Missouri's Knights of Columbus leadership is siding with a Catholic hospital system over the testimony of multiple parents who are saying hospitals in the system referred them for abortion.
In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb brings us the latest on a story we have been following exclusively for months.
Paul O'Brien, state advocate, Knights of Columbus: It's a Knights of Columbus event, and you're disseminating information that is defamatory to our Catholic institutions, and we want you to stop.
Missouri Knights of Columbus state deputy Mike Grudzinski and state advocate Paul O'Brien shut down an abortion-related resolution (and information about the resolution) at a recent annual convention.
A number of Missouri knights are calling for an independent investigation of Catholic health care giant SSM and its hospitals, for referring parents of developmentally disabled children for abortion.
Veteran pro-life activist John Ryan asks O'Brien about the importance of exposing the infanticidal referrals.
John Ryan, pro-life advocate: "We're talking about accessory to murder. That's the accusation of all these people. We're just going to say they made it up?"
O'Brien: "Well, you can't justify defamatory — disseminating defamatory information by making it even worse."
Ryan: "Do you find it curious that the hospital never sued me? Their lawyers never touched it. Because I think you might. ... Are you a lawyer?"
O'Brien is a lawyer.
In an email, he claimed the resolution had to be suppressed at "direction from the archdiocese of St. Louis" and because SSM denied the claims.
SSM chief mission integration officer Patrick McCruden called his investigation "thorough." But he never contacted Ryan, who had compiled all the information; or Ryan's most credible parent, a mother whose testimony was confirmed with a polygraph test and a signed affidavit.
In his conversation with Ryan, O'Brien admitted he had never gotten direction from the archdiocese of St. Louis.
O'Brien and Grudzinski were contacted for comment. Neither responded.
The Knights of Columbus has a long history of supporting Cdl. Glennon Children's Hospital — part of the SSM system.
The hospital's center for developmentally disabled children, the very children being referred for abortion, is named for the Knights of Columbus.
Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis is the only freestanding Catholic children's hospital in the nation.