grace of state

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 06, 2007

The going-out-of-business sale continues in the Boston archdiocese, where Cardinal Sean O'Malley has announced plans to unload the Caritas Christi hospital chain.

As the Boston Globe story explains, the archdiocese had been looking for a new executive to head Caritas Christi, but the search...

...was put on hold last fall after O'Malley hired a strategic consultant, Navigant Consulting Inc. , of Chicago, to help determine whether healthcare should continue to be a core part of the archdiocese's mission, or whether it should focus exclusively on parish life and Catholic education.

Nice to know that, when a cardinal-archbishop needs to define the core mission of the local Church, he can call on a good solid professional consulting firm. What a pity that Navigant wasn't around when the 12 apostles were setting up shop!

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 12 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Italiana - Feb. 07, 2007 5:45 PM ET USA

    The Bishop of Orlando, Thomas Wenski, hired a consulting team for his synod run by a protestant whose wife is a Luthern minister. The protestant man admitted in the diocesan newspaper that he didn't know anything about the Catholic religion. As a result, we still have Sr. Linda Gaupin as our DDRE. She just had the "first ever" Lifelong Faith Formation conference called Fashion Me a People with Dan Schutte as one of the speakers. His workshop was on prayer & faith formation.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 07, 2007 3:55 PM ET USA

    Orders which wish to operate a hospital need not be supported financially by the diocese. Those who use a Catholic hospital should not be charged excessively high rates to subsidize free care to those who should use public facilities. Emergency rooms for a cold, etc. are abuses that are common today. Closing the ER can be a money saver that helps keep open a hospital.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 07, 2007 1:31 PM ET USA

    I really don't think the Catholic Church needs to compete with public institutions providing the incredibly expensive and sophisticated medical care people demand in 2007. To provide such care the Church has to accept money from the government which always brings unwelcome interference. Let the Church encourage the kind of care that it can provide: parish-based nursing homes/assisted living with an emphasis on the needs, physical and spiritual, of those closest to eternity.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 07, 2007 8:50 AM ET USA

    And it "ain't" the Sisters of Mercy of Farmington, MI, nor Trinity Health. So who,pray tell, is a solidly Catholic health-care organization?

  • Posted by: opraem - Feb. 07, 2007 8:35 AM ET USA

    the sale of the hospitals is just another step by card o'malley to shrink the archdiocese to the size and scope which can be supported by its current income. he's shed 9 of his 13 high schools to private boards and the 2010 initiative will further slim the number of schools. pretty soon, the church in boston will be just parishes and a few parochial schools. quite the legacy, card law. quite the fallout from episcopal malfeasance in not protecting children and covering it up for years.

  • Posted by: Sidonius - Feb. 07, 2007 8:33 AM ET USA

    Indeed, we can be surer of maintaining the Catholicity of health care in the Caritas system with Ascension as owner than otherwise. That said, the implosion in Boston continues. I suspected a couple of years ago that the Church in Boston would be smaller and holier. I was half right.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 06, 2007 7:56 PM ET USA

    O poor, benighted people! Whoever said that Ascension is a truly Catholic health care company? The Cardinal's decision was a matter of prudential judgment and not related to his central episcopal tasks (caring for the sick isn't part of teaching, sanctifying and governing), so he can't really be faulted for selling them. But folks, Catholic health care is in a mess all over this country! I can think of only one group that is near being truly Catholic, and it ain't Ascension.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Feb. 06, 2007 7:20 PM ET USA

    Fiducia and doorman, I don't think Di intended to comment on the decision. It may indeed be a good one. I think his point is that a Successor of the Apostles ought to be able to make the decision without recourse to a consultant from Chicago. Even if Navigant had headquarters in Shechem.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 06, 2007 5:48 PM ET USA

    There are so many entrenched interests jockeying for influence (and dollars) --- getting an outside perspective was a wise move. The Church here is increasingly pressured to operate charities in a way that conflicts with Church moral teachings (gay adoptions, dispensing the morning-after pill, etc.), and there is much disssent, including from many on the payrolls of Church-affiliated organizations. Ascension Health is a good, solidly Catholic healthcare provider and should be welcomed.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 06, 2007 5:16 PM ET USA

    Di, Di, avuncular Di! Caring for the sick is always a "core mission" and moral imperative of Christians and of the church, and I'm sure Cardinal O'Malley needed no consulting firm to remind him of that injunction. However, the unending problems of the chain's secular executives and the debt itself undoubtedly lead the cardinal to conclude that one really cannot serve God and Mammon, particularly where Mammon had sheltered the activities of the Shanleys and the Geoghans for so long.

  • Posted by: Patricius - Feb. 06, 2007 3:51 PM ET USA

    The buisness leaders the Cardinal turns to normally would never truly consider selling Caritas and would therefore not adequately expolre those options. I am pretty sure Navigant did an fine job of laying out each option and making NO recommendation (limits future liability). Bostonians are obtuse. We insist on being a big city using small minds. There was no better path. There are better place to focus his dwindling resources. Cardinal Sean did what he felt was right in a bad situation.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 06, 2007 2:33 PM ET USA

    Since they are transferring it to a Catholic Hospital chain with a proven record of supporting morally founded medical practices, I think this is a good idea. It will in fact allow the Bishop to focus more on his apostolic function, teaching and sanctifying. Hospital's and the like should really be run by the laity and religious orders, not by the Diocese.