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Boston Catholic health-care system plans purchase of secular hospital

Catholic World News - September 01, 2010

Caritas Christi, the health-care system of Boston’s Catholic archdiocese, plans to purchase a Rhode Island hospital, without altering that hospital’s secular character or medical policies.

“The goal is to remain secular, and that’s what we’re aiming at,” a spokesman for Rhode Island’s Landmark hospital told the Providence Journal. A Caritas Christi spokesman confirmed: “Our intent is to preserve Landmark in its current form, which includes no religious affiliation."

The Landmark Hospital, which is currently in receivership, provides sterilizations, distributes contraceptives, and offers abortion referrals. The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts said that the purchase provides “further evidence that the Archdiocese of Boston has not been straightforward about the future Catholic identity of Caritas Christi."

The commitment of the Caritas Christi system to maintaining a Catholic identity has been questioned since the Boston archdiocesan system agreed to be purchased by Cerberus, a New York-based capital firm. Although the Boston archdiocese has repeatedly promised that the Caritas Christi system would retain its Catholic identity after that purchase, the terms of the purchase agreement would allow Cerberus to drop the Catholic affiliation with the payment of an additional $25 million—a small fraction of the purchase price.

C. J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League protested: “The retention of Landmark's secular identity is a disturbing harbinger of the likely future secularization of Caritas itself.”

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