BARCELONA, June 29, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Under increasing pressure from negative media coverage and ongoing protests, the Archdiocese of Barcelona has issued a statement denying that abortions have ever taken place at the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital, and claiming further that orders have been given by the hospital’s board not to do abortions.

Allegations that the hospital was performing abortions emerged last fall, after it was revealed that the local health department listed the hospital as an abortion provider. The Spanish newspaper ABC subsequently reported that it had confirmed that in just one year, Sant Pau had performed twenty abortions, and that the hospital has lobbied in favor of the legalization of the abortion drug, RU-486, and has distributed it.

However, the archdiocese is now defending the hospital, claiming that it “is distinguished by a high level of efficacy of medical care practiced in conformity with the ethical principles of Christian humanism and with the moral norms of the Catholic Church.”

“This line of action has been followed constantly in the hospital for all of its history.  The two priests present on the board of directors of the hospital and the archbishop have always worked to ensure that this way of thinking is respected.”

The archdiocese further claims that the hospital “has never asked for accreditation as a center authorized for the practice of interruptions of pregnancy” and that “the hospital management has given instructions” prohibiting that abortions be carried out.

However, Fr. Custodio Ballester, a priest who is leading the protests against the ongoing relationship between the archdiocese and the hospital, points out that public records contradict the claims made by the archdiocese.

On the website of the Department of Health of the government of Catalonia, the Canta Creu i Sant Pau Hospital is listed repeatedly as an abortion provider from 2006 until the last year that records are available, 2009. One other Catholic hospital in Barcelona, the Hospital of Granollers, is also listed repeatedly as an abortion provider.

“I think that, in the best of cases, the board of directors of the Sant Pau Hospital is deceiving the Archdiocese of Barcelona because, if abortions have been done, it is logical that the Sant Pau Hospital appears on the official lists as a center for abortions,” Ballester told LifeSiteNews.

“If these accusations are false, it is the obligation of the hospital and the archdiocese to demand an apology from the government of Catalonia, moral reparation, and immediate public rectification, for tying this and other hospitals of the Church to such infamy,” Ballester added.

Meanwhile, the Spanish newspaper ABC reports that one of the two priests remaining on the board of directors of the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital has resigned due to the pressure of the controversy. He is the second priest to resign in recent months as a result of the scandal.  Currently, only one priest remains on the board.

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Archdiocese of Barcelona
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