A group of Catholic leaders and organizations from the District of Columbia came together today to issue “A Call to Keep Providence Hospital Open.”
“We ask that you stand with us, and the thousands of registered nurses, doctors, hospital workers, social justice advocates and community members who have similarly spoken out, to keep Providence Hospital open as a fully functioning hospital with acute-care services because, as Pope Francis said, ‘Health care is not a consumer good, but a human right, and access to health care cannot be a privilege,’” the Catholic leaders wrote.
The letter called on Ascension Health, the huge Catholic hospital corporation that runs Providence Hospital, to fulfill its claimed mission and the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services that oblige it to “distinguish itself by service to and advocacy for those people whose social condition put them at the margins of our society.”
Among those joining the statement citing the needs of the community and the obligation of Ascension Health to stop plans to close Providence Hospital were Father Patrick Smith, pastor of St. Augustine Catholic Church, Sister Patty Chappell and Sister Anne-Louise Nadeau of Pax Christi USA, Father Kevin Thompson of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, and several Catholic orders and organizations, including Carmelite Sisters of Charity, Vedruna; Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice; Conference of Major Superiors of Men; Discalced Carmelite Friars; Divine Word Missionaries; Franciscan Action Network; Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help; Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation O.S.F.; Pax Christi USA; and Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity.
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