I have a few things to add to CJ Doyle (press release below) and the bloggers at BostonCatholicInsider coverage later. For the moment, please stop in at BostonCatholicInsider and take a good whiff of the sulfur - and check out CJ's press release.
MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: C. J. DOYLE
KEEP CARITAS CATHOLIC!
Boston's Catholic health care system, which dates back to 1863, is about to be sold, converted to a for-profit entity, and rapidly secularized. Caritas Christi Health Care --- the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston --- is being acquired by the Steward Health Care System, a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management.
Despite assurances by Caritas and the Archdiocese that the hospitals' Catholic identity will be retained for at least three years, the Notice of Transaction filed by Caritas with the Public Charities Division of the Attorney-General's Office on May 5th, 2010 clearly indicates that the new owners may unilaterally terminate the Catholic identity of the hospitals at any time for virtually any reason provided they are willing to pay just three percent above the original purchase price, which is an additional twenty-five million dollars.
If the Steward Health Care System finds compliance with Catholic medical ethics to be "unlawful or materially burdensome," which is broadly defined as anything which would "jeopardize the welfare of its patients, employees, or the communities in which it operates," the determination of which will be in "the sole discretion of Steward," the system's Catholic identity could be immediately abandoned upon payment of the termination fee.
This is an impending disaster for the Church, the Catholic community, the Pro-Life movement and Catholics in the medical and nursing professions!
This means that such iconic Catholic institutions as Carney Hospital, and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center may become participants in abortion, contraception, sterilization and passive euthanasia. Catholic and other pro-life doctors, nurses and administrators will lose their conscience protections. Charitable care for the poor will suffer, and Catholic principles of social justice in employee relations, such as the Catholic principle of the just wage, will be replaced by the capitalist law of supply and demand.
There will be a public hearing on the future of Carney Hospital on Thursday, July 1st, 2010 at 6 p.m. at the IBEW Hall, Local 103, at 256 Freeport Street in Dorchester. The hearing is being sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Attorney-General Martha Coakley's Office. Please make every effort to attend this important public event and oppose the sale of Caritas Christi until stronger guarantees of its continuing Catholic identity are in place.
If you cannot attend the hearing, or wish to comment on the other five hospitals, or on the entire Caritas system, members of the public may file comments regarding the transaction by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to: Public Charities Division/Caritas Transaction, Office of Attorney-General Martha Coakley, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108.
You may also submit written testimony, before July 30th, to the Department of Public Health, Determination of Need Program, 99 Chauncy Street, Boston. MA 02111.
Powerful corporate, financial, political, and ideological interests are working to destroy Catholic health care in Massachusetts. Given the culture of death which afflicts our country, we need Catholic hospitals now more than ever. Saving Catholic health care should be the top priority of every pro-life citizen of Massachusetts. Please join us in this vital struggle!
(For those of you in the Merrimack Valley, there will be a public hearing regarding the sale of Caritas in the Holy Family Hospital service area at the Tenney Middle School, 75 Pleasant Street, Metheun, MA at 6 p.m. on Tuesday June 29th. Once again, we urge you to testify in person, or send written comments to the above addresses. Thank you.)