Via RD.net, who got it from Ophelia Benson, we have Bishop Olmsted’s letter to Catholic Healthcare West. It is a beautiful piece of correspondence, if we are to define “beautiful” as “exemplifying the enjoyment of watching an old man lie down and beat his fists on the floor.”
The story is basically that, some time last year, a young mother staggered into St. Joseph’s Hospital with end-stage pulmonary hypertension precipitated by her 11-week pregnancy. The hospital ethics committee approved an abortion to save the woman’s life. The result was that the hospital sent a living woman home to recover with her husband and four already-born children, a nun on the ethics committee was demoted and excommunicated by the Diocese, and now Bishop Olmsted is throwing a tantrum, shouting “Respect mah authoritah!”, beating his fists on the floor, and threatening to take his ball and go home.
Shorter version, if you just don’t have time to slog through the letter: the Bishop makes the rules, anyone who disagrees with the Bishop is out of the club, and the Bishop says that next time you see a woman with a life-threatening complication of pregnancy, you had better let that woman die. It is better to let four other kids lose their mom than to deny a nonviable fetus its right to kill its mother.