PUBLIC HEALTH COUNCIL APPROVES CARITAS SALE
CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE WARNS OF CANON LAW SUIT
The Massachusetts Public Health Council unanimously voted this afternoon to approve new hospital licenses for Caritas Christi Health Care---the network of six Catholic medical institutions affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston---as part of its sale to the Steward Healthcare System, a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management.
In testimony at the hearing which preceded the vote, the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts warned however that failure to provide "meaningful and substantive" guarantees for the continuing Catholic identity
of Caritas would force Catholics to seek redress in a canonical lawsuit before the courts of the Holy See.
The Catholic Action League called the current guarantees "manifestly inadequate."
Attorney-General Martha Coakley recommended approval of the sale to the Supreme Judicial Court on October 6th. In addition to a decision by the court, authorization must be forthcoming from the Holy See.
Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated to the Council:"Contrary to your presentation,
the Catholic identity of Caritas will not be guaranteed for three years. Under the termination clause in the Notice of Transaction, the new owners may end the system's Catholic identity at any time, for virtually any reason, unilaterally and without appeal, provided they are willing to pay the 25 million dollar buy-out penalty to a charity selected by the Archdiocese of Boston, which gives the Archdiocese a financial incentive to accept secularization."
"The loss of Catholic identity by Caritas will deprive the Catholic community of a health care system where Catholic medical ethics are practiced, will imperil the conscience rights of doctors and nurses, adversely impact charitable care for the poor and affordable access for all, diminish the community orientation of the hospitals and replace Catholic social teaching in employee relations with the free market law of supply and demand."