sad moment for us. It has fostered even greater disunity in the church than what existed before this day began. We pray for reconciliation we pray for unity," said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the nearly one million member Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh."

Here is an interesting quote by one of the priestesses:

Dagmar Celeste, a former first lady of Ohio who was among the group's first ordinands in 2002, said, "Today we give honor to our mother God ... Just as the water broke in the wombs of our mother, so we open the waters of mother church."

I value you opinions Dodo and can't wait to read what you have to say about this outrageous comment above.

What a freak show this female ordination party was. Looking at the photos of the ladies who took part in this farce my guess is 90% were dykes.

I know that wasn't a very Christian thing to say about them. But when I read about or see videos of these kind of radical feminist shenanigans I don't feel in a particularly Christian mood for a good half hour afterward. They delight in these type of abominations to upset and hurt traditional Christians both Catholic or Protestant.

1 February 2013 at 00:40  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Yet another thread when brothers and sisters in our Lord Christ Jesus attack each other, not because of the points raised, but because of centuries of unfortunate mutual misunderstanding. Very depressing.

1 February 2013 at 00:48  
Blogger OldJim said...

Hannah

I do not believe that any old criticism of anything is alright. People who make ill-informed or prejudicial critiques reflect on themselves quite badly.

Neither am I implacably opposed to any criticism of my Church, although even when I regard such criticism as well-earned I will of course consider myself obliged to be zealous in defending Her from mere mockery - even when someone has a case against Her, they often overextend its import and/or the breadth of culpability.

In this case, though, I am annoyed, because I think the accusation, put superficially, is vastly overstated, for the reasons outlined in the discussion above.

If the argument were that the hospital had been negligent, I would listen. If the argument were that the fact that this case ever went to court reflected badly on the hospital, I would agree. If the argument were that the hospital ought to affirm that it regards the foetuses as people to whom it was capable of acting negligently, I would unequivocally agree. If the argument were that the hospital ought to offer the father satisfaction for negligence, I would say that from the facts I have heard, I would tend to agree.

But the intent seems to be to confound the Church with a hospital and to confound a legal contention with a moral doctrine. Neither of these equivocations seems to me to sustain much scrutiny, and both seem designed to me to serve the purposes of sensationalism and libel.

But I think that I've done my best to be level and dispassionate in considering the thing.

1 February 2013 at 00:55  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

John Magee

The Catholic Church has spoken on this. Listen.

Archbishop Samuel Aquila, Bishop Michael Sheridan Bishop Fernando Isern, have said that Catholic institutions had "a duty to protect and foster human life", which they said begins at conception. Their statement goes on, "No Catholic institution may legitimately work to undermine fundamental human dignity." The Bishops added they would carry out a "full review of this litigation and of the policies and practises ... to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic Church."

What part of this do you not understand? Or do you agree with Ms Tiberias when she suggests collusion by the Church authorities? She wrote:

" ... the lawyers ... hope(d) that God won't notice. Or that the Pope won't notice. Or at least that the papers won't notice. This case has been ongoing since 2006 so is this seriously the first that the Bishops have heard about it? Yes, we're all aware that they're very busy men, but even so..."


The lawyers for the plaintiff, Ms Beth Krulewich and Mr Dan Gerash must be laughing all the way to the bank - unless its a 'no win-no fee' case!

1 February 2013 at 00:56  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Old Jim

But the intent seems to be to confound the Church with a hospital...

I have intentionally not done this. However, the RCC cannot distance itself from the actions of an organization to which it is formally affiliated. If the RCC thinks the hospital is wrong, then the RCC has to say so out loud in public. Silence will be interpreted as passive approval. Don't expect me to interpret silence in a charitable manner.

... and to confound a legal contention with a moral doctrine.

The hospital could have stipulated that the children were persons for the sake of the trial. But the hospital wanted to avoid a trial about negligence, and the attendant risk of financial loss. So it argued that the children weren't legally children - that the death of an unborn child is the equivalent of the death of liver cells. Thus there was no wrongful death. Thus there could be no negligence. To serve its own self-interest, the hospital appealed to a law that the RCC would see overturned.

The hospital was wrong to do so. The RCC has a moral obligation to say that out loud and take action relative to the hospital's affiliation. If the RCC does not do so, then it has demonstrated tacit approval of the hospital's action, and becomes morally culpable for sanctioning the act. And it had better act quickly. If the RCC delays too long in speaking, it will vitiate the moral force of its proclamation. People will believe their statement was the result of pressure and not conviction.

carl

1 February 2013 at 01:11  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Old Jim,

I think my sister is still learning (as we all are) in faith matters and the interplay between bigotry and genuine critiques or interfaith/interdenominational discussions. The [sad?] reality is that this blog is more of a polemical bear pit, rather than David B's version of the Cyber cafe.

Or as Master Yoda says "Much to learn we all have"...

1 February 2013 at 01:13  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Hannah
You must be specific. Roman Catholics are not the Borg - we all have different temperaments and, interesting, some have fairly 'unorthodox' opinions about homosexuals, race and the Jews - and, more tellingly, the doctrines and teachings of the Church.

David Kavanagh said...
"Dodo,
Are you suggesting that the author of this post isn't a RC? Have I used the wrong choice of words?"


No, you attributed words to her she never actually used. Ms Tiberias lays claim to the right to call herself Roman Catholic. Fine. However, being Baptised and Confirmed is not sufficient to be in full communion with the Church and she never claimed this. She may be; who knows?

"... perhaps the Jews here should form a Shayetet 13 unit?"

I thought you already were organised? No. Well there's really no need as ou have plenty of unconditional religio-political support on here.

John Magee
One should pray for these former Catholics who have left the Church. At least we know where they stand.

Lord Lavendon
A healthy and robust exchange of opinions, I'd say. Okay, so it got off on the wrong foot given the initial presentation of the topic.

1 February 2013 at 01:19  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Dodo,

OK. I cannot pretend to know the whole ins and outs of the Catholic faith. I can't try and google it, because it just takes me into even more confusing territory. I'll have to take your words for it! (unless the Sister will counter your statement)>

1 February 2013 at 01:25  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Carl

Yes and if the hospital removes the basis of its defence on the insistence of the Catholic Church, who will determine whether there was actual negligence and the amount of damages to be paid by the health authority? It cannot be the secular, civil court. How do you put a price on the lives of two children? Speaking personally, I think the father was wrong to sue.

