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28 thoughts on “contact

  1. Marjorie Sampson

    I noticed there is no opportunity to make donations to your organization. Did I miss something? Also, Do you need volunteers?

    Reply
    1. catholicwatcher

      Hi Marjorie, thank for this comment. At this time, CatholicWatch is self-funded and I’m recommending the people donate the the ACLU of Washington as they are doing great work to protect our rights. In terms of what people who are concerned about this issue can do, please sign up to receive updates from this blog and contact public officials to share your thoughts and ideas. I’m hopeful that what people will do is insist public officials obey the Constitution, which says that no public money can be used for ANY religious establishment. The law is on our side.

      Reply
  2. Molly

    I just find it very creepy that you have this entire website set up to persecute Catholics/religious people. These are private hospitals, and no one is forced to use them. They provide an important and needed services, and much of it is subsidized by church members, not tax money. In cases where they get public funds, it is only to provide services.

    I just think you are a vile, despicable person. There are so many positive things you could be doing with your time rather than something so vicious and destructive.

    Reply
    1. catholicwatcher

      Hi Molly Chase,

      I find it incredibly sad that you think I’m a vile, despicable person for insisting that Washingtonians’ Constitutional rights be protected. Also, you are completely wrong that much of the care is subsidized by church members. It’s not, as any accountant who has studied the actual financial statements of the Catholic health care ministries can attest. In the town where I live, taxpayers support the operation of the local Catholic hospital through annual property taxes – a situation that I believe is unconstitutional and unlawful. The American Civil Liberties Union agrees and the Washington State attorney general will be weighing in soon to help settle the question.

      – Monica Harrington

      Reply
    2. carla bolger

      I work at a Catholic hospital.
      We accept mostly public funds, medicare, medi -ca!, Not ” donations” to operate-
      So yes, the public has EVERY RIGHT to weigh in on this issue.
      The so called ” church plan” pension plan is a smoke screen for grabbing money from employee benefits to operate and expand.
      This is not ethical. This is not “CHRISTIAN”. This is criminal.c

      Reply
  3. Janet Alderton

    Dear Monica Harrington,
    Do you know of any online petitions directed to the Washington State Attorney General and to our governor that address this very disturbing phenomenon of growing Catholic control of our hospitals?

    If one does not exist, can we start one?
    Some online petition frameworks work better than others. I have never had any trouble using MoveOn.orgs petitions, but recently, the SignOn.org petitions have not been sent after I filled in the required information.

    Thank-you for your critically important work.
    Janet Alderton
    Deer Harbor, WA

    Reply
    1. catholicwatcher

      Hi Janet,

      Thanks so much Janet. I’m not aware specifically of any petitions to the governor or attorney general, though I know both are aware of the issues. There have been several petitions in specific communities that are fighting health care mergers. Since you’re from Deer Harbor, you might want to check out the website, People for Health Care Freedom, which is actively working to make the hospital commissioners in that aware of the risks of faith-based health care. You can find their web page at: http://www.healthcare-freedom.net

      Governor Inslee spoke publicly for the first time about these issues just this week. Essentially, he said he’s very concerned about the issue. I’m optimistic we’ll hear more from him on this topic soon.

      Reply
  4. Craig

    Hello,
    Your website says: “The Catholic bishops are imposing their moral values upon Catholics.” I don’t understand this. They are the ones that interpret and provide the guidelines for those of the Catholic faith. If they are Catholic, then if I want to be a Catholic, I should follow the guidelines as well. I would not join a Southern Baptist church and then get mad when the pastor won’t let me lead the congregation in a rosary.
    You are free to keep tabs on Catholic hospitals – that is not my issue. My issue is that you are doing it under the guise of –All Catholics feel this way and the bishops are being mean to them.– I am Catholic and I don’t feel that way.

    Sincerely,
    Craig

    Reply
    1. catholicwatcher

      The bishops are free to say whatever they want to – however, they cannot IMPOSE their will on the health care system that we all support. By an overwhelming margin, Catholics don’t agree with the bishops when it comes to health care issues. Ninety-eight percent of Catholic women use birth control at some point in their lives and 74% of Catholics want abortion to stay legal.

