R.I. bishop requests removal of local hospital’s membership
Providence, R.I., Bishop Thomas Tobin has requested that the Catholic Health Association rescind the membership of a hospital system sponsored by the Diocese of Providence because of the association’s public support for healthcare reform legislation. “Your enthusiastic support of the legislation, in contradiction to the position of the bishops of the United States, provided an excuse for members of Congress, misled the public, and caused serious scandal for many members of the church,” the bishop wrote to the CHA in a March 29 letter. “Even the association with CHA is now embarrassing, and for that reason I request that our name be removed.” CHA spokesman Fred Caesar confirmed that the association agreed to remove membership for 271-bed St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island in North Providence. Caesar said one other system has declined to renew membership, but he declined to identify it.