One hopes the Church will move quickly here however, it rarely does.

1 February 2013 at 01:28  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2013 at 01:30  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo and Old Jim,

OK, perhaps I was too critical, but what I struggle with is the universal claim to the 'correct' opinion within your own religious system, yet that clearly isn't true, because as Dodo points out

" we all have different temperaments and, interesting, some have fairly 'unorthodox' opinions about homosexuals, race and the Jews - and, more tellingly, the doctrines and teachings of the Church."

Yet the big theme that comes up in these Protestant-Catholic disputes is that the Catholic Church is a solid as rock bloc which believes consistently the same thing, but Protestants have 35,000 or something denominations each claiming to be the proper view or church.

Can that critique be reconciled?

I don't have a big axe to grind with this, but I am intrigued from a polemical and philosophical view as to how this all ties up.

1 February 2013 at 01:31  
Blogger John Magee said...

Lord Lavendon

You are absolutely correct.

When we Christians debate it often turns into a family fight with all of us casting up negative stuff from our history.

At the same time we all have valid historical points of view we want to voice in our defense religious and political beliefs.

Being critical of others doesn't mean we are haters nor can we assume those who disagree with us are filled with hatred and want retribution.

1 February 2013 at 01:32  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo,

Well we are a man down at the moment with Avi's continued absence from this blog. Hope he gets a new lap top soon!

1 February 2013 at 01:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

David K

Apologies, I wasn't being deliberately vague. I haven't actually said anything about the depth of Ms Tiberias' faith.

Being a Catholic in full communion with the Church means accepting her teachings on a range of 'controversial' issues (abortion, divorce, homosexuality, contraception) and accepting internally Her dogma and doctrines.

Ms Tiberias laid claim to the title of Roman Catholic on the basis of her Baptism and Confirmation. I was simply pointing out this does not mean she is, in fact, in communion with the Church and accepts its doctrines and teachings.

1 February 2013 at 01:39  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

if the hospital removes the basis of its defence on the insistence of the Catholic Church ...

I am amazed at both the number and kind of shabby rationalizations that RCs have presented on this thread in an attempt to isolate the RCC from the hospital's actions. I am even more amazed at the matter-of-fact manner in which the use of this defense is being treated by RCs on this thread. You shouldn't care that the defense is legal. The defense defense is immoral. An organization affiliated with the RCC should never appeal to this defense. This is analogous to an Abolitionist appealing to the Dred Scott decision in order to realize the value of inherited slaves.

... who will determine whether there was actual negligence and the amount of damages to be paid by the health authority?

I suspect it would be the same way such things are determined in other trials involving negligence and damages. This isn't new legal ground.

... It cannot be the secular, civil court.

Why?

carl

1 February 2013 at 01:42  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The Colorado bishops issued the following statement:

The Catholic bishops of Colorado learned recently of the deaths of Lori Stodghill and her two unborn children, which took place at St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City, Colo. in 2006. We wish to extend our solidarity and sympathy to Lori’s husband Jeremy, and her daughter, Elizabeth. Please be assured of our ongoing prayers.

From the moment of conception, human beings are endowed with dignity and with fundamental rights, the most foundational of which is life.

Catholics and Catholic institutions have the duty to protect and foster human life, and to witness to the dignity of the human person — particularly to the dignity of the unborn. NO CATHOLIC INSTITUTION may legitimately work to undermine fundamental human dignity. (Unless money is involved?)

Catholic Health Initiatives is a CATHOLIC INSTITUTION which provides health care services in 14 states, providing care to thousands of people annually. Catholic Health Initiatives has been accused by some of undermining the Catholic position on human life in the course of litigation. Today, representatives of Catholic Health Initiatives assured us of their intention to observe the moral and ethical obligations of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic bishops of Colorado are not able to comment on ongoing legal disputes. However, we will undertake a full review of this litigation, and of the policies and practices of Catholic Health Initiatives to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, S.T.L., Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Denver
Most Rev. Michael Sheridan, S.Th.D, Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado Springs
Most Rev. Fernando Isern, Bishop of the Diocese of Pueblo

Albert

Lets get one thing perfectly clear.,

A defense attorney only does what HIS CLIENT TELLS HIM, he has no authority in his own right. Did his client, C H I, advise an out of court settlement to hold together and not contradict the gospel message that you RC"S continually boast you adhere to.. Obviously not!
Then for what other purpose did it make sound judgment to continue a defense against the litigant that so contravenes R C moral and ethical authority. The safeguarding of monies?

CHI : Formed in 1996 through the merger of three Catholic hospital systems, the giant not-for-profit organization is one of the largest Catholic hospital operators in the US. It operates more than 70 hospitals and 40 long-term care, assisted-living, and senior ... It is sponsored by a dozen different congregations of nuns.

What on earth must the many congregations of nuns think who raise funds to sponsor it's work.

Blofeld

Ps

Catholic run hospitals have form "

The Colorado lawsuit isn't the first time that a Catholic hospital has argued that it is not liable for the death of a fetus.

In 1996, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a mom there could not sue St. Vincent's Medical Center of Jacksonville over the death of her unborn child.

'But this decision makes the law very clear. A fetus is not a separate person under the law.''

Tom Horkan, counsel for the Florida Catholic Conference, was pleased by the ruling but said his group thinks the legal status of a fetus should be changed.

''We've tried over the years to amend the wrongful-death statute and so has the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers,'' Horkan said. ''But the law is the law. (The Young case) is not a legal claim.''

William Kuntz, St. Vincent's trial attorney, defended the hospital's stance at the time.

"We've never contended that a fetus is not a person," Kuntz told the Orlando Sentinel in 1996. "We've always said that an unborn person does not have the right to bring a lawsuit in Florida."

1 February 2013 at 01:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

It seems the Bishops have spoken!

[Snip a bunch of irrelevant boilerplate]

The Catholic bishops of Colorado are not able to comment on ongoing legal disputes.

Ooo-Kaaaay. Wouldn't want to prejudice the outcome and expose anyone to financial liability. They are toast.

However, we will undertake a full review of this litigation, and of the policies and practices of Catholic Health Initiatives to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Oh, good. Do you suppose they will have committees and sub-committees and reports and stuff?

carl

1 February 2013 at 01:53  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Hannah

I wasn't actually defending the unorthodox opinions of others or their inability to accept or understand the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Indeed, it has surprised me that some Catholics on here don't actually know what the Church teaches on a range of issues or understand its take on Scripture.