      Freedom of religion does not mean one has the right to impose religious beliefs on others, especially when the people being imposed upon are paying the bills.

      Reply
      1. Craig

        Hello,

        May I ask where you are getting your percentages? What are your sources?
        If a devout Catholic religious order runs a hospital, then you are imposing your belief system on them by requiring they perform abortions. Would you force a pro-life doctor to perform an abortion?
        Again, I don’t understand why someone would continue being a member of a group if they disagree with the leadership. I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

        Thank you for your time.

        Sincerely,
        Craig

        Reply
        1. catholicwatcher

          The stats about Catholic attitudes on abortion come from a NY Times survey: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/03/06/us/catholics-america-poll.html?ref=us

          The stat about Catholic women’s use of birth control comes from the Guttmacher Institute: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

          I would not require a prolife doctor to perform an abortion. However, a prolife ob-gyn should have to inform his or her patients that because of religious beliefs, he or she won’t perform or refer for abortion, as the case may be. Similarly, I would expect a doctor who practices as a Jehovah’s Witness and who doesn’t believe in blood transfusions to inform patients upfront. I don’t care what a person’s beliefs are – but a patient has the right to expect that religious beliefs will not interfere in the delivery of patients getting the best, most appropriate care in a respectful and timely fashion.

          Reply
          1. James Johnson

            To be Catholic and to call yourself a Catholic are two very different things. If you say you are a vegetarian and eat a 100% pure beef burger for lunch each day are you really a vegetarian? I would venture to think not. They may think they are, they may want other to believe they are but are they? Just because a person is baptized in a Catholic Church, attends a Catholic Church and proclaims to be Catholic does not mean they are really Catholic. To be a Catholic you must be in union with and follow the teachings of the church. I dare to say the Catholic’s that use birth control, advocate abortion are not really Catholics but only think they are.

            Sincerely,
            James

          2. catholicwatcher

            If the Catholic Church wants to limit “membership” to only those people who follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care, then the 98% of Catholic women who use birth control are definitely out. So too would be the huge percentage of Catholic men who support the use of birth control. There’s a reason the size of Catholic families has dropped dramatically in recent decades, and it’s not because people are following Church teachings on contraception.

  5. Ming

    I’m amazed with the public display of bigotry you present with “Catholic Watch”. There are so many liberals that spread your kind of hate while ignoring all of the good things that religious institutions do. Why does charity threaten your ideology, and why is confiscatory funding better to you? I understand that some of these organizations receive government funding, but the positive things they do should outweigh your hatred of religion.

    Reply
    1. catholicwatcher

      People like myself support charity while also supporting the separation of Church and State. In fact, many clergy support the view that religious doctrine should stay separate from healthcare because they recognize that we’re part of a multicultural society with many different religious viewpoints. No one should have to see their tax dollars used to support a religious agenda they don’t agree with. Perhaps you’ll understand this better when you need a blood transfusion and the religious org that runs the health facility you’re in refuses to give you one because doing so would violate the belief system of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      Reply
      1. James Johnson

        The separation of Church and State is and always was to protect the Church from the Government not the Government from the Church otherwise it might have been call the Freedom from Religion. You say the Church’s moral values shouldn’t be force upon anyone but are you not attempting to force your own moral values? The directive addresses issues that are optional medical procedures, not emergent care. If want a vasectomy go to a hospital that offers that service. My mother had one child in a Catholic hospital and when having her third child she wanted a tubal ligation and after a discussion with her physician they decide to birth the last child in a different hospital that offered that service. She also is not Catholic, I however am a convert to the faith. It is as if you would be the type of person that would go to McDonald’s and order a Flame Broiled burger and then get upset when you couldn’t get it your way.

        Sincerely,
        James

        Reply
        1. catholicwatcher

          Wow. Just wow. Here’s what Thomas Jefferson had to say on this topic: “Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state,’ therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”

          You are also wrong when you say the Directives only affect “optional” procedures. In the rural area where I pay taxes, there is only one hospital, it is supported with property taxes, and it is run according to the dictates of the Catholic Church. This is clearly unconstitutional and I expect litigation will soon be filed to make that clear to everyone.

