Cardinal O'Malley pulls out from health joint venture over abortion [CNA]

Boston, Mass., Jun 27, 2009 / 08:06 pm (CNA).- After weeks of ethics discussions, the Archdiocese of Boston announced on Friday that the Church-sponsored Caritas Christi Healthcare has withdrawn from its partnership with CeltiCare Health Plan. The archdiocese said it was not possible to find agreement between the archdiocese-affiliated medical organization and the Missouri-based health insurer, who provides abortion and contraception.

The joint venture was scheduled to start providing care on July 1st, but in a statement issued on Friday by Richard Lynch, the chief executive of CeltiCare Health Plan of Massachusetts, - the former joint venture which is now solely owned by a Centene subsidiary - said: “effective today, Caritas has withdrawn their ownership position in CeltiCare Health Plan of Massachusetts. Celtic Group Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation) now owns 100% of the company. Caritas Christi will continue to participate as a key part of the CeltiCare provider network. The arrangement in no way affects the operations of CeltiCare Health, and we look forward to delivering quality health care services to our members starting on July 1st.”

Full article…

Yeeeeeeees! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Yaaaaay! Excellent! :):thumbsup::dancing::bounce:

Perfect news. Wonderful news.

How 'bout this for a joyful note to end on?…onderful-news/

If you haven’t been following why the story was so troubling, it’s all here:

God bless our Cardinal!


Wow I had no idea the original plan called for Caritas to be part-owner. I’m glad they won’t be profitting from abortion services. Instead they’ll provide real health care and get paid for what they provide.

Thank you Cardinal Sean!! You struck yet another blow for the Culture of Life!

I hope that those who posted comments that demeaned His Eminence would publicly apologize. He and the Church deserve better.


But what about all the dudes who work for the Cardinal and who set up the deal and said it was good before the Cardinal pulled the plug. Do they lose their jobs or merely go to work on creating the next ‘good’ deal?

I think they aren’t going anywhere. That’s the problem.

Commonwealth Connector Authority ? What is this? And how does it protect the integrity of Catholic values? I’m finding I am becoming more and more suspicious of EVERYTHING!! Not very calming. My apologies, but I want all my dots dotted and my ies ied.

Is this another blanket program which brokers other insurance companies? I don’t understand.

Does anyone?

But not the biggest. Have you heard we are in an economic crisis. :rolleyes:

Thank you for prayers answered. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

More details here, if you’d like to follow the whole story from the beginning:


Jump for joy! :thumbsup:

The culture of death is a very powerful force in our society and I had been very disturbed to see how the diocese seemed to be yielding to pro-abortion forces. I am very relieved to see that Church leaders are not submitting for the sake of profit for their institutions. Satan has been happily working to promote an abortion culture in the U.S., and I would have mourned if the bishop and his people had joined in with this.

There is nothing to blame them for. I tried to say this several weeks ago, without saying too much. But some people jumped all over me and I just let things go.

The people who were asked to broker this deal did exactly what they were asked to do. They tried to find every possible loophole in civil law that would allow the Catholic healthcare system work with the program, without having to perform abortions, refer for abortions or be in anyway (direct or indirect) providers of abortion related services.

The simple fact is that, there was no way. The laws in the State of MA are not on the side of pro-life. The protect the insurance companies, not the patients, especially the unborn patient. You do what you can, until the 11th hour, but you keep your door unlocked in case you have to bail out. That’s what the team did.

Bravo for them. They tried to help as many people as humanly possible. It is not their fault or the Church’s fault that the world today is in such a moral mess. I don’t live in Boston, but from what I have read and heard, Boston is a hotbead.

I’m proud to have Sean O’Malley as my spiritual brother and as my former superior.

May God be praised for the courage that it took for everyone on that team to stick in there as long as possible, for their efforts to provide healthcare without abortion to the poor, and for their wisdom in playing all the cards right up to the last minute.

My heart is so full of joy that I can’t stop rambling. SOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRYYYYYY.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

In a nutshell, it is the same system that they have in every state. A Catholic Hospital does not have to provide these services, but it cannot deny someone the right to use their insurance to get them elsewhere.