Catholicism isn't like Judaism where there are different 'schools' and Rabbis that one can choose between. Nor are the requirements of God's law debated to see how they can be interpreted toblend in with daily life. Neither is like Protestantism where one can rely on one's independent understanding of the Bible.

Roman Catholicism is a faith based on understand and then obedience to the teachings of the Church who we believe carries the authority of Jesus Christ.

When, earlier today, mCranmer accused me of having an "infallible, immutable dogmatic worldview I took this as a compliment! I'm a Roman Catholic for God's sake, what does he expect?

1 February 2013 at 01:54  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Carl

All of your points - every single one of them - have been ably answered by Old Jim and by Albert.

And whatever your opinion of the Catholic Church, which is very well known on here, the Bishops have given a series of undertakings to review this situation. Your rather juvenile sneering at this says more about you than them.

(Such comments too from a guy who supports abortion and euthanasia in certain situations! What of 'personhood' there?)

1 February 2013 at 02:08  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I grant that the U.S. may well have different rules regarding representation of pleas, but here at least lawyers are obliged to cover all possible defences in their advice but the final choice on how to proceed is the client's.

Unless that's substantially different, someone took the decision to run with the line of defence - and it cannot wholly be put on the lawyers.

1 February 2013 at 02:14  
Blogger non mouse said...

Hmmm, Your Grace. We used to have discussions like this at the lunch table at school long decades ago. It’s still true, then: The world hasn’t learned a thing since, and the business of people forcing other people to live and die involves inordinate quantities of expensive hot air.

On this particular permutation of the theme? Well, I have questions.
Did the mother in question invoke her 'Do Not Resuscitate' right?
Even if a mother does repudiate excessive or inept human intervention in the course of nature, do/should her choice decide the [earthly] fate of the children?
Even if her choice should not determine the life/death of the children, should any earthly power have the right to force those children to live: without their natural mother --- knowing that their gestation had killed her? (And, btw, the husband might also need support and help on that score).
Or: do unholy Romans enshrine themselves as arbiters of the aforesaid rights?
And/Or: Should the mighty authority of franco-german filosofy enshrine itself as LAW and supersede any individual's right to decide whether (s)he should live or die?

Cont’d... because your Grace usefully reminds us of the Caesarian aspects of this case.

1 February 2013 at 02:30  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2013 at 02:33  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2013 at 02:36  
Blogger non mouse said...


Cont’d... I suppose my responses to Caesar are predictable.
First: I incline to remember what happened in the world of Julius Caesar (not technically born of woman). JC was, of course, turned into sanguinary sort. As ever, the Bard presented a memorable picture of the resulting deconstruction. Prior Caesar’s funeral, WS could have a messed-up Mark Antony say:
O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy,—
Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips,
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue---
A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar 1495
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter'd with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.
[Enter a Servant]

You serve Octavius Caesar, do you not?
(“Julius Caesar.” III.1). Ah. But, as Christians, should we?
Cont’d...

1 February 2013 at 02:40  
Blogger non mouse said...

Cont’d...
Surely Christ's injunction on service to Caesar is helpful? Our lives do not belong to Caesar, or to any other Roman. They are not even ours. They are God's. So I say all this ‘Justice by Media’ is a grave application of hubris, especially when we respond from super-fragmented groups that suit the Marxist cause of divide and conquer.

Perhaps it can help us to remember:
The babes here were innocent: they cannot be in any but a better place.

God alone is the mother’s judge. One prays that he also welcomes the sacrifice of her life.
[Furthermore, God alone has dealt with that old fraud, Thomas More (who wrote a very communistic book, btw)].

And here, at the Mouth of Hell? the doctors alone know whether their consciences are Hippocratical, or hypocritical. So we would not go amiss to pray for them.

I agree wholeheartedly with Your Grace about our support and prayers for the father/husband who remains alone, bereft, and behind.

Since we seem unable to stop their gallop: Let the power mongers and monetisers (‘all hot from Rome’ and marxland) lay about them as they will. God will sort them.

1 February 2013 at 02:48  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2013 at 03:24  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2013 at 03:27  
Blogger Bridget said...

Dear non mouse,
As usual I enjoyed your comments, although with More I think you are too fast to judge.
http://voegelinview.com/ev/thomas_more_utopia_and_pride.html

I think the Catholic authorities missed a real opportunity. 
Legal definition about what constitutes a person aside, and assuming that the pediatrist and staff were actually culpable professionally and morally, the hospital lawyers should have offered no defense in court, accepted the charge of unlawful death and asked the court to judge it so too. If that had happen you'd be in the position where a court of the land ruled a fetus to be a person, opening up the possibility of legal challenge to the concept that a person was limited to one human born breathing. Or perhaps not. I don't know how these things work.
But looking at it in a purely render-to-Caesar  way, the catholic authorities would have lost money but enhanced their reputation for principle by offering no contest.

1 February 2013 at 03:34  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

Juvenile sneering? Heh. Here. Let me repeat the courageous statement of the RC bishops about one of their affiliates protecting itself from financial harm by declaring that an unborn child is an un-person.

The Catholic bishops of Colorado are not able to comment on ongoing legal disputes.

Why would that be the case, Dodo? Why can't they comment on the use of a defense that is immoral in the eyes of the RCC? Hrmmmm. Let's think about that for a minute. Hrmmmm.

Such comments too from a guy who supports abortion and euthanasia in certain situations! What of 'personhood' there?

Is this the "Let's distract the argument onto another path" moment? Please. Do tell me the circumstances to which you refer. Perhaps we can argue about me instead of the actions of the hospital. Perhaps the other commenters will forget all about the evasive non-response of the RC bishops.

carl

1 February 2013 at 05:52  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Here is a list of rationalizations just off the top of my head.

1. It was the lawyers.
2. It was lawyers for the insurance company.
3. You can't find fault in the hospital using a perfectly legal defense to protect itself.
4. The hospital has no legal obligation to fall on its sword even if morally it did cause harm.
5. They were hoping to lose so that personhood of the fetus could be established.
6. The father shouldn't have sued.
7. You never know. The author of this post might be a liberal Catholic.
8. Talking about this will hurt the pro-Life movement.

