One of the tried-and-true arguments against conversion of not-for-profit hospitals to the investor-owned sector is that financial resources will flow out of the community and into the hands of outside interests.
But as a recent hospital deal in St. Louis showed, money isn't always transferred to Wall Street, Nashville or some other Sodom. In this case, $1 million was dispatched to the Vatican "for use by the Holy Father in his service as pastor of the universal church."
The cash infusion to the Holy See in Rome followed the
$25 million transfer of Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital to SSM Health Care System. The sale helped rescue the Archdiocese of St. Louis from a financial entanglement and will aid powerhouse SSM in its effort to build a pediatric-care network.
On the downside, the deal further clouds the murky issue of the appropriate use of money when a hospital changes hands. It also begs the question whether those who throw stones should be without sin.