Catholics avoiding secular employment


If all Catholics avoided secular employment, especially at state run hospitals that operate on a different reproductive code than the Church, would this collective act be depriving patients of a source of grace and evangelism when they are vulnerable and perhaps in great spiritual need?


I think that the problem primarily exists where doctors or nurses might be expected to be involved in abortions or in euthanasia. These constitute a non-negotiable issue for Catholics/Christians.
I think it would be unlikely that hospital staff any overt evangelization of patients would be permitted at secular hospitals? Medical staff who wished to make any kind of intervention might need to be very careful and sensitive in how they might discover whether a patient desires spiritual guidance or blessing.You might need the input of nurses and doctors involved in medical care to ascertain this.

Certainly, in our hospitals and doubtless in yours, hospital chaplains, clerical and lay, are permitted to approach patients who desire their prayer and assistance.

Regardless of whether the hospital is secular or religious, Christian/Catholic staff certainly owe the patients prayer both for their recovery and for their spiritual welfare. That at least is certain.

Just my thoughts. Your best responses will most likely come from members who do serve in hospitals.


I think it would. It’s a hard decision to make though because a Catholic can’t be involved in abortions and things like that, so they may not be able to work in a secular hospital if the hospital doesn’t have rules that protect their consciences. However, if a Catholic does find an opportunity to work in such a place, they have a very powerful opportunity.


I worked in secular Hospitals and Nursing Homes and Hospices. According to the Nursing Code (in my State, at least) a Nurse can refuse to assist in an abortion, and will be assigned to fill a place for another Nurse who will assist. However, if s/he works in surgery, they cannot refuse to assist in such things as Tubal Ligation (which sterilizes a woman); a sterilization procedure for a man; or a hysterectomy. Unless the hysterectomy or partial hysterectomy is done to treat some advanced cancer, it would go against the Church, as it also results in sterility. Done for serious disease state (such as life-threatening cancer) the sterility is a “secondary effect” of the required surgery to save a life, which would not be sinful. That’s why I worked after advanced training at a Catholic Hospital, then switched to Geriatrics and eventually Hospice, as I would not assist in abortions, or sterilizations. If you are in a specialty (such as pediatrics or medical wards for diseases), you can end up at least caring for patients having such procedures, including labor & delivery, which can involve tubal ligation. Working in the Nursery is usually not involved, but you can still be called in to assist in the Delivery Room. That’s why I switched specialties.

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