It is RCs who should be most offended by this event. It's the credibility of the RCC that is being undermined.

carl

1 February 2013 at 06:11  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2013 at 08:01  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Bridget 03.34

'Or perhaps not' is correct.

It is highly unlikely that the judge would go against the long line of case law precedent.

Sister Tiberias is morally right: the hospital (outside of court) should have compensated the other party.

1 February 2013 at 08:08  
Blogger len said...

The article by HG( and the responses by Catholics) highlights the problem that Catholics have with regard to putting the truth above the desire to defend their denomination.

When the desire to defend Catholicism negates the truth (or at best colours ones perception of the truth) that is when the real trouble begins.

IF your desire to know the truth does not override all else then you are a prime target for deception.

When one has taken up a position in error then one' builds a stronghold' around that error that God`s Truth cannot penetrate unless the desire to know the truth (regardless of all else) can demolish that stronghold .

False religion(of whatever variety)holds people within 'strongholds' of their own making and it is from these'strongholds' which become 'prisons' from which Jesus came to set the 'prisoners free'.

All those who have ears to hear?



1 February 2013 at 08:11  
Blogger Jon said...

Carl - you missed one off your list at 06.11

"The Pope told me to do it and he has a batphone to God so he must be right".

1 February 2013 at 12:28  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len

Like others you've turned this into a 'them and us' issue. It isn't. Instead of posting sanctimonious drivel why not consider the very argued points presented by Albert and by Old Jim - both people you have indicated you respect.

The same goes for Carl and for Jon.

1 February 2013 at 12:33  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

It is RCs who should be most offended by this event. It's the credibility of the RCC that is being undermined.

Absolutely. Which is why, presumably, you haven't included in your list of rationalisations, the following:

It is false to insinuate that the Catholic Church contradicted its own teaching in order to save itself money.

You've not included that in your list of rationalisations, because, that proposition is true as far as we can see. It's therefore not a rationalisation.

This does not mean of course, that things could not have been handled better or that things could still be done to put matters right.

1 February 2013 at 12:44  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Albert:

It might not have done so solely on the basis of a pecuniary motive, but the fact is the defence (which surely must have been agreed by someone), if successful, will ensure that end by using a line of argument which the RCC has long opposed in public.

Though that leaves us at searching for alternative motives as to why RCC teaching has been contradicted, which as far as I can see, takes us straight back to Carl's list.

1 February 2013 at 13:03  
Blogger Bridget said...

D. Singh,

"It is highly unlikely that the judge would go against the long line of case law precedent."

Exactly, so the fact that the defending lawyers invoked the obvious at the outset should be seen for what it is: by definition, in the eyes of the law, the action has no merit, so why should they build up and bring forward any defense? For anything they say in defense will not affect the fact that the action for wrongful death has no merit in the eyes of the law and will be rejected in any event?

It is important to remember that the claim made by the defending lawyers is not that foetuses are not persons but that the law that applies in this action has determined that foetuses are not persons. 
If that was remembered then those who write headlines and twitter whatyoumaycallems would have to write: Catholic lawyers state that the law holds foetuses are not persons. But then Cranmer wouldn't get to indulge his smarminess. 

1 February 2013 at 13:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

But a hospital associated with the RCC did contradict RC teaching in order to save itself money. And the Colorado RC bishops when asked about it promptly kicked the ball into touch. There is no reason those RC bishops can't comment on the use of that defense other than to avoid prejudicing the case of the hospital.

Oh, there is a ninth.

9. The lawyers didn't argue that a fetus is a non-person. They argued that the law says a fetus is a non-person.

carl

1 February 2013 at 13:21  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Bridget:

Your posts have largely been spot-on on this one IMHO (as was Sister Tiberius' original post). I don't think Cranmer is being particularly smarmy about this.

If the issue was some minutae of observation of the Rosary, or a fine difference of theological opinion, I'd be inclined to agree. But it's about abortion: a position which both the RCC and Cranmer himself have fairly consistently presented as being a grave moral issue.

I think, given Cranmer's record on critiquing abortion culture, he might be given the benefit of the doubt that what you are seeing is not smarminess, but a certain amount of righteous indignation that - as you have rightly pointed out - there were other routes to go about this that didn't have the appearance of sacrificing the moral high ground to play by Caesar's rules.

1 February 2013 at 13:21  
Blogger William said...

Albert

"It is false to insinuate that the Catholic Church contradicted its own teaching in order to save itself money."

According to Dodo's character assasination of Sister Tiberia, money is indeed a consideration. He writes:

"The lawyers for the plaintiff, Ms Beth Krulewich and Mr Dan Gerash must be laughing all the way to the bank - unless its a 'no win-no fee' case!"

Of course Dodo is not the RCC. Ineed we have no evidence that he is even in communion with said organisation.

However, why would this Catholic institution fight against claims for compensation on the basis that the law says that unborn children are not human if not for the money? It's clearly not for the glory of God. Or are you saying that this Catholic institution cannot be considered to be a part of the RCC?

1 February 2013 at 13:29  
Blogger Albert said...

Belfast (and William),

It might not have done so solely on the basis of a pecuniary motive

I think you are both still missing my point. Perhaps the hospital is guilty of a pecuniary motive, but that is not the Church. This one of the two most important points. The presentation of this issue, as presented by Cranmer in the original tweet has led many readers to keep accusing the Church. That is false. (The other issue is that in so doing it undermines the pro-life cause.)

1 February 2013 at 13:43  
Blogger Albert said...

Belfast,

I think, given Cranmer's record on critiquing abortion culture, he might be given the benefit of the doubt that what you are seeing is not smarminess

He has misrepresented the position to make the Church look bad, while being part of an ecclesial community that supports far worse. That is an odd choice of priorities.

1 February 2013 at 13:44  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

And the Colorado RC bishops when asked about it promptly kicked the ball into touch.

I'm not sure whether you are right about that? How do you know? One thing they have said is:

"Catholics and Catholic institutions have the duty to protect and foster human life, and to witness to the dignity of the human person -- particularly to the dignity of the unborn," the bishops said. "No Catholic institution may legitimately work to undermine fundamental human dignity."

and it is reported that they are investigating the matter. But if they too have failed here, then how does anything I have said indicate I am defending them?

