May 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Catholic priest of the diocese of Barcelona has denounced his archbishop and two other Spanish bishops for continuing to associate with hospitals that perform abortions and sterilizations, despite a Vatican admonition to abandon the institutions.

According to a report published recently on the Spanish Catholic website Religion y Libertad (Religion and Liberty), Fr. Custodio Ballester wrote to Barcelona’s Cardinal Archbishop Luis Martínez Sistach in early April, asking him to “publicly denounce and put an end to this scandalous situation and to any participation, representation and connivance of the Catholic Church in the boards of directors of the Santa Creu and Sant Pau (Hospitals) of Barcelona,” as well as several others.

“In this way, it will be made clear that it is impossible to collaborate in any way with an abominable crime that cries out for justice,” Ballester wrote.

As LifeSiteNews reported in 2010, Sistach and several other bishops in the Catalonia region are continuing to associate their dioceses with the hospitals, which perform surgical abortions, distribute the abortifacient “morning after pill,” and sterilize patients.

Ballester says he has yet to receive a response from the bishop, according to Religion and Liberty (ReL).  However, he states that he has been told by officials of the Vatican that they are aware of the situation and have asked Sistach and the other bishops to end their associations with the hospitals.

When Ballester took copies of his letter to Rome to distribute to the authorities, “The Vatican already knew about this scandal” he told ReL. “The official assured me that the Vatican has already warned the prelates of Barcelona, Sant Feliu and Tarrasa that the Church must abandon the hospitals but up to now they haven’t answered.”

Ballester’s protest follows the resignation of Fr. Ignasi Fuster of the Diocese of Tarrassa from his post on the board of directors of the Sant Celoni hospital in March. Fuster renounced his position in response to the the hospital’s policy of distributing the abortion drug RU-486 to patients. Although the diocese has denounced the policy, it has not removed other diocesan representatives from the hospital’s board.

Cardinal Sistach has also drawn fire in recent weeks for his decision not to punish archdiocesan priest Manel Pousa, who admits he has given money to at least two girls to finance their abortions, has performed homosexual “weddings,” and opposes clerical celibacy.

Contact information:

Archdiocese of Barcelona
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