Monday, June 29, 2009

A current assessment of the Caritas Abortion Scandal

On Friday, the Cardinal announced that Caritas would be pulling out of the 49% ownership of CeltiCare. The Archdiocese no longer owns the corporation that has contracted with abortionists and hired phone operators. This is a triumph to be celebrated and a miraculous one at that given the powers we were up against.

The CeltiCare partnership previously 51% owned by Centene and 49% owned by Caritas signed a contract with the Commonwealth to provide health care including abortions and family planning. All parties in the venture, Caritas, Centene and the Commonwealth have reached an agreement that permits Caritas to withdraw from CeltiCare but remain as providers of healthcare to patient's of CeltiCare, now wholly-owned by Centene.

However, upon the withdrawal of their ownership interest, they have maintained their working relationship with CeltiCare and has said, they will in fact, continue to forward the women to Celticare. CeltiCare has lined up the abortionists and the 24 hour hotline and had previously placed NARAL as a police dog for the enforcement - to police Catholic employees - even inside of examination rooms if necessary.

Just because the Cardinal agreed to force Caritas to withdraw their ownership of CeltiCare doesn't mean all of the above arrangements that were in the original contract have been withdrawn. They may be - but I don't think we've done the due diligence and obtained the confirmation.

Is CeltiCare managing the obligations of the original contract? If so, in this scenario, Caritas employees are still burdened by them - even though the Archdiocese no longer has an ownership interest in CeltiCare?

Are we to assume that the Commonwealth agreed to permit Caritas to be the provider and released them from the obligation in the contract to ensure family planning and abortion be readily accessible in the arrangement?

Without a peep from Planned Parenthood representatives on the Commonwealth Connector Authority?

Caritas CEO Mr. de la Torre has affirmed that nothing at all has changed - when the patient comes in to seek an abortion, they will be referred back to CeltiCare who has taken out contracts with abortionists and hired phone operators to accept the requests from the patients that Caritas refers to it, they will make the arrangements for the abortion and then pay for the abortion.

Aren't we missing some details?

We still don't know if this new arrangement includes an intentional omission of that first course of action - counseling the patient and giving her prolife referral and resources-- and in its stead, handing patients the CeltiCare number. If we are to take Mr. de la Torre's comments on their face value - that intentional omission is built into these new arrangements.

Are we to be satisfied with this in our prolife community?

Giving the number of CeltiCare as the first course of action because Caritas and CeltiCare have agreed to do so in return for the money, this leads thousands to their deaths when they could have been saved. Isn't this the theological flaw in the contract we've been trying to avoid?

It's tempting to want to believe the new arrangement released Caritas from all the objectionable provisions in the contract. This certainly is implied in the Cardinal's and Caritas' statements. In reality, how that contract is being carried forward with all the parties remain mysterious. This is just too important not to insist on those details being made public.

Several people (reporters from the Boston Globe, from Catholic sources, prolifers in Boston, etc) have asked for clarification of the arrangements between all parties and the Cardinal has refused to make those details available. Since the National Catholic Bioethics Center has scrutinized this new arrangement we have asked for the report to be made public. If you review the facts as they are now, the Cardinal has not said that the NCBC has approved of this arrangement. The Cardinal thanked Caritas - who got them into the mess to begin with and thanked the NCBC whose comments have yet to materialize.

Now perhaps there is nothing sinister in the arrangements and the NCBC has approved this. If so, then the Cardinal needs to make all the contracts, partnership agreements and the NCBC opinion blessing this arrangeable, public. Until that time, we don't know what these changes are all about.

One more unpleasant thing needs to be dealt with in the post-mortem.

Though the contract had been long ago signed, the links on the Celticare website revealed, the Archdiocese had made contracts with abortionists and hired people to answer the phones, over 150 physicians and healthcare providers have been hired,the Cardinal continuously implying women would not be sent for abortions, even though Caritas had assured the Commonwealth they would and in fact the contract with the Commonwealth binds them to that promise, Anne Fox of MCFL is now claiming MCFL has always known the Cardinal would do the right thing and that is why they've been defending the Cardinal's false assertions for the last few months. In those few months - the conduct of MCFL activists is here and here.

The willful blindness, taking things out of context and full blown attacks upon people trying to bear witness to what is happening - the conduct in those posts speak for itself.

If you can't salute corruption, MCFL will throw you under the bus. They are not alone. For centuries now, whistleblowers have been treated as though they somehow got droped into an episode of Big Love.

It's time to put this dynamic out of its misery. This is the cause of the crisis that allowed the few pedophiles to fester into a situation whereby the problem could be hijacked to assert the word "priest" is synonymous with "pedophile".

We can no longer tolerate people who try to crush whistleblowers. People who do this in our parishes, in our communities, in our cyberworld and in our apostolates have got to be confronted and pushed back.

One victim of MCFL's tactics, Brendon O'Connell has had a pro-life television apostolate for many years that was somehow connected to MCFL. He interviewed CJ Doyle about the Caritas debacle (and I believe he interviewed Phil Lawler) and MCFL had Brendon's television program yanked.

This is the same conduct they have executed for the last 7 or 8 years, of recent vintage when Romney gave them 10,000 in exchange for a prolife award. When activists who had experienced Romney's tenure brought it to light into the public square, we all went under the bus then too.

They've got to knock this stuff off and everyone in the prolife community has got to put pressure on them to knock off. Firing salvos with the Cardinal at everyone in trenches that we are enemies of the Church is a hit to our reputation that is not only undeserved, it stalls convictions of people who have less knowledge of the situation and it stalls righteousness.

Every tactic has it's time and place. Crushing people speaking the truth has no place in our future. Let's stomp it out when we see it.

I was told earlier today a Q&A with the Cardinal produced by Joan Frawley Desmond will run in the National Catholic Register. I am contacting Fr. Owen and others in our prolife community to make known that a Q&A controlled and written by the Cardinal with Joan Frawley Desmond that will run in the Register is something the prolife community is going to be very, very upset about in light of the lack of transparency about the contracts between all the parties and the release of the "approval" by the NCBC. Having the Cardinal craft questions and then answer them while all the substance of the contracts gets left out of those questions, and the approval by the NCBC unpublished is unacceptable. Fr. Owen and the NCR are reasonable people and friends of prolife community and we expect they will see the problems with an arranged press release from the Cardinal.

If Joan Frawley Desmond is going to take our questions and get them answered, I'm all for it. We want to know the substance of the arrangements. When I get more details, I'll post them.


Anonymous said...

If the contract was a part of a publicly funded program, maybe the State has a copy. Would it be available from them under the Mass. Freedom of Information Act?

From the beautiful City of Boston said...

Yes. From what I understand - they will be hard pressed to decline a FOIA.