1 February 2013 at 13:51  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Here we go again.

This is tedious. Albert you are clearly being utterly and purposely obtuse, so, for the third, fourth or fifth time, solely for your clarification:

Sister Tiberia wrote to His Grace: "Basically, the Catholic Church seems to be saying that fetuses are people unless it's going to cost them money.

"This sad Roman Catholic will now go off to quietly weep for the soul of her Church."

So, His Grace has not 'misrepresented the position to make the Church look bad', and Sister Tiberia has every right to express her opinion and self-identity as she wishes. Frankly, it is your church that looks bad by claiming unique ownership of the word 'Catholic' and permitting this hospital to use it. His Grace merely added 'Roman' to 'Catholic Church' because that is exactly so from an Anglican perspective (not to mention sundry academic books, journals encyclopaedias and Wikipaedia).

Still, however, the anti-Anglican harassment continues. If you're so desperately unhappy at what you read here, just go. Please, go.

1 February 2013 at 14:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Sorry Dr Cranmer, remember what I have said endlessly: it is your original tweet that I am objecting to. Of course, you have since told us that you never worded it. But you did think carefully enough about it to "correct" it to "Roman" Catholic Church, so as not to impugn your own community. It never occurred to you, also to correct it so that it ceased, falsely to insinuate that the Catholic Church was fighting this for money. You are thoughtful enough to defend your own community, but not to correct a misrepresentation of another.

The words may have come from another, but they were repeated in your voice. Nothing in the tweet indicated it was not your sentence. Someone who simply repeats a libel surely commits libel. Neither, as far as I am aware, have you bothered to correct the misinformation you propagated.

Frankly, it is your church that looks bad by claiming unique ownership of the word 'Catholic' and permitting this hospital to use it.

Therefore, you Anglicans in England look bad when you claim to be the Church of England. Will drop that title, if I stop speaking of the Catholic Church?

1 February 2013 at 14:15  
Blogger Bridget said...

Anon.  in Belfast,

In fact it isn't about abortion. It should be, but it isn't.
If it were about abortion then Cranmer and others in the thread would be asking for answers to questions such as:
Why didn't the pediatrist turn up? If there is no good reason, then does his failure to attend his patient at hospital amount to culpability for the death of the twins? Is there a moral case for him being prosecuted for murder?
Were the staff at the hospital who were in attendance competent to judge the situation of the twins in the womb of the mother? I read that the mother weighed over 400 lbs at the time and attempts to determine whether the twins hearts were beating showed no evidence that they were. Is this true? Would it have affected the decision to perform an emergency c-section on a woman who was already fighting for her life? Were the staff available competent to decide, let alone perform such a thing? Were they morally culpable for murder if they decided in the wrong way?
I don't know the answers to any of these questions. But what I do know is that in no way could the action brought by the husband succeed in court simply because the law is the law, and expecting any attorney to stand up and pretend that the law is something different from what it is is a wrong expectation, indeed it is a morally culpable expectation and I wish that the posters here would acknowledge that fact. But they choose not to. There is no smarm value there, you see.

The hospital authorities should investigate what happened in the light of their own mission values. But even here, it can never be clear-cut. Suppose the authorities did determine that the pediatrist and staff were culpable in the death of the twins. What action can they take? For by law they are not culpable. Can the authorities at least fire them without the hospital being sued? 
The trouble, if you'll allow me to be smarmy while being honest, is that catholic institutions are trying to operate with christian values that are at odds with those of the secular protestant ethos dominant in the larger society. But that's for another day.

1 February 2013 at 14:15  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

"Therefore, you Anglicans in England look bad when you claim to be the Church of England. Will drop that title, if I stop speaking of the Catholic Church?"

O dear.

Albert, the Church of England is precisely as she claims to be - the Church *of* England. She is not - and does not claim to be - the Church *in* England. That, you will find, is the sole claim of your own denomination. Anglicans are perfectly capable of distinguishing between the Ecclesia Anglorum, the Ecclesia Anglicana and the Ecclesia Angliae.

Now, how's your Latin?

1 February 2013 at 14:29  
Blogger Albert said...

No, it's an exclusive title, like "the Queen of England".

She is not - and does not claim to be - the Church *in* England. That, you will find, is the sole claim of your own denomination.

And what if I am in Wales?

Now, how's your Latin?

Sadly, my Latin is not as good as I would like. It's a consequence of my having been educated entirely in the state sector. Wasn't offered to me you see. Sounds like you think that is moral failing on my part.

But isn't this just avoiding more important matters. Everyone who has investigated the matter (even Sister Tiberia, I think) seems to admit that the insinuation of the tweet is false. Are you going to admit that or are you going to provide evidence for it?

1 February 2013 at 14:50  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Bridget

‘It is important to remember that the claim made by the defending lawyers is not that foetuses are not persons’.

Utter rubbish.

The Plaintiffs argued that the statutory interpretation of who is a person should include children in the womb.

The Catholic defendants argued, successfully, that children in the womb are not persons.

1 February 2013 at 14:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Bridget

'Exactly, so the fact that the defending lawyers invoked the obvious at the outset should be seen for what it is: by definition, in the eyes of the law, the action has no merit, so why should they build up and bring forward any defense? For anything they say in defense will not affect the fact that the action for wrongful death has no merit in the eyes of the law and will be rejected in any event?'

Wrong again. The Plaintiffs' case was arguable - and therefore had merit.



1 February 2013 at 14:56  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I'm sorry in a way that I ever expressed to His Grace my distress and anger with the words that are now being used to beat him with (and I should add that I myself was quoting another blogger's comment).

And yet I still think the question - for it was a question, not a statement - is justified. If the Bishops had immediately said that while the law does not consider the unborn child a person, the Church does, and therefore they wish to deal with this outside court, then I would have credited them with the moral high ground and not written any of this in the first place. That is not what they have done. Maybe it was unrealistic to expect them to, and maybe I am being naive in expecting more from my Church than this. But until/unless they come out with something better than "can't comment on an ongoing legal case" I consider that the question asked is legitimate. Does the Church only consider the unborn child a person if this will not put them in a disadvantageous position versus the secular law?

And despite the suggestion that it was a comment on the scandals that have rocked the church (which it was not), I also stand by my comment about the time frame. Just how has it taken *seven* years for the Bishops to comment on this case?

1 February 2013 at 15:01  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

And it gets worse.

Reuters have unearthed something I didn't know about this story.

"After about two years of litigation, defense attorneys for the hospital and doctors entered an argument that shocked the widower.

