By John-Henry Westen
TYLER, Texas, November 21, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In yet another sign of revival in the Catholic Church in America, a US bishop has taken the rare step of publicly repenting for failing to ensure respect for life at Catholic hospitals under his jurisdiction.
An anonymous report issued last year revealed that tubal ligations were being performed for contraceptive purposes at Texas Catholic hospitals. The report cited hospital inpatient discharge data that was reported to the Texas Health Care Information Collection Center for Health Statistics, as evidence for the claim.
The report said Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler had reported 1619 sterilizations, and Christus St. Michael in Texarkana had reported 188 sterilizations between the years 2000 and 2003.
Bishop Alvaro Corrada, SJ, initiated an investigation following the report and has today issued a public admission of guilt after finding that Catholic hospitals were in fact illicitly carrying out sterilizations. (See: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008_docs/tylerbishopstatement.pdf)
"As a Bishop, I am deeply saddened and upset by this news," said the Bishop. He added: "As Bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, I have to admit my failure to provide adequate oversight of the Catholic Hospitals as regards their protection of the sacred dignity of each human person."
In the statement the Bishop explained that the hospitals were engaging in "serious mis-interpretation" of Catholic health care directives. He noted further that he is working "directly with the Catholic Hospitals in the Diocese of Tyler, and with my brother Bishops in the state of Texas, to bring an end to immoral procedures and to put in place some method of ongoing accountability and transparency of monitoring both protocols and actual practices."
In the statement the Bishop noted that "in response to their own investigation of the matter, CHRISTUS St. Michael’s in Texarkana has discontinued all tubal ligations." With regard to Trinity Mother Frances, the Bishop explained that it "is a large health care system and is developing plans to protect the sacred dignity of each human person through compliance with an authentic interpretation" of the Catholic health care directives which prohibit "direct sterilization."
To read the complete statement by Bishop Corrada, go to: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008_docs/tylerbishopstatement.pdf