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Lay group protests sale of Boston Catholic health-care system

Catholic World News - June 25, 2010

A Catholic lay organization in Boston is opposing the sale of the archdiocesan health-care system to a secular corporation, citing the loss of Catholic identity and the likelihood that the secularized hospitals will cease to honor Catholic moral principles.

At a public hearing on the sale of the Caritas Christi hospital system to Cerberus Capital Management, the Catholic Action League protested that the Caritas Christi system “will be rapidly secularized,…will no longer defend the culture of life,… and administrators will lose their conscience protections.”

The $830 million sale—which must be approved by public officials in Massachusetts and by the Vatican—would convert the Catholic health-care system into a secular operation. If the transfer is approved, Caritas Christi might become the largest American non-profit institution ever converted into a for-profit business.

The sale agreement requires the new management to continue adhering to Catholic moral principles in its medical procedures. However the new ownership has the option to terminate that aspect of the agreement by paying an addition $25 million to an approved archdiocesan charity, if it finds that adherence to Catholic moral standards has become “unlawful or materially burdensome.” (That odd proviso of the agreement drew a critical comment from a Wall Street Journal writer, who observed that the Catholic identity of the health-care system seemed to be on sale for 3% of the overall transfer price.) C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League expressed alarm that “the future of 150 years of Catholic health care in Boston will be within the discretionary authority of a non-Catholic, for profit, out of state, capitalist corporation.”

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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jun. 28, 2010 1:09 PM ET USA

    I am simply bewildered by this article! Does it really say Catholic teachings are 'for sale'if they become'materially burdensome' and the buyer doesn't want to adhere to them? I am having trouble imagining our Lord,Jesus Christ, in whose name the archdiocese is acting, selling away Catholic beliefs, especially those so clearly related to the sanctity of life! Please pray for those involved in this proposed unthinkable transaction to come to their senses - and pray for their souls.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jun. 27, 2010 10:00 PM ET USA

    Do donors who thought they were supporting a Catholic institution get their money back?

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jun. 27, 2010 10:30 AM ET USA

    "... citing the loss of Catholic identity..."??? What IS "Catholic 'identity'" anymore except continuity with a form of "external" actions with little or nothing to do with the heart? ... and apparently a proviso for "30 pieces of silver" to boot... "... $25 million to an approved archdiocesan charity, if it finds that adherence to Catholic moral standards has become “unlawful or materially burdensome.”

  • Posted by: Alcuin - Jun. 26, 2010 5:09 PM ET USA

    Kyrie Eleison

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