They said that under state law, an embryo is not person until it is born alive, according to court documents. The Stodghills' twins were deceased when they were removed from their mother's lifeless body.

"I didn't even get to hold them," Jeremy Stodghill said. "I have an autopsy picture. That's all I've got."

The court agreed with the argument, and Stodghill lost the suit. The court also ruled against Stodghill in the case of his wife for other legal reasons.

The hospital and doctors then sued him for over $118,000 legal fees and attempted to garnish his wages, according to a legal document filed on his behalf.

The defendants offered to forget the fees if Stodghill dropped his appeal."

Source - CNN - http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/26/us/colorado-fetus-lawsuit/index.html

1 February 2013 at 15:09  
Blogger Albert said...

Sister Tiberia,

And yet I still think the question - for it was a question, not a statement - is justified.

Coming from Dr Cranmer it read as an insinuation, which was how it was immediately taken, by one of Dr Cranmer's unbelieving and anti-Catholic and pro-choice (I think) readers. This is why Jesus said "Be wise as serpents and harmless as." Harm was done with that quotation. And harm is being done as quotations like this spread across the internet. Harm is being done to the pro-life cause - it's so easy to lump us all together, if you want an excuse to pressure your girl-friend to have an abortion. Harm has been done to the Church as people assume the Church has done something that she has not done. No evidence, none whatsoever has been forthcoming to defend the interpretation that was - quite naturally, I think - given to that original tweet.

Just how has it taken *seven* years for the Bishops to comment on this case?

What did they know and when? What did they do and when? Where exactly is the fault? Do you know? Why email Dr Cranmer about it? Why not email the bishop(s) concerned, instead? That way you may even get answers to the questions you ask, as well as giving direct pressure to them to ensure this kind of thing never happens again, and that, in the meantime, the family is properly looked after.

1 February 2013 at 15:33  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Sister Tiberia:

Thank you for your posts. You neatly sum up what I saw as the salient issue:

"If the Bishops had immediately said that while the law does not consider the unborn child a person, the Church does, and therefore they wish to deal with this outside court, then I would have credited them with the moral high ground and not written any of this in the first place. That is not what they have done."

Albert:

Now there may indeed be some truth to the point that this is all going on without the knowledge of the Bishops for two years. But not any more - the best they can muster is a "no comment".

Reading more about the case, especially the previous post by Sister Tiberia, I would have thought there is sufficient grounds to say, quite uncontroversially, that this entire case is not compatible with RCC teaching or the ethos that the RCC claims to stand for.

My bewilderment rests in the apparent reluctance to accept this on the part of some of the Catholic commentators. You've made reference to "worse things" done by the CofE - quite so, but this blog is a testament both to Cranmer's and many Anglicans' willingness to call out their leaders when then do depart from the standards we are called to.

In that sense, if it were an Anglican pro-life priest who were the source of this tale, I would have no compunction in clearly criticising their position, and if it were the hierarchy of the CofE who appeared to tacitly or explicitly condone such legal action, I would be quite clear in my criticism of their decision to do so.

Consequently, I find Sister Tiberia's original post and subsequent comments eminently understandable.

1 February 2013 at 15:41  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Inspector, as we are on the issue of spelling (20:24), it's "spelled."

Your judgment and reasoning at 17:59 or thereabouts are brilliant. Youre onto dina malkhutah dina...law of the land is the law... complexities. Of course there is the is the issue of real or perceived hypocricy which can be addressed by the hospital making an unambiguous declaration of principle, offering a no-fault religious apology and a fair payment in the form of a gift or charity.

On the issue of Jewish lawyers, you're a bit behind the times. Their effectiveness was function of being in competition with the established WASP lawyers. Now Jews are "in" and the hard- working wolves are from other minorities. In a civil case several years ago I retained a brilliant and aggressive Italian-Canadian Catholic lawyer. The dude even yelled at me during preparations. Well, he mopped the floor with the opposing counsel... a kippah- wearing yid like me. In love, war... and lawsuits....

1 February 2013 at 15:59  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2013 at 16:01  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hooray, Avi is back and in his usual fine form.

1 February 2013 at 16:10  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo,

I didn't understand why you thought I was thinking that RC's are 'the borg' though.

1 February 2013 at 16:12  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

No, not in my usual fine form, miss hannah; I'm still pecking away on my "smart phone" and yelling at it. Its main function is to teach me self control and anger management. I yell at it but I haven't crushed it under my workboot... or Zionist imperialist jackboot as corrigan would have it.

1 February 2013 at 16:23  
Blogger Albert said...

Belfast,

Now there may indeed be some truth to the point that this is all going on without the knowledge of the Bishops for two years. But not any more - the best they can muster is a "no comment".

But they have made a comment, perhaps not on the legal elements, it's true. That is unfortunate to say the least, but I don't know what the reason is. It may be that the comment they have made, also is inadequate, I don't know, because I have not seen the original statement. Moreover, if the Hospital took a line which opposed the teaching of the Church (and the legal position is bewildering), then they broke the agreement that they had already made with the Church.

Reading more about the case, especially the previous post by Sister Tiberia, I would have thought there is sufficient grounds to say, quite uncontroversially, that this entire case is not compatible with RCC teaching or the ethos that the RCC claims to stand for...My bewilderment rests in the apparent reluctance to accept this on the part of some of the Catholic commentators.

Which commentators? As far as I can see, all the Catholics here are agreed on that. The local law was unable to rule that the foetuses are persons, because clearly they are not by that law. All the Catholics here abhor that. Therefore, - we seem agreed - some kind of out of court settlement should have been found. Perhaps that wasn't possible - perhaps it was beyond the hospital's powers, or perhaps they were just morally wrong (seeking damages certainly seems wrong). None of us here knows all the facts, but many are quick to judge.

In the meantime, pro-"choicers" say "Why shouldn't we have abortions, even pro-lifers ignore their positions when it suits them?" This is not a happy outcome, and it comes from drawing more conclusions and in a more judgemental way, than the evidence currently supports.

this blog is a testament both to Cranmer's and many Anglicans' willingness to call out their leaders when then do depart from the standards we are called to.

So we can expect an article from Dr Cranmer on the wickedness of the present position of the CofE (or at least, a link to a previous article, if there is one).

