Nicolas Bellord has written the following post for Protect the Pope explaining that before the Mater Misericordia Hospital in Dublin compromised over killing babies through abortion Westminster diocese’s Ss John & Elizabeth set the precedent of a Catholic hospital compromising over abortion. Nicolas Bellord is the Secretary of the Restituta Group which has campaigned to restore the Ss John & Elizabeth Hospital to Catholicity over many years. Blessed Sister Restituta Kafka was guillotined at the personal insistence of Martin Bormann for refusing to remove the crucifixes which she had placed in the wards of her hospital in Vienna.
Catholic abortions? Paving the Way by Nicolas Bellord
Everyone will be astonished at the decision of the Mater Misericordia Hospital in Dublin to accept the decision of the Irish Government that they are a suitable venue for providing abortions where the life of the mother is supposedly threatened by suicide. Sadly however there are precedents.
The Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth in London describes itself as The Premier Catholic Hospital. It was founded in 1856 by Cardinal Wiseman assisted by Father (later Cardinal) Manning who invited the Sisters of Mercy, recently returned from assisting Florence Nightingale in the Crimea, to staff it. At the same time it was put under the protection of the Order of Malta.
In the 1980s the Sisters decided to leave and an atheist was put in charge as Director. Together with the Chairman, a Knight of Malta, the Director stripped the constitution of any mention of Catholicity by a subterfuge in the early 1990s. When Cardinal Hume got to hear of this, he exploded and insisted that the Catholic nature be largely restored and required it to follow the ethics of the Church in the future. Sadly he died and his vision for the future of the Hospital as a centre of Catholic Medical Excellence was quietly abandoned.
Instead another Knight, a recent convert from Anglicanism, became Chairman and set about inviting an NHS/GP practice into the Hospital who would be under contract to provide the full range of contraceptives and referrals for abortion. Nineteen leading Catholic bio-ethicists and doctors wrote to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor to protest. The Cardinal instead of dealing with this simple issue himself passed the buck to Rome. A certain Cardinal Ratzinger responded by suggesting that some eminent Catholic laymen in England should advise the Cardinal which they duly did in no uncertain terms setting out the orthodox position and suggesting a robust revision of the Code of Ethics.
At about the same time the Chairman wrote to the Cardinal saying they wanted to cease being Catholic. The Cardinal said he was sorry but did not demur. However this was drawn to the attention of the Charity Commission who said that this was not possible. Everyone was then assured that the NHS/GP practice would be complying with the Code of Ethics. But in fact a clause was put into their lease excusing them from so complying. When this was discovered the Charity Commission opened an inquiry and found that they and everyone had been deliberately deceived by the Chairman and his associates. The Chairman and other members of the Board who had sanctioned this deceit had no option but to resign.
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as we now had a Board intent on following the doctrines of the Church. However there was the problem of the lease to the NHS/GP practice. An extremely rich woman on the Board went to the Cardinal offering to buy the practice off; something that would undoubtedly have cost several hundred thousand pounds.
The Cardinal’s response was to ask the entire orthodox board to resign in favour of his own candidates General Lord Charles Guthrie as Chairman and Sir Mark Allen (yes he of the Libyan renditions connection) to chair the ethics committee. The Code of Ethics was eviscerated at the request of the non-Catholic doctors at the Hospital and in particular the ban on referrals for abortion was removed. They were not going to allow a row over a few condoms to spoil the financial success of the Hospital.
Lord Guthrie and Sir Mark Allen went to Rome and came back saying Rome had approved. Cardinal Cormac gave the new code his blessing. However Rome had in no way approved and indeed had told them that this was a principle for which people should be prepared to go to the stake to defend, which apparently somewhat puzzled the General and Sir Mark as they mentioned to the British Ambassador. Rome was informed of their claims and subsequently the ban on referrals was put back. Whether anything in the Code is actually followed is a matter of speculation. Complete secularisation is anticipated; the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and the Catholic Medical Association were forced to leave the premises. The future involvement of the Order in Malta is now in some doubt.
For those interested in learning more about the Restituta Group’s campaign to restore a Catholic ethos to Ss John and Elizabeth go to the Catholic Medical Quarterly report: