St. Charles Medical Center in Bend and the Catholic Church have ended their 92-year partnership. The church could no longer tolerate the hospital’s practices regarding reproductive services, including contraception, but mainly tubal ligation or female sterilization.
St. Charles’s parent company, Cascade Healthcare Community, also operates facilities in Redmond, Madras and Prineville. Historically, St. Charles was a leader of the counter-Reformation.
It’s not lost on many women that the beef between the church and the hospital is over the church’s control of women’s lives. Ironically, women are the mainstay of the Catholic Church even as it denies them what they had centuries ago: leadership positions within the church. This is not a recipe for growth of the church.
Now, the church thinks it can grow by subtracting itself from the largest hospital east of the Cascades. It seems counter-intuitive.
Also, will nuns still be allowed to provide aid and comfort at the hospital? Afterall, it’ll still be called St. Charles.
St. Charles is a "non-profit" hospital, but it still likes to make money. Expanding services in reproductive health is a way to make more money. And that's always the bottom line.
Left unsaid on the TV newscasts was the big issue: abortion. The newspaper did address this issue at the end of its article. It is almost certain that abortions will be performed more openly at St. Charles. The secret in Bend was that abortions, in some capacity, have been performed there for years.
Like war, abortion has always been a part of our world and likely always will. It’s not pleasant, but that’s the way it is.