1 February 2013 at 16:27  
Blogger Bridget said...

D. SIngh

You say that I say [chopping my sentence and discontextualizing it in the process]:

‘It is important to remember that the claim made by the defending lawyers is not that foetuses are not persons’

To which you say:
Utter rubbish.


The Plaintiffs argued that the statutory interpretation of who is a person should include children in the womb.


To which I now say:
The defense argued that established statutory interpretation already excludes children in the womb

And to which I further say:
That such existing established interpretation preempts any defense that could be offered by the defendants; whether such a defense amounted to a vigorous denial of the accusation or to an unequivocal admission of its truth. Which means that no matter how defense argued, the Judge would have found the action without merit, for how can it be shown that there was or was not unlawful death of persons if there were no persons to begin with?
And this is further shown to be true because those were exactly the grounds on which the judge rejected plaintiff’s action.

1 February 2013 at 17:08  
Blogger Jon said...

Oh for goodness sake, Albert, give it up!

If Sister Tiberia's latest source is correct (and Reuters are normally pretty good), then this hospital is piling insult onto three very material injuries. Even you (and these apparently stone-hearted bishops) must see that the Hospital is bringing the name of your Church into disrepute (and in the case of the Bishops, if what is said is true, they are bringing the actual Church itself into disrepute by their complicity)! It's not that your opponents will damage one of your causes with this, they don't have to - your Bishops gift-wrapped it for them and your unthinking defence means that others can dismiss any rational aspects to your anti-abortion stance as a hysterical adherence to a rule-set which isn't shared by elements of your Church hierarchy.

And as for "insinuation" in the post - I think the way you readily interpreted this post as anything other than what it is made out to be, speaks volumes about your persecution complex!

1 February 2013 at 17:21  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you for the updates, Sr. Tiberia @ 15:09 and 01. The hospital and doctors then sued him for over $118,000 legal fees and attempted to garnish his wages, according to a legal document filed on his behalf.

The defendants offered to forget the fees if Stodghill dropped his appeal."
This does all sound more threat than promise ... masquerading under the aegis of "law." As long as it's still allowed, I am about to re-view Wulfstan, and what he had to say about earlier appropriations of God's "Law" in Englalond. (Wulfstan. “Sermo Lupi ad Anglos.” (Cotton MS. Nero A.I in the British Museum).)

Anyway, I still think it would be germane to know whether the mother ever requested "Do Not Resuscitate," and whether such a request would extend to her unborn children--- especially as: The Stodghills' twins were deceased when they were removed from their mother's lifeless body. The quality of ensuing "life" would also be a factor deserving of consideration.

On another point: My response to aggressive postings on His Grace's blog renders me increasingly anti-RC. I can see, nevertheless, why RC bishops might not comment publicly on a case that is in progress. Along with other media(tors) - If a jury has not been sequestered, the bishops could be viewed as seeking to influence its decision-making. Given post-modern exacerbation of polarities, that influence could even work against them. Suppose some jurors were Northern Irish in affiliation!

O what a tangled web the manipulators weave!

1 February 2013 at 17:42  
Blogger Albert said...

Jon,

I can only assume you have not read a word I have said!

1 February 2013 at 17:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Greetings Avi. One always takes care to spelt words correctly you know.

Glad to see you agree on the Inspector’s suggestion of a passionate call to point out the sheer madness of it all – banging heads together, getting the people talking, getting the state interested on this abortion disgrace. Maybe even confronting the damned feminists and their cultural Marxist allies…

However, the herd you will have noticed has descended into a tit for tat sectarian war, complete with home made dum dum bullets. If present hostilities continue, one may have to withdraw his attendance for a few days. Despite the distinct possibility that the ratings will suffer for it, what !

On the subject of New York Jewish lawyers, one may well be behind the times. As you may recall, the Inspector is rather a fan of New York Jewish humour, and has been at least since a young man in the 1970s. He remembers the mocking and despairing of the profession as practiced by their own. And it goes back quite a few years, that said introspection. Groucho Marx comes to mind with Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel. Timeless comedy don’t you find ? Has this man laughing as it reaches the parts modern comedy can’t, rather like single malt. Interesting write up on Wikki about the show.

Anyway old chap, keep your head down if you’re going to hang around here, and tin hat is the order of the day. Internet version of second day of the Somme, no less !!

pip pip, that man and chars !

1 February 2013 at 17:56  
Blogger Bridget said...

Dear Sister Tiberia,
You are not only naive, as you suggest, you are also pretty dumb ass in that I'm-so-pure-I-don't-even-have-to-think-about-it sort of way.
You would respect the church authorities if, instead of going to court, they had settled out of court, you say? Settled what, exactly? What in your mind would constitute a settlement? Would the authorities have first to acknowledge that their pediatrician and other staff were guilty of the wrongful death of the twins? Why would they do that, sister? Do you think that the pediatrist and the staff would feel comfortable and sanguine with the authorities branding them as murderers out of court? Do you feel comfortable with branding them as murderers out of court, sister? Do you? Do you? Oh please say, sister. Do you?

1 February 2013 at 18:03  
Blogger Bridget said...

Albert,
You are quite right about Jon not reading a word. Protestants are not very good at going beyond slogans. It would force them to think and then they would have no reason to be protestant anymore.

1 February 2013 at 18:10  
Blogger Bridget said...

Avi,
That lawyer of yours, he sounds like my uncle. Doesn't live in the lower regions of Bathurst St., does he?

1 February 2013 at 18:13  
Blogger Albert said...

Bridget,

I don't know if Jon is a Protestant or not. But yes, I am surprised by how often on this thread I have been accused of saying things I either haven't said, or go against what I have said. But then in a sense, this whole story is about the dangers of attributing to people more than the evidence permits (and then complaining when this is pointed out).

1 February 2013 at 18:17  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

I'm not sure whether you are right about that? How do you know?

Because the RC bishops said this:

The Catholic bishops of Colorado are not able to comment on ongoing legal disputes.

So whatever the RC bishops are going to review, we know that it won't have any impact on the legal case itself. The responses might bewilder. But they most certainly have the effect of protecting the hospital from the risk of financial loss.

And now we hear the hospital is seeking recovery of legal fees so that it can pressure the plaintiff into dropping the appeal. That is just despicable. Hardball law practice against someone whose wife and two children just died.

