TYLER, Texas, NOV. 25, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A bishop of Texas is admitting that reports claiming Catholic hospitals have been performing sterilizations were correct, and ethical directives have been misinterpreted.
Anonymous researchers sent a report last July to Our Sunday Visitor claiming that sterilizations and abortions were being performed in 23 Catholic hospitals in Texas. The state’s bishops began an investigation in order to verify the facts.
On Friday, Bishop Alvaro Corrada of Tyler acknowledged that the investigation found the reports were correct and hospitals in his diocese were, in fact, performing direct sterilizations due to a “serious misinterpretation” of directives. His public statement on the issue appeared in the Catholic East Texas newspaper.
“As a bishop, I am deeply saddened and upset by this news,” he said. “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.”
“I continue to work directly with the Catholic hospitals in the Diocese of Tyler,” assured the prelate, “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.”
He called on Catholics to treat all people seeking health care with respect and dignity after the example of Christ. He explained, “The Church has approved the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services as binding upon our Catholic hospitals to ensure the sacred dignity of each patient is protected and defended.”
Bishop Corrada assured readers that one hospital in his diocese discontinued all tubal ligations as a result of the investigations, and that the other is actively moving toward full compliance with the directive that prohibits direct sterilizations.