Basically, a Catholic hospital can say, we don’t do this. They can try to advise the patient against it. They can even suggest that the patient go to a Catholic pregnancy clinic. But if the patient is adamant, they have to say to the patient, “Talk to your insurance company.”

You cannot deny the patient that much information. In reality that does not compromise the hospital or the Church, because patients have access to that information from their insurance handbook, internet, friends, family, schools, and other sources.

In other words, you’re not telling the patient something that is a dark hidden secret.

The speaker in the article is saying that they will be watching to make sure that Catholic hospitals do ot hide this information from their patients. This is an absurd statement. How can any hospital hide what is public information?

I sounds like the kind of statement that one makes when one is faced with sour grapes.

I hope this helps.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

Brother, the executives of Caritas blind-sided the Cardinal. He heroically stood up to them and re-fashioned the deal. I believe they got the message loud and clear. Aside from the Cardinal, the hero here is John Haas of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, an expert on Catholic hospital mergers. This was very complicated, and I suspect that Haas was the brains behind the restructuring. That said, the Caritas leadership never vetted this scheme with any of the grown-ups at the Chancery.

Brother, had the project been vetted by the Cardinal or Vicar General, it would not have been permitted in that form. The joint venture which Caritas entered into with Centene was an insurer called CeltiCare. The CeltiCare website, until the Cardinal pulled the plug, listed various services with co-pays. In each of the three tiers of care, abortion was listed, with co-pays of -0-, $50, or $100 depending on the level of service. If you went to the “Who we are” part of the website, CeltiCare was described as being owned 51% by Centene and 49% by Caritas Christi. This was one of the reasons people were upset. Because of the start date of July 1, the venture had to sign up members. So, while no abortions or other services contrary to Church teaching were provided, it was clearly indicated that Caritas Christi would be an owner of the venture. The rearrangement was that CeltiCare is wholly owned - now - by Centene and Caritas is one of many providers - one that does not perform or refer for abortions. Had the original structure been maintained, Caritas Christi would have profited 49% to Centene’s 51% for each abortion performed. This is why I say that Caritas executives never vetted this with the “grown-ups” at Chancery. In addition, upon information and belief, the Cardinal’s representative on the Caritas Board did not know about this until he read it in the paper. I suspect that many other members of the Board who have bona fide pro-lilfe credentials did not know either. BTW, thank you for your defense of the Cardinal in this thread and others. Bless you!

Thank you for the clarification. The part that I did not understand is now clear. If I understand correctly, we (the readers) can assume that the many on this team were blindsided by what others were doing. So, in fact, there were members of the Cardinal’s team who were not for the venture as it was published in the press. In other words, they were caught off guard.

As to defending the Cardinal, Sean and I go way back. I can’t imagine him doing anything that would be contrary to Church teaching. This is a man who has given his life to the service of the Church and has been a model of obedience to the Church and to our Franciscan superiors.

I can see how he would try to find a way to provide health care and insurance to the poor. The poor have always been very close to his heart. In the mid 70s he, two other brothers, and several Carmelite Sisters of Charity rented two apartments in a run down tenement in Washington, DC. I still remember it as if it were today. It was a dangerous area. The team of friars and Carmelite sisters was determined to put an end to the violence by bringing the poor what they needed: jobs, health care, dental care, counseling, GED education, ESOL education, religious education, youth ministry, liturgy and sacraments. I was assigned there for a while, when I returned from the foreign missions. Sean opened a house for homeless men and another for homeless women. He got doctors and dentists from the community to donate their time to our clinic. The brothers ran GED, ESOL, and religious education programs for youth and adults. The Carmelite Sisters did the nursing and counseling.

This was where I discovered my vocation within the vocation, to start a community of brothers to do penance for those who commit abortion, minister to those who have been through this tragedy, counsel those who are considering it, and move parishes to support Respect Life movements with donations and volunteers.

After doing that in one diocese, I moved to another, and now another where we hope to begin another such Franciscan brotherhood. This inspiration came from the Holy Spirit through Sean O’Malley and Francis of Assisi.

This is not confidential information. Sean O’Malley’s history is all over the internet, including his blog and the USCCB.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

I hope this catches fire across the land.

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