I posted this on What's Wrong with the World and I wanted to cross post it here - as there is a lot of confusion over what our current objections relate to.
Lydia asked whether the protocol of Catholics in Catholic Hospitals responding to a woman seeking an abortion by saying "we don't do those here so call your insurance company and they'll help you with that" is objectionable. Many others have asked about this - and also have asked the distinctions between the Caritas situation and hospitals caring for people who have Blue Cross Blue Shield.
I think it's important to get the material response to these inquiries more widely distributed.
First, in general, when a woman expresses to her primary care physician in a Catholic facility that she would like to terminate the pregnancy - no, Catholic physicians in Catholic hospitals do NOT respond to them by saying we don't do those here but call your insurance company and they'll give you the number of somebody who'll take care of that for you.
There is an indelible moral code that prevents Catholics from responding in such a ridiculous way. Imagine how ludicrous a similar response would be if a patient visiting a Caritas facility in Nevada told his primary care he felt the lack of a sexual relationship in his life was causing him physical ailments and emotional problems and does the hospital have a brothel to relieve the symptoms.
Catholic hospitals respond to a woman by counseling her with alternatives to abortion and referring her to life-supporting apostolates. If a patient is counseled compassionately and righteously and she still says I'm getting an abortion - after all counseling has been exhausted - of course at that point, a Catholic is relieved of the duty and it would be allowable to say, "I'm sorry, we have no information here about abortions. You'll have to contact your insurance company".
It's clear that Caritas has been violating ethics for a long time. It is incumbent upon the prolife community to change this policy and we are determined to make those changes happen.
With respect to the Caritas situation, let's be clear about our remaining concerns.
We don't object to Catholic hospitals being providers to Blue Cross or Commonwealth Care patients.
The difference here is Blue Cross did not force Caritas to give them written assurances to provide abortions or find somebody to provide abortions and shuffle women to those abortionists. The situation didn't compel them to find a partner to infuse cash into a new corporation to make contracts with abortionists and hire people to answer the phones, put NARAL as the Advisory Board to police it. There is no signed contract in play between Caritas and Blue Cross with these stipulations.
The ownership interest Caritas took in the partnership was not the primary ethical flaw. The primary ethical flaw was bidding on the contract in the first place, setting up all the contracts and people to carry out the abortions and promising to send the women to them as the first line response to a woman asking for an abortion. With this kind of an arrangement, there is an inherent willful omission.
Just because Caritas pulled out their ownership interest, the contract and all it's obligations didnt go away, neither did the corporation Caritas brought in to carry out all the moral evils so they could win the contract. Further, Caritas remains in this dynamic as the primary care physicians.
We do not know whether Caritas, the Commonwealth and Celticare have agreed to carry out those stipulations in the new arrangement. On the face of the statements being made, in fact, it appears the promises are being carried forward. We do not know if our Catholic healthcare workers are going to be burdened in this arrangement because we have no information whatsoever on what the arrangement is.
This is insufficient.
If we are not bound to the stipulations of the original contract in this new arrangement between all the parties, then the Cardinal and Caritas need to disclose those details and give us the proof - along with the opinion of the National Catholic Bioethics Center. That is the current state of affairs. But, there is more secrecy.
I also believe we have an ancillary conundrum that revealed itself when Catholics reported the ethical flaws and the dangers of the situation. The use of the media, apostolates and media sources to willfully create confusion and stall judgments, obfuscation - and discrediting and maligning people who are reporting factual information.
You see, I find it almost impossible to believe that several hundred thousand prolifers could identify the primary ethical flaw in the situation in the first five minutes - and Dr. John Haas and Fr. Tad from the National Catholic Bioethics Center were unable to detect the primary ethical flaw after four months of intense scrutiny of the arrangement. I also find it impossible to believe the NCBC neglected to report this primary ethical flaw to the Cardinal.
There was a lot of flapping of wings on a Friday night press release and they got out of Dodge on a 7:30 flight with the Cardinal blowing kisses - but after the victory party we woke up Saturday morning realizing Catholics in Boston actually don't know their findings.
If they did report it, it's critical to know, because it adds to the index of the willful deceptions going on up at the Chancery. And, willful deception is not something the people of Boston want to tolerate - for reasons I don't think any of us need to catalog.
Therefore, we have come to a place where we now, instead of getting quotes about the Cardinals thoughts and then getting quotes from prolife activists without releasing the material substance of the agreements to examine so we can all make a judgment in the matter, is upon us.
By the way - Anne Fox now appears to realize the Cardinal may be pulling the wool over everyone's eyes.