          Reply
          1. James Johnson

            Check your facts. The quote you are referring to has been misquoted and published many times over. I assume you are referring to the Letter to the Danbury Baptist Assoc. on 1/1/1802. (http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html) Your statement is an editors commentary by Eyler Robert Coates, Sr. Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Virginia Baptists in 1808 and instead of using the words Religious Institutions her say state churches. He clearly is not referring to private churches. He is referring to state run church with both the power of the clergy with political backing. I also live in a rural area and I find it hard to believe that you are going to need an emergency vasectomy or that their isn’t another hospital within a short drive. We all pay taxes for thing we don’t support, maybe you should just quit paying your taxes and see how far that gets you.

            Sincerely,
            James

          2. catholicwatcher

            I’m with you that I will never need an emergency vasectomy. I’m a woman. Women here do need help with ectopic pregnancies and other pregnancy related emergencies however. And if you think there’s another hospital within a short drive of Friday Harbor, you misunderstand the whole concept of “island.”

        2. James Johnson

          I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that you lived on an island. I looked at Friday Harbor, WA and it looks like a very nice place. I’ve always been interested in the Great NW. I’m sure your community is typical to small areas and in larger areas you will surely have other private secular medical centers. Your community has a total population of 2162, about 631 are women of birthing age. On average 47 women birth a child annually, about 20% of pregnancies are ectopic. That means about 57 women get pregnant, 47 deliver and 10 don’t. 70% of ectopic pregnancies resolve themselves, leaving on average 3 that need medical intervention. It doesn’t seem to be the pandemic you make it out to be.

          Directive 48 states “In case of extrauterine pregnancy, no intervention is morally licit which constitutes a direct abortion.” but it also refers you back to Directive 45 that talks about viable fetus and sole immediate effect. Please read the “Religious and Ethical Directives for Catholic Health Care” (http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/health-care/upload/Ethical-Religious-Directives-Catholic-Health-Care-Services-fifth-edition-2009.pdf), to get a better understanding about what that means please refer to the “Ectopic Pregnancy and Catholic Morality (http://johnpaulbioethics.org/FinalProofs.pdf) document. It does condone actions to protect the woman’s life but it would rather the person let the pregnancy end on it own accord as long as long as it doesn’t put the woman in risk. If it is found not to be viable then medical intervention is advised and is morally licit. At no point do they want you to suffer from a ruptured fallopian tube. Again it does not condone direct abortions but if the death of the fetus is a secondary effect it is morally acceptable. I pray this helps.

          Sincerely,
          James

          Reply
          1. catholicwatcher

            Hi James,

            The three women on San Juan Island who by your count would likely need medical intervention for their ectopic pregnancies are my neighbors and people I care about and I refuse to believe that it’s OK to let the bishops decide whether they should get appropriate health care. Especially when I’m helping to fund it.

            Also, your interpretation of the directives is in direct conflict with what the bishops themselves say. There is no “referral” back to Directive 45 from the directive about ectopic pregnancy. Read my post entitled “The Bishops’ Guide to Letting Women Die” and you’ll understand that the bishops expect the Fallopian tube to be removed in the case of an ectopic pregnancy as a way to save the life of a woman, thereby permanently harming her fertility. Doing the practical, humane thing (administering methotrexate) is not allowed, as that would constitute a “direct” abortion.

          2. James Johnson

            I love your neighbors also. I love all mankind, I even love you. At no point would I, the Bishop or the Catholic Church ever want any harm to come to your friends or neighbors. All life is precious. I would like you to look at the references I cited. There is a small superscripted 31 at the end of Directive 48. It refers to the reference section of the document. If you look at it, it refers to “31. Cf. directive 45.” Cf. is often used in place of “see”. So as I stated, Directive 48 does refer back to 45. The second link I posted refers to a document on ectopic pregnancy by Pope John Paul’s II Bioethics Commission. The document discuses the differing viewpoints but in the end it condones a salpingectomy (removal of one of the tubes). I guess that isn’t good enough. I understand that does decrease the chance of being able to successfully conceive a child but it doesn’t make it impossible. I trust in my lord and he wants it it will happen. You call methotrexate the humane thing but I put myself in the shoes of the fetus and it doesn’t seem so humane to me. I understand your not going to agree but that is what the Church teaches.

            I understand you don’t like the Hospital you got but if the community could have done it themselves they would have. To my understanding San Juan Hospital District entered into an agreement with PeaceHealth because they wanted better healthcare and needed help. I’m sure many organization were considered and the commission decided that PeaceHealth was the best choice. Peace can either follow the teaching of the Church or give up their affiliation with the Church. I guess they will need to decide what is ore important to them.

            I have read your article and you seem to misunderstand the teaching of the Church. In that particular case the act of the abortion was to kill the child in hopes that termination would relieve the pulmonary hypertension. The relief of the hypertension was the secondary affect of the primary act of abortion. If they had instead attempted to treat the hypertension and the death of the child then resulted it would have not have been primary purpose and would have been permissible. The nun incurred an automatic excommunication, her actions were not in communion with the teachings of the Church. She has since then come back into communion with the Church as I understand. Wouldn’t it be great if the Healthcare Industry started to focus on saving all lives. It is hard for me to understand how it is that we can put a Rover on Mars that is 35 million miles away but we cannot successfully relocate a fetus 6 inches. I think we need tell them that we love all life and it isn’t acceptable to take the easy way out by taking MTX and killing the life within.

            Sincerely,
            James

    2. Sherman Hu

      Religion is all bout dominant and manipulation, religious groups do nothing good but hate.

      I am not a liberal but I totally support the cause of Catholic Watch.

      Reply
  6. James Johnson

    If you are attempting to allude that the decline in the size of families that claim to be Catholic is related to the use of birth control and other forms of contraception, then I will agree but I would have to question their true Catholicity. The church isn’t trying to limit the membership to only those who follow a bishop’s teachings but we are asking them to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, we also hope and pray that the teaching of the bishops are also in line with the Church’s teachings. If they don’t follow the teachings then they are they fully catholic, this goes for bishops, lay person and priests.
    Most dictionaries define catholic as universal, all inclusive, all-embracing. To be fully Catholic one must be all-embracing of all the teaching of the Catholic Church. If you protest against the teaching of the Church then you are a Protestant. You cannot be both a Protestant and a Catholic at the same time. The unfortunate problem is that many people self-identify as catholic but they don’t practice a catholic lifestyle. It is not necessarily their own fault, they may not understand what the teachings really are. They could have been poorly taught the faith, they may have been taught Catholicism by one who misunderstood the teachings also.
    These are teaching that some people don’t want to hear or even reject. As it is said in John 6:66 “After this, many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him”. I hope this helps clear things up and by the way, do you proclaim to be a Catholic?

    Sincerely,
    James

    Reply
    1. catholicwatcher

      I am not Catholic. I was raised Catholic, but I don’t agree with the “moral” teachings of the bishops or the Catholic hierarchy when it comes to topics like contraception, sex, abortion, the use of embryonic stem cells in health research, etc. My parents were “social justice” Catholics – my father authored the “No-fault” divorce law in my home state because he’d seen too many women and children suffer in abusive marriages and my mother was pro-choice because she knew women who died from botched abortions. They were very Catholic in their own minds and in the eyes of their fellow parishoners and yet they embraced modernity. Five years after my mother died, the priest in her parish described her as having been one of the two main pillars of the parish community. The Catholic faith they believed in was one of generosity, community, and kindness, not edicts from on high that make no sense for families in today’s world.

      Reply
  7. Susan L. Anderson

    Thank you Monica for taking a strong lead on this issue. This is important for all women living on the San Juan Islands. I look forward to email updates and and anything else I can do to help.

    Reply
  8. Fritz Feiten

    Are you aware of a group that may be contemplating an initiative campaign to make it state law that hospitals receving public funds must provide all medically appropriate and legal medical care (or something to that effect — need to work on the wording)? Seems as though this would force the Catholic owned/managed facilities to either comform or get out of the hospital business in WA. The downside, of course, is that we may loose some facilities in hard to serve areas; but that is what public hospital districts are for,

    Reply

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