Saturday, June 27, 2009

Caritas Abortions - It's Over

I've been busy tonight gathering up resources, doing some phone calls gathering momentum to pull some allnighters, all weekend to file an emergency injunction.

Just happened to checked my emails at 9:30 with "congratulations" messages in the headlines and did the quick google to find Michael Paulson's story.

I was going to, for humor sake - put up the Caritas fist symbol that says "power to the people" --but in reality, we all know that it appears we owe John Paul II some gratitude and devotions.

A post-mortem at some point over the weekend. Right now, I did just pour myself a nice glass of Chardonnay (even though my drinking habits mean this bottle has probably been in the refrigerator for a year!).

Caritas Christi Health Care, the financially challenged Catholic hospital system founded by the Archdiocese of Boston, is abruptly ending its joint venture with a Missouri-based health insurer at the insistence of Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, who has decided that the relationship represented too much of an entanglement between Catholic hospitals and abortion providers.

The dramatic development, just days before the joint venture was scheduled to start providing care to low-income residents as part of the state's efforts to establish near universal health coverage here, is a vindication of sorts for a variety of very conservative Catholic critics of the cardinal, who have been arguing angrily and loudly that it would be "evil" for Caritas to partner with a health provider that covers abortion services.

The development is also a setback for Caritas, because it represents the undoing of one of the most significant steps its new chief executive, Dr. Ralph de la Torre, had announced as part of his efforts to turn around the hospital system's finances.

Thank GOD for all involved in this unraveling who are "a disservice to the Church"

This is an enormous shift from last week when J Bryan Hehir claimed the NCBC had moved forward in resolving the problems:

Speaking to the Register June 17, Father J. Bryan Hehir, secretary for Health Care and Social Services with the Archdiocese of Boston, recognized that there was a problem that needed to be solved by July 1.

“We tried to solve the first part of it last week,” he said. “Caritas Christi will not do procedures that violate the ‘Ethical and Religious Directives’ and will not refer anyone for such procedures.”

“The second part is the larger framework Caritas Christi has entered into,” Father Hehir said. “That needs to change so that it will accord with Catholic identity.”


Several emails and phone calls coming in have pointed out that we need clarification on several forthcoming assertions in the "new" arrangement.

The change will have no effect on patient care, because Centene Corp., the Missouri-based insurer, will continue to participate in the state-subsidized program, called Commonwealth Care, starting Wednesday.

And Caritas will continue to participate in the program, but now simply as one of many health care providers hired by Centene to treat patients. Caritas's role as a provider will be the same as the role it plays when providing care to people covered by private insurers such as Blue Cross.

In keeping with the ethical directives that bind Catholic hospitals, Caritas hospitals will not provide abortion or sterilizations. Caritas already refers privately-insured patients who seek such services to their insurance providers, and will do the same with state-insured patients. (Caritas spelled out its practices for handling Catholic ethical teachings in a statement June 11.)(emphasis mine)

I originally presumed that the above statements were a face-saving measure but others in the Catholic prolife community want clarification of this peculiar assertion that Caritas is doing what it always has done and what it always intended to do.

Does Caritas, as it now stands, do abortion referrals?

It appears by the joint statement, it does.

I presumed their statement was damage control - vis-a-vis, trying to blurr the distinctions between

  • "Caritas" "being" the insurance company who makes contracts with abortionists, hiring phone operators and giving women the phone numbers to their abortion providers and instructions - as they were up until today in this arrangement
  • "Caritas" referring women to abortionists as assertions are today
  • "Caritas" having no part whatsoever in abortion referrals and instead, giving women advice completely consistent with the teachings of the Church
Which is it?

Because you can't have it all ways.

Our next steps will be FOIAs. There is lots of questions and problems. The Secretary of State's Office still has Caritas ties on the CeltiCare corp-- stay tuned.


From the American Life League

"Praise God! After months of tireless effort from American Life League and pro-life heroes in Boston and around the country to expose a potential scandal only days away from becoming a tragic betrayal of Catholicism's unwavering commitment to the dignity of the human person, Cardinal Sean O'Malley has heard our voices and will end the joint venture with abortion-providing Centene Corp!

We profoundly thank Cardinal O'Malley for his courage, leadership and pastoral concern for the health and well-being of those youngest members of his archdiocese. He has set a beautiful example of dedication and charity for those poorest of the poor - the preborn.

Cardinal O'Malley has answered our call and beat the clock as the minutes ticked away until the July 1 launch of the new CeltiCare Health Plan and the Catholic Church's participation in the intrinsic evil of abortion.

Together with the thousands of American Life League supporters whose voices cried out in horror to the Cardinal at the thought of the Archdiocese of Boston supporting and promoting abortion, we congratulate Cardinal O'Malley on his commitment to the Faith - even during this time of severe financial crisis.

It has been American Life League's privilege and honor to work alongside Massachusetts heroes Carol McKinley, C.J. Doyle of Catholic Action League and many other Boston pro-lifers in our effort to bring this potential scandal to light.

Their constant vigilance and unwavering dedication to truth were a clear voice of conscience in Boston and the archdiocese is incredibly blessed to have such soldiers for Christ in their pews.

What happened in Boston will ring out far beyond the potential scandal that could have involved Caritas Christi and thereby the Archdiocese. Cardinal O'Malley's reaffirmation of the Faith, when it would have been all too easy to compromise, is a sign of the vitality of United States Catholics' commitment to human life and personhood.

American Life League and our supporters are humbled to stand alongside Cardinal O'Malley as a sign of contradiction to the culture of death."

American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death. For more information or press inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 540.659.4942.



Many thanks to our friends from the American Life League - for without their back up, it all would have gone forward. Kudos to all the unsung heroes. You know who you are. You're the cream of the crop.

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