Bishop writes his flock about CHW name change

The following is a Feb. 14 letter by Monterey Bishop Richard Garcia about how the dissolution of Catholic Healthcare West will affect Catholic hospitals in his diocese.

My dear Brothers and Sisters:

As you probably heard, the Board of Directors of Catholic Healthcare West made the decision to change its name to Dignity Health. With this change, there appears to be some confusion as to whether Dominican Hospital will continue to be a Catholic hospital. The answer to this question is a decided, “yes.”

Under the new governance structure, all of the Catholic hospitals that were originally sponsored by a religious community will continue to be Catholic and will continue to be under the moral authority of the local bishop. In the case of Dominican Hospital, its sponsor is the Adrian Dominican Sisters. The Adrian Dominicans first came to Santa Cruz in 1941 to serve in hospital ministry. They continue to be an active part of Dominican Hospital serving in such diverse roles as vice president, chaplain, physical therapist and hospitality. Dominican Hospital will continue to be a Catholic entity and will follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Services (“ERDs”) promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as it has always done. 

On the other hand, those hospitals that were not sponsored by a religious community will not be Catholic entities subject to the ERDs. Rather these hospitals commit themselves to a Statement of Common Values. Under that commitment, Dignity Health Hospitals such as French Hospital in San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital will not perform abortions. They also will not employ reproductive technologies in which conception occurs outside a woman’s body including in vitro fertilization.

Since I came to the Diocese of Monterey, I have had open and harmonious relationships with the administration of Dominican Hospital and the Sisters. In the last few weeks, I met with the President and Vice President of Dominican Hospital about the transition to Dignity Health. They assured me that Dominican Hospital will continue to be a Catholic Hospital and follow the ERDs as they have done for so many years.

I am most grateful for the witness of a Catholic hospital that serves our people with dignity and with compassionate care and that it extends itself to the greater community. I pledge to continue to maintain an ongoing and open relationship with Dominican Hospital as well as with French Hospital and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.



Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:46 AM By charlio
Wesley Smith speculates that destroying Catholic healthcare is actually the point of Obama’s plan, in his “Secondhand Smoke blogspot” posting “Obama Hopes Cardinal George’s Threat is a Promise” (February 27, 2012). I used to speculate that the Obaministas were planning on nationalizing Catholic healthcare, but that was before it came out that they are out to destroy our last, thriving export sector, biomedical. (Michelle Malkin documented the fact in her February 17, 2012, National Review Online posting “Taxing Medical Progress to Death”.) It was one of their own, “progressive” H.L. Mencken, who put his thumb on it: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 2:57 AM By MAC
Why don’t those hospitals that want to remain “Catholic” and adhere to all Catholic requirements, just keep the name Catholic? Seems like the Bishop will have to watch this closely. Everyone isn’t honest which Bishops should have learned from the Obama fiasco. Next – what about employee insurance and the Obama mandate – will these hospitals comply or will they provide their employees abortafacients, contracptives, and volunatary sterilizations?

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 3:52 AM By Mary
The name change to the generic “Dignity Health,” dropping the word “Catholic,” is a monumental surrender of identity. This reflects outrageous naivete.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 7:37 AM By Camille
Okay, the Dignity Healthcare hospitals will not, apparently, do abortions within the hospital walls, nor engage in in-vitro fertilization techniques. Will they, though, do sterilizations, vasectomies, provide the morning after pill and make reproductive referrals to Planned Parenthood? That part isn’t clear. And, no one has explained the name “Dignity? What’s that all about?

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 7:57 AM By JMJ
Then why the name change? I can smell a fish that has been laying in the hot sun for too long and I pray that this doesn’t blow up in the Bishop’s face, as the stench will be horrible. Our beloved and very Blessed Pope John Paul told us to let everyone know that we are Catholic and to have an answer ready when we are asked. This is a very sad day for the Church in America which is already on shaky grounds. +JMJ+

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 8:17 AM By Marie
Now I am thoroughly confused. Mercy Hospitals were “sponsored by a religious community” but are now Dignity. If the Dignity hospitals mentioned in the article have different “values” to follow, how come? Also, Bishop Garcia makes no mention of contraception, and what about artificial insemination when conception does occur in the woman’s body? Chaos, more chaos in the medical field.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 8:34 AM By JimAroo
And I quote the Bishop referring to individual Dominican Sisters: “…serving in such diverse roles as vice president, chaplain,…..” Did he say chaplain? In “Ecclesiae de mysterio” it says “It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as “pastor”, “chaplain”, “coordinator”, ” moderator” or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or Priest” So getting a promise of faithfulness to church teaching from a Bishop who thumbs his nose at church authority is worthless. Another shepherd who dances with wolves instead of protecting the sheep. By the way it took me only 2 minutes to research that source and quote… if you want the truth it is easy to find.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 9:11 AM By bud
Obamal and his Czarina for Health, the daughter of Ohio ex-governor could very easily delete contraception and Abortion from any insurance that citizens must pay or provide. If you can’t afford these on your own, make their darlling Planned Parenthood absorb it. What are they for except sucking funds from government. Government pays absolutely nothing, the common term should be changed to citizens or the “American People”

