Thursday, June 11, 2009

Good Summary of Prolife Reaction to the Caritas/CeltiCare Abortion Services

Nobody but Michael Paulson and Kay Lazar seem to be saluting the Cardinal's Press release.

(A reader pointed out that the Joint Statement is avoiding the word "abortion" - referring to it instead as the "procedure" )

Anyway - my first reading of the Globe, I missed these curious little tidbits:

The archdiocese would not say yesterday whether the ownership structure of CeltiCare would change, but a statement from the archdiocese and Caritas said, "Caritas is in active discussions with Celtic Group [a Centene subsidiary] and CeltiCare with a view to making acceptable modifications to their arrangement."
Centene referred questions to CeltiCare, and its spokesman said he had no comment.

Centene referred questions to "CeltiCare"?

But Centene is CeltiCare. The only other partner that makes up "CeltiCare" is the Archdiocese.

Further, today, it seems the loose cannon at CeltiCare has a new credo? Perhaps.. Gallus in suo sterquilino plurimum potest?

Some of the cardinal's critics are applying a tougher standard to the deal than are many moral theologians and Catholic healthcare officials, who have said that the issue here is whether Caritas is "cooperating with the evil of abortion."

No, long list of dissenting theologians has not articulated "the issue" at all.

Caritas isn't a real person. The word "Caritas" is a fata morgana. Prolifers are talking about a Cardinal agreeing to perform moral evils upon poor people, including killing children and then hiring other people to do it. The issue is exploiting and killing poor people for money.

I have 2500 emails in my inbox. Haven't come across a single one that has bought into the Cardinal's spin. In fact, they have only created more questions.

The Boston Herald ran the Cardinal's soundbyte (suddenly,liberal secular media believers everything the Archdiocese says?): "No Abortions at Catholic Hospitals"

Thanks Sherlock. But, if you've been following along with the story, Caritas said it was going to subcontract out the abortions. Catholics have been three months trying to flush out the Cardinal's theology that hiring people to kill other people and then paying for the abortions is consistent with the Catholic ethics. They're playing games with names. They've stalled opposition by giving the false impression that the Cardinal would block the venture, that the deal was not signed and he had a a team of luminaries trying to crack the code of Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae to see how they can get the women over to the people they've hired to perform the abortions while making ludicrous assertions that this arrangement does not violate Catholic teachings and are services to the poor "at the very heart of Catholicism".

A posted named "Catholic Dad" had this to say in the comments section:

So let me get this straight. Caritas, a "Catholic" health care provider, is merged with "a secular health care company". The "Catholic" health care provider will allow the "secular health care company" to maker referrals for abortions. The Cardinal will then issue a press release lying that no abortion referrals will be made through the "Catholic" entity. This is a lie, sionce we know from the article that the "Catholic" health care provider and the "secular" health care provider are one and the same entity. The cardinal is up against some stiff competition when it comes to ecclesiastical bomfoggery- Cardinal Mahony in LA can give him a run for his money- but as of this morning His Eminence O'Mallery has got to be the odds on favorite to win the AmChurch Award for Most Disgraceful Dishonesty in a Public Statement by a Catholic Bishop. Congratulations, Boston.

Catholic Culture has a post up that articulates the reaction of the prolife community, pretty much across the board.

Although Caritas Christi sought out the government contract, and formed a partnership entitled CeltiCare to carry out the state mandate, Church leaders in Boston have insisted that Caritas Christi would not become involved in services incompatible with Catholic teaching.

Responding to critics who had noted that CeltiCare is advertising coverage for abortion, the Archdiocese of Boston released a public statement on June 10 saying that Caritas Christi "is in active discussions with Celtic Group (its partner in CeltiCare) and CeltiCare with a view to making acceptable modifications in their arrangement." The release did not indicate what sort of modifications would be sufficient to preserve the Catholic identity of Caritas Christi. But the June 10 statement did seem to suggest that the current agreement-- which Caritas Christi struck with Celtic Group in order to form the partnership that won the state contract-- contains provisions that archdiocesan leaders now recognize as unacceptable.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley insisted that Caritas Christi is, and will remain, faithful to Catholic moral principles. He said that "under no circumstances" would Caritas Christi perform abortions or "refer any patient to other providers who perform or procure such procedures." [The cardinal's statement, and the archdiocesan press release, refer to the issue obliquely, never actually using the word "abortion."]

However the terms of the state government contract that CeltiCare sought and won specifically require coverage for abortions. How could Caritas Christi-- which owns 49% of the for-profit CeltiCare-- justify its connection with that business? Dr. Ralph de la Torre, the president of Caritas Christi, explained:

When a patient seeks such a procedure, Caritas healthcare professionals will be clear that (a) the hospital does not perform them and (b) the patient must turn to his or her insurer for further guidance.

But when subscribers to the CelticCare plan turn to their insurers, they will be turning to CeltiCare-- in which, again, Caritas Christi is an active partner. The Boston archdiocese did not explain how the Church could justify that involvement.

While pro-life activists in Boston have pleaded for Caritas Christi to withdraw from the CeltiCare initiative, abortion advocates have also been watching the situation closely and demanding reassurance that the new state-funded agency will impose no restrictions on access to abortion. The efforts of abortion advocates-- unlike those of pro-life activists-- have been successful. The Boston Globe reported:

Brian Delaney, a spokesman for CeltiCare, said an abortion rights group, NARAL Pro-Choice of Massachusetts, will serve on an advisory group for the health plan but he did not know whether any Catholic groups would be on the panel.

Boston archdiocesan officials have stressed that no abortions will be performed at the hospitals of the Caritas Christi chain. That claim is not in dispute. The question is whether Caritas Christi, through its partnership in CelticCare, will provide-- and perhaps even profit from-- abortions performed at other facilities. CeltiCare advertisements indicate that Planned Parenthood will be enlisted to provide "reproductive services."

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