St. Francis Memorial Hospital, identified in a recent report as performing transgender surgeries, is not actually a Catholic hospital, the Archdiocese of San Francisco clarified Wednesday.

St. Francis was included in a recent report by the Lepanto Institute, which said that CommonSpirit Health, the nation’s largest Catholic health system, is violating Catholic moral teaching by performing transgender surgeries, providing contraception, performing abortions, and engaging in other immoral practices.

The report lists some four dozen hospitals and medical clinics that are affiliated with CommonSpirit Health through mergers with other health systems.

St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco is included on the list as reportedly offering transgender surgeries and therapies, and performing surgical sterilizations.

Peter Marlow, executive director of communications for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, clarified that St. Francis – which was founded in 1905 by a group of local doctors – is not a Catholic hospital, despite its name.

“CommonSpirit Health is a Catholic hospital system and has only Catholic hospitals in it,” Marlow told The Pillar.

“It is aligned with a different system that includes the non-Catholic hospitals that were in the former Dignity Hospital system. St. Francis is one of those.”

Marlow explained that when the relationship was established, “a special carve-out was made for the non-Catholic hospitals that would continue to do direct sterilizations.”

However, he added, the non-Catholic hospitals agreed to abide by other guidelines contained within the U.S. bishops’ Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services – they do not perform abortions, physician-assisted suicide, or in-vitro fertilization.

Transgender surgeries are a relatively new issue, Marlow continued, and were not originally included in the ERDs, which are currently in their sixth edition.

However, he said, “[t]he agreement provided that other ethical and religious issues in the future could be included in the ERDs among those that the non-Catholic hospitals do not perform.”

Marlow suggested that new guidelines surrounding these issues could be forthcoming….

From The Pillar