Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Archdiocese Reviewing Catholic Network's Alleged Role in Providing Abortions

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

Boston, Mass., Jun 9, 2009 (CNA).- Further information about the Celticare medical program created in a Catholic health care network’s partnership with a secular company has renewed charges that the Catholic network will be complicit in the provision of abortions. The Archdiocese of Boston told CNA it is reviewing the matter.

The Caritas Christi Health Care network, which is affiliated with the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, joined in a partnership with Centene Corp. to enter into the state’s subsidized health program, Commonwealth Care.

The Centene-Caritas Christi partnership, in which Centene is the senior partner, established Celticare as a for-profit HMO to manage the Commonwealth Care contract awarded by the Massachusetts state government.

As of Monday afternoon, benefit information at the Celticare site lists abortion services for $0, $50, $100 depending on the participant’s health plan. Another Celticare document listing “Family Planning and Reproductive Services Providers,” dated May 21, gives information on four Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Centene and Caritas Christi each said they would partner with providers to ensure access to all services required by the Massachusetts Connector Authority, including “confidential family planning services.”

In March, Caritas Christi said it would ensure that its participation would be “in accord with Catholic teaching.”

Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley said Caritas Christi Health Care had assured him that it will not be “engaged in any procedures nor draw any benefits from any relationship which violate the Church’s moral teaching as found in the Ethical and Religious Directives.”

The Catholic Action League, a lay group critical of Caritas Christi, said the new information was “final and conclusive proof” that Caritas will be a participant in “state subsidized abortions.”

CAL Executive Director C. J. Doyle accused the Archdiocese of Boston of “cynically misleading” Catholics in the controversy and said Cardinal O’Malley should “apologize” for asserting that Caritas Christi will not promote abortions or direct any patients to providers of abortions.

CNA sought comment from the Archdiocese of Boston and was told the matter was “under review.”

Terrence Donolin, the Archdiocese’s Secretary for Communications and Public Affairs, referred CNA to previous stories, stating “At this juncture there is nothing new to report and no announcements have been made.”


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