BOARD (NOT BORED) RETREAT
The Board of Trustees of the Catholic Health Association held their annual three day Board Retreat again this year at an area hotel. For two years of my three year term, the meeting planners have chosen to bring everyone to St. Petersburg and kept me from flying west. I am always grateful for that. While this was essentially a planning retreat, we did re-emphasize some actions taken at previous Board meetings.
1. The Catholic Health Association will join with the Church and all other pro-life parties to vigorously oppose any and all attempts by this Congress or Administration to broaden abortion access.
2. Catholic hospitals will not allow abortions to be performed in their facilities.
3. Should the Congress pass legislation mandating abortion and other procedures against the Ethical and Religious Directives of Catholic Health Care institutions, we will not comply even if our actions constitute civil disobedience.
4. No Catholic institution or employee of an institutions can or will be made to violate the dictates of their conscience resulting from federal or state legislative or executive action.
5. Even in the worst case scenario, Catholic hospitals will not close. We won’t comply but we will not close. Why?
a. In many parts of the country, especially rural areas, the Catholic hospital is the sole provider within a large geographical area.
b. Our hospitals have an obligation to our employees.
c. Our hospitals have an obligation to our bond-holders.
d. Our hospitals have an obligation to the poor, unprotected and to our communities which benefit from our presence.
e. Our hospitals have an obligation to our physicians and nurses whom we recruit to staff our facilities.
Idle threats about the certain closing of Catholic hospitals if certain things happen are simply that – “idle.” We are here today and will be here tomorrow to provide the healing hand of Christ to others as long as we can financially survive in a challenging situation and comply fully with our Ethical and Religious Directives.