Thursday, March 02, 2006

Catholic hospitals and canon law

In her comments about the Connecticut law requiring Catholic hospitals to dispense the "Morning After" pill, A Rose is a Rose at the Nutmeg Grater asked me a question I don't have a definite answer for. How much control (and hence, responsibility) does the local bishop have over a Catholic hospital in his diocese? I know they have lots of non-Catholic employees, and receive government funding, but beyond that, where does the ultimate authority reside? Can the bishop simply close the hospital if this law passes? Will Rome hold him responsible if he doesn't, and the hospital gets into the abortifacient business?

I'd really appreciate some information from somebody more familiar with canon law and operations of charities than myself.

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