Name change at hospitals has a deeper, troubling significance

As of Jan. 1, Saint Marys and Methodist Hospital have been absorbed by Mayo Clinic, eliminating two independent Christian institutions — one of which, Saint Marys, has a 125-year history in Rochester. There is now one Mayo Clinic Hospital with two locations.

Although the clinic has portrayed the takeover as a way to simplify its regulatory paperwork, this change signifies something much more serious; namely, an intensifying campaign in our society to eliminate Christian activity in the public realm.

This trend is evident in such federal regulations as the so-called "contraceptive mandate," which would force some individuals and institutions to act against Christian conscience.

It is good that the clinic signed a memorandum with the Sisters of Saint Francis, the former owners of Saint Marys, requiring that, according to the P-B of Jan. 1, "no procedures prohibited by the Catholic Church be performed at the Saint Marys Campus. That includes abortion, stem cell procedures and sterilization."

One would hope that the memorandum will not be changed soon.


The clinic also has established a new "Mayo Clinic Values Council," but there is no requirement that this council will follow the teachings that every life is sacred, from conception to natural death.

With the phase-out of Saint Marys and Methodist, it falls to other Christian groups and individuals to be a religious presence at these two great hospitals.

Rev. Jack Miller


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