Largest Catholic Healthcare System Defies Court Order and their Own Religious Tenants

by Karen Hardin

Ascension Health Systems, headquartered in St. Louis, MO, has been referred to as the largest Catholic and leading nonprofit health system in the nation. Yet, they have refused most of the religious exemption requests citing aborted fetal cell lines in the vaccine. This appears to be in direct contradiction to the Roman Catholic Church. According to the Catholic News Agency, “The Roman Catholic Church has consistently condemned abortion — the direct and purposeful taking of the life of the unborn child. In principle, Catholic Christians believe that all life is sacred from conception until natural death, and the taking of innocent human life, whether born or unborn, is morally wrong.” 

According to their own website, “Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all…”

Their actions, however, seem to contradict that statement as they issued notices to their medical personnel and affiliates in Oklahoma who refused the COVID vaccine announcing they would be suspended without pay on November 12 and terminated by January 4, 2022. That hardly sounds compassionate and certainly isn’t offering personalized care or consideration to their own employees. 

Their actions, however, have not gone unchallenged. 

On Friday, Oklahoma Attorney General, John O’Connor filed an application for an emergency temporary restraining order against Ascension St. John Health Systems, to protect medical personnel and employees from further damage from COVID 19. The filing was based on complaints from employees who faced loss of employment after their religious exemptions to the COVID vaccine were denied. 

The restraining order was to allow the attorney general’s office thirty days to investigate the complaints as well as allow affected employees time to submit religious accommodations. 

However, in response to the filing, defense lawyers attempted to move the case to federal court to nullify the restraining order. It was granted and thus in effect before they could complete the action. 

Ascension St. John employees were initially told they would be suspended by last Friday. Then, after the restraining order went into effect, they were told they were no longer suspended. However, in yet another reversal just 24 hours later, St. John employees have said although they weren’t suspended, they were removed from the schedule. 

“So what is happening, in my opinion,” stated O’Connor, “Is Ascension is playing games with the paychecks of these employees in order to bully them into getting the vaccine. They should obey the temporary restraining order and see what the court says about the religious exemptions. Let’s let that happen instead of using these techniques to pressure the employees to getting a vaccine they object to.”

Already two judges have recused themselves from the case which is currently being heard. 

Last December, Pope Francis also broke from traditional Roman Catholic tenants and referred to the use of vaccines produced with cell lines derived from aborted fetal tissue as “moral” contradicting Catholic tenants of faith.

To date, governors and attorneys general from 27 states have filed lawsuits against the Biden Administration in response to the federal overreach regarding the vaccine mandate.

The showdown continues. 

ABOUT: Karen Hardin is a literary agent and writer. She is the author of “Infected: How to Stop the Global Spread of Rage, Deception and Insanity” and “God’s Justice After Injustice.” Her work has been published in USA Today, Western Journal, World Net Daily, Intercessors for America, Charisma, CBN.com and more. She is also the co-founder of the city-by-city.org prayer movement.