VATICAN CITY -- Controversies over bioethical standards at U.S. Catholic hospitals show the need for greater Catholic education for health care workers, Vatican officials said Thursday (Feb. 3).
Church leaders said a new set of biomedical guidelines will be published later this year, as well as a separate document on AIDS prevention after last year’s controversial remarks by Pope Benedict XVI on the morality of condom use.
The announcement, at a press conference to publicize educational initiatives of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, did not include a publication date for the AIDS document.
Bishop Jose L. Redrado, secretary of the council, said Catholic facilities are confronting a “culture of death” following disputes over a 2009 abortion at a Catholic hospital in Arizona that doctors said was necessary to save the mother’s life. Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted stripped the hospital of its Catholic affiliation and excommunicated its chief ethicist.
Such disputes show the need to translate church teaching into the terms of “modern society,” Redrado said.