The Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese is ramping up a campaign against the ACT Government’s planned takeover of Calvary Public Hospital Bruce. Source: Canberra Times.
The leader of the new Church action group accused the ACT Government of “religious bigotry” in its decision to compulsorily acquire the hospital from the Catholic group which runs it.
The campaign’s leader, Canberra-Goulburn vicar general Fr Tony Percy, said lawyers have been consulted.
“We will not be lying down. The Government has got a fight on its hands,” he said.
Fr Percy said the compulsory takeover of Calvary sets a precedent. “Who’s next? Faith communities, health, schooling, community groups – which of them has the Government got in its gun?” he said.
“Everybody needs to be aware of what the Government is doing here.”
The Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese has begun a petition, which it hopes will be signed by people of all faiths and none.
A webpage under the banner “Save Calvary Hospital Bruce” is up and running on the Catholic Voice website. It says:
“We are concerned especially that:
The legislation was drafted and tabled without any consultation with Calvary Hospital, management, staff or patients;
The proposed timeframe demonstrates a complete unwillingness on the part of the ACT government to dialogue with its citizens;
That the ACT Government does not have the competency to run a second hospital, as it is already struggling to provide adequate services at the Canberra Hospital
That the Government will target other faith, welfare and community groups without consultation.”
The ACT’s Health Minister denied there was any religious motive for acquiring Calvary.
“I’ve had conversations with a couple of people within the Catholic healthcare sector to reassure them that this is not about a Catholic service or a faith-based service,” Rachel Stephen-Smith said.
“We commission health services from Catholic organisations and faith-based organisations across the board.”
Fr Tony Percy leads campaign against ACT government’s compulsory acquisition of Calvary Public Hospital (By Steve Evans, Canberra Times)
Save Calvary Hospital Petition (Catholic Voice)