Who is steering this ship?

carl

1 February 2013 at 18:17  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Bridget

Why didn't the pediatrist turn up? If there is no good reason, then does his failure to attend his patient at hospital amount to culpability for the death of the twins? Is there a moral case for him being prosecuted for murder?
Were the staff at the hospital who were in attendance competent to judge the situation of the twins in the womb of the mother? I read that the mother weighed over 400 lbs at the time and attempts to determine whether the twins hearts were beating showed no evidence that they were. Is this true? Would it have affected the decision to perform an emergency c-section on a woman who was already fighting for her life? Were the staff available competent to decide, let alone perform such a thing? Were they morally culpable for murder if they decided in the wrong way?


These are exactly the questions that the hospital wanted to keep away from a jury trial. They didn't want those questions answered. That's why they pre-empted the process by asserting in Court what the RCC denies in public - that an unborn child is not a person.

Here is what really happened. The hospital didn't want to admit negligence. It also didn't want to risk a trial. So its lawyers used the best available strategy to protect the hospital from financial loss. The fact that this strategy directly contradicts the moral stance of the RCC is neither here nor there to the lawyers. And it evidently doesn't mean much to the bishops in Colorado either.

carl
who notes the lack of slogans in his postings

1 February 2013 at 18:27  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

If you were referring to the bishops' comment on the legal case itself, then yes, that is correct. I don't think I was clear that it was your point. Anyway, I have now found the quotation. It makes interesting reading:

From the moment of conception, human beings are endowed with dignity and with fundamental rights, the most foundational of which is life.

Catholics and Catholic institutions have the duty to protect and foster human life, and to witness to the dignity of the human person — particularly to the dignity of the unborn. No Catholic institution may legitimately work to undermine fundamental human dignity.

Catholic Health Initiatives is a Catholic institution which provides health care services in 14 states, providing care to thousands of people annually. Catholic Health Initiatives has been accused by some of undermining the Catholic position on human life in the course of litigation. Today, representatives of Catholic Health Initiatives assured us of their intention to observe the moral and ethical obligations of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic bishops of Colorado are not able to comment on ongoing legal disputes. However, we will undertake a full review of this litigation, and of the policies and practices of Catholic Health Initiatives to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic Church.


In other words, while they are not speaking on the specifics of the case, for legal reasons, they are speaking generally in such a way that their position on the case is clear.

Who is steering this ship?

Evidently not the bishops! And that is perhaps part of the problem with all this. Protestants seem to have the view that the Catholic Church is some kind of papal dictatorship, in which everyone does exactly what his superior says. If only! I don't expect the bishops have direct control over the hospital - they can only wrangle over the use of the term "Catholic" and things like that, I expect.

And now we hear the hospital is seeking recovery of legal fees so that it can pressure the plaintiff into dropping the appeal. That is just despicable. Hardball law practice against someone whose wife and two children just died.

Absolutely. Presumably though this is a non-profit making move. It is about preserving the hospital's funds so that they can go on providing treatment to the sick. It is perhaps doing evil that good may come of it. I'm opposed to that. But as you believe the US was right to drop a couple of nuclear weapons on a civilian population at the cost of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, in order to save other lives (possibly more), I wonder where you think the balance lies on this one.

1 February 2013 at 18:38  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

The best article I have found to date on this - goes deeply into both the legal and the ethical issues.

http://www.westword.com/2013-01-24/news/catholic-church-is-a-fetus-a-person/full/

1 February 2013 at 18:54  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

while they are not speaking on the specifics of the case, for legal reasons, they are speaking generally in such a way that their position on the case is clear.

Here let me rephrase this. "They aren't speaking about specific things if their speech might result in tangible cost. They are willing speak about general things because that speech has no tangible cost."

You can't have it both ways. If this is true ...

while they are not speaking on the specifics of the case, for legal reasons

... then they have some tangible interest at stake in the outcome. If they have some tangible interest at stake, then this is not a complete descriton of the relationship.

I don't expect the bishops have direct control over the hospital - they can only wrangle over the use of the term "Catholic" and things like that

If what you say is true, the RCC would have no reason remain silent on the facts of the case for legal reasons. It could simply say "Hey, Hospital. Fix it or lose affiliation."

Something else is going on.

But as you believe the US was right to drop a couple of nuclear weapons on a civilian population

Well, that red herring is at least more credible than Dodo's "You support abortion and euthanasia" canard. Look, all I expect from the RCC is what I said earlier - what you said was the best outcome. A clear statement distancing themselves from the hospital's actions. An offer of reparations to compensate the plaintiff. But they haven't done it, and I wonder why?

carl

1 February 2013 at 18:57  
Blogger William said...

Albert

"In the meantime, pro-"choicers" say "Why shouldn't we have abortions, even pro-lifers ignore their positions when it suits them?" This is not a happy outcome, and it comes from drawing more conclusions and in a more judgemental way, than the evidence currently supports.

Tripe. The evidence currently is that a hospital designated as a Catholic Institution has defended itself in a negligence case on the grounds that unborn children are not persons and therefore cannot die. They are also now countersueing the man for costs.

There is more than enough evidence there for any pro-choicer to say what you alledge they are saying. However, blaming a (forwarded) tweet from Cranmer is far more amenable to your agenda.

1 February 2013 at 19:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Tweets are the Devil’s work, and we see time after time, no good comes from them. One does believe they defy God’s law, but not sure how. Same with those radio telephone contraptions too.

1 February 2013 at 19:26  
Blogger bluedog said...

Indeed, Mr Inspector 19.26. This communicant signed up to Twitter but doesn't begin to understand what he is looking at. Who sent the message? Who read it? Who commented? Who re-Tweeted? The meaning of the various symbols?

A recipe for disaster.

1 February 2013 at 20:10  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Bridget, good question, but no idea where my lawyer lives; not the chummy, cuddly type at all. He had just finished articling and is still a young man... with. Toronto's Jewish and Italian areas adjoin and blend quite amicably, so it's possible he's from my parts.

Good warning, Inspector... don't know what I was thinking putting my head into thatbuzz- saw.

1 February 2013 at 21:15  
Blogger len said...


This is a golden opportunity for the Catholic Church to make their position on the fact that life begins at conception crystal clear.

The lawyers in this case must have discussed with their client the course they were about to take in their defence.
The Lawyers are obviously going to use any means within the law to defend their client but there is obviously a conflict between what is right before God and what 'is right' before man and surely someone should have pointed this out?.

1 February 2013 at 21:47  

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