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(LifeSiteNews) — Earlier this month, something very interesting happened. A study dropped just in time for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting in Florida on gender ideology and the Church, dealing with how a Catholic hospital system in the U.S. is performing “gender transitions” on both adults and children, and how one hospital in the system is also offering contraceptives and abortion. 

My guest on today’s episode of The John-Henry Westen Show is Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute. He discusses the horrific findings of his study, providentially released days before the USCCB meeting. 

Hichborn tells me that the study was the result of a tip he received at the Institute. “Once the USCCB document on transgender surgeries came out [in March], I got a tip that there were hospitals that were pushing back on this, saying, ‘We’re already doing top and bottom surgeries, don’t make us stop.’” After Hichborn’s request for further details as to which hospitals were protesting the bishops went unheeded, he began to research the issue, and what he found is horrifying. 

According to his research, CommonSpirit Health, formed in 2019 after a merger between the Catholic Health Initiative and Dignity Health, was acquired as part of the merger with St. Francis Memorial Hospital, which has a transgender unit that offers “treatments” to adults and minors. CommonSpirit Health is also the largest Catholic health care network in the country.

READ: Largest Catholic health network in the US performs ‘sex change’ surgeries, bombshell report reveals

“[CommonSpirit Health has] a policy, that all of the hospitals within their system, if they don’t perform a service, whether it’s ‘sex change’ operations or surgical sterilizations, they are to refer to another hospital within network that does, including their Catholic hospitals,” Hichborn found. “So their Catholic hospitals by policy are required to refer to St. Francis Memorial Hospital which, by the way, got millions of dollars in funding from CommonSpirit itself.” 

In the course of his research, Hichborn also found that a Colorado hospital in the CommonSpirit system acquired through a merger is also giving transgender “treatments.” He also found that “every type of contraceptive” is prescribed there and at other hospitals within network, with abortions being performed at the Colorado hospital. 

Hichborn further explains that canonically, the “treatments” given by CommonSpirit Health are done under the auspices of the Catholic Church, as the network is directly funded and overseen by the Catholic Health Care Federation, a “public juridical person,” or “what in the United States we would call a corporation.” 

“But that public juridical person in canon law has the same authority as a diocese or a religious order,” Hichborn explains. “It is considered not just an aspect of the Catholic Church, it is the Catholic Church.”  

Hichborn also tells me that the legal documents discussing the merger between the Catholic Health Initiative and Dignity Health “show that there were carve-out clauses that allow for non-Catholic hospitals to continue to perform surgical sterilizations and things that are completely antithetical to the faith,” adding that “from a moral standpoint, you can’t put a legal barrier under the auspices of something that belongs to the moral realm of the Catholic Church and still say that it has its integrity with the Catholic faith.” 

“The Hippocratic Oath starts with ‘first do no harm,’ but what the trans movement is all about is destroying healthy reproductive systems, destroying genitals, and destroying aspects of the body and the human integrity itself,” Hichborn says, contrasting gender ideology with the Catholic faith and the obligation of the bishops to act. “They are working on attacking the imago Dei,” he continued. “It’s not just anti-Catholic. It is satanic, what they’re doing.” 

The reason for the study, Hichborn tells me, is so people become aware that this is happening and that the bishops can act to stop it from happening. 

“The bishops have an obligation before God not only to demand that their Catholic hospitals in no way participate in this, but then turn to the Vatican and say … ‘We are calling upon you to strip this organization, CommonSpirit Health, [of] its Catholic identity, make sure it is not allowed to call itself Catholic,’” Hichborn says. He adds that the bishops “need to lead public acts of reparation and penance because the punishment for this kind of thing is going to be terrible.”

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

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John-Henry is the co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne have eight children and they live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout the world. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum, an annual strategy meeting for life, faith and family leaders worldwide. He is a board member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization. He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.