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 12:48 PM By Anton Seidl
I am confused. Parsing the bishop’s statement I must conclude that these hospitals remain Catholic without calling themselves Catholic. How’s that again? Is you is or is you ain’t?

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 5:20 PM By Robert Bushlow
Now would be a good time to start some hospitals and universities that are faithful to and run by those true to authentic Catholic teaching, then we will have genuine Catholic facilities.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 6:07 PM By steve
Bishop Garcia referred to those hospitals IN HIS DIOCESE. I think that is an important point. He is not ‘vouching’ for hospitals outside his fold.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 6:53 PM By John M
Just a Name Change? Let’s change Christmas to Dignity Day…What’s the difference? The name Catholic is powerful as it represents 2000 years of following the lead of Jesus Christ the Son of Almighty God! Thank you all for your comments…

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 8:22 PM By JLS
The name “Dignity” is associated with the gay movement.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 8:26 PM By gordianknot
Another bishop hatching more chickens that will come home to roost for the next generation. Carpe diem.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:51 PM By TheInformer
How many times did I correct people who thought French was a CATHOLIC HOSPITAL? It is NOT a Catholic Hospital, and hasn’t been for many years if ever. So, they could do anti-Catholic “business”, but still maintain the veneer of Catholic. Let’s stop pretending, excellency.

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:11 AM By Ski Ven
I am conflicted. I am angry at the government for attacking the Church, but on the other hand I see that many Bishops are in need of purification.

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 4:50 PM By Abeca Christian
Ski Ven great observations! The attack is also coming from with in. That is more infuriating, outside forces are simply that what they are why should we be surprised, it’s from within that hurts and scandalizes the most!

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 7:22 PM By JLS
If I need a hospital, it’ll have to be either county or VA. Haven’t been to either; maybe someday it’ll be inevitable, maybe not. I pay cash for dental work, although on a kind of program that cuts the price a bit … but which may come with some rough edges, I’m discovering … maybe slip the dentist a few extra bucks and get him to smooth ’em off some. Have a renter with only a few teeth, not even fifty years old yet; did twenty years in prison on several stretches; seems to be rising above that level of woe though. They sure have a tough time making a living. He went through an upscale orphanage, and then 13 foster homes before adoption. Most long term jail birds seem to fare much worse … I’m hoping to present to him the grace of Jesus Christ … maybe some day he will believe. All prayers appreciated.

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 7:45 PM By k
JLS, praying.

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 9:16 PM By JLS
k, thank you. You remind me of an old friend … I’ve gone out of my way for decades to put him over the edge, and succeed once in a while. He’s a cradle Catholic of the Irish persuasion; he’ll break his back to help someone in need, and he’s got a prayer line that is awesome. He spends a lot of his time praying in front of abortion mills. I think when people do that, the Lord grants them many more blessings that He otherwise might.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 2:24 AM By Abeca Christian
JLS I’m up late and prayed for your intentions!

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 2:51 AM By Becky
Bishops must remember that Satan is the father of lies. Just because Bishops are told something does not mean it is the truth.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 6:43 AM By MAC
Perhaps the USCCB and each individual Bishop should heed the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola – – ” Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his Soul. And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created. From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it. For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.” The first task of mankind, according to St. Ignatius, is to serve God and save his Soul, and other things on the face of the earth should be used only as long as they serve that purpose. When they become a hindrance to salvation, St. Ignatius warns to “rid himself of them.” If the Obama Administration wins, then the Catholic Church will have to rid themselves of many services that the government will cause to be a hindrance to salvation.

Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 12:31 AM By OSCAR
This article is scary since it shows the guilibility of one of our Bishops, who will believe anything he is told. Then he publically passes it on to those who believe what the Bishop says. Where is the Bishop’s proof/documentation for his statement regarding “Dignity” hospitals? With the OBAMA administration leading the way, the Bishops should have learned by now that they can not believe everything they are told.

Posted Monday, March 12, 2012 11:50 AM By Aun
intentionally killing her uorbnn baby, regardless of the severity of her disease. Article: And another: (Note maternal mortality rate comparison between England and Ireland) __________________ Above