Pro-Life Group Asks Pope to Stop Hospital Sale

A pro-life group in Massachusetts is writing Pope Benedict XVI to step in and block the sale of a Catholic hospital to a secular healthcare firm. The letter says the multi-million pricetag can only be likened to "pieces of silver" as it will strip away all the Catholic and pro-life ethics in the Caritas Christi Healthcare system in Boston.

The Catholic organization asks the Pope to call for a cessation of all negotiations between the Archdiocese of Boston and Cerberus Capital Management.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
The Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City, Italy

Most Holy Father,

As members of the Roman Catholic Church, we are bringing to your attention an issue, one that threatens the mission of the Church in the Archdiocese of Boston in the United States of America.

The spiritual and physical healings of Jesus Christ, Our Founder, as brought to us in the New Testament writings have had an impact in our lives in many positive ways. In our quest to live better lives, the Gospel renditions of these events and of His life here in that earthly stay, are not only edifying in leading our personal lives, but they have formed the core of the approach to health care rendered in Roman Catholic institutions in our area. Caritas Christi, the very name of the Archdiocese's Health Care System, conveys the religious and philosophical basis for this approach to patients and their needs.

The Caritas Christi Health Care System here in Massachusetts is committed to our Roman Catholic Magisterial position respecting the sanctity of all human life from its biological beginning at fertilization to natural death.

In recent decades bioethical issues have expanded enormously. While they are historically centered on the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 legalizing abortion through the entire gestational period, there have been other devastating consequences as well. The over 50 million hearts, which have been legally stopped from beating in innocent developing humans since 1973 ranks as the most flagrant and tragic result of this cultural change in our country.

Unfortunately, however, medical and scientific research affecting human life in diverse ways, poses a multitude of new problems, ranging across the entire life spectrum. In-vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, chemical abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are very much on the cultural scene.

It is imperative that "the loving care of Christ", Caritas Christi, be retained permanently without compromise of any of the principles involved, for those of us who want to avail ourselves and our families of this approach to medical care in the Roman Catholic tradition. Because of a real threat to its very existence, we have undertaken this communication with you.

Under negotiations conducted with a multi-billion dollar venture capital business firm, Cerberus Management L.P., negotiators for the Caritas Christi Health System would allow for the ending of any Catholic identity in these medical facilities, after a century and a half of its presence in Boston and environs. That possibility should never have been allowed.

Specifically, the agreement being negotiated stipulates that for a donation of $25 million dollars, the Catholic identity of these Caritas Christi hospitals would be removed, and they would be secularized. Given the threats to human life across the entire spectrum which we have mentioned, this is anathema. The $25 million dollars can only be likened to 25 pieces of silver.

We, the supporters of the Coalition To Save Catholic Health Care, request that these proceedings with Cerberus cease immediately and permanently. The Coalition opposes all facets of the negotiations, having examined the ethical, moral, religious, and financial aspects of what has been involved in these dealings with Cerberus.

As laity loyal to the Magisterial teachings of the Church, we respectfully are requesting that the disappearance of the historical Roman Catholic approach to patients, both collectively as well as individually, never become a reality in health care in this Archdiocese of Boston.

These proceedings and the acquisition could be completed within months, and we remain available to present any additional information about the proposed transfer.

Prayerfully and with loyalty to the teachings of our Messiah, we ask you from the Chair of Peter to call for the cessation of all negotiations with Cerberus, and to renew our diligent commitment to retain the essence of what we, as laity, have obtained from the true meaning of Caritas Christi.

Caritas Christi must remain in Roman Catholic ownership.

Respectfully and with agape love,

R. T. Neary, Chairman
Coalition To Save Catholic Health Care

Copies: Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston
Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Papal Nuncio to the United States of America


  1. What's the point if Obamacare will force the people there to perform abortions? The monies will just go to awards and penalties of pro-aborts who will sue if they do not get those services. Because of that, all Catholic hospitals in the US should close; sell while they can and bring their charity to the poor in the third world who will still respect their consciences. This so-called pro-life group is dubious much like the Catholics who supported Obama last time.

  2. Rick, I have to disagree. My position here is the same one I took when CT was forcing Plan B in CT hospitals: The Church should tell the legislature that if they plan to force this on Catholic hospitals, the Church would CLOSE the hospitals, demolish the buildings and then sell off the land for nature preserves. Where would the government find the resources to replace that much medical infrastructure that quickly? Nowhere. The government would have to back down, flack to the Church notwithstanding. But such a course of action would require a certain amount of, um, fortitude that I think is lacking.

  3. I'm a little intrigued by the name of the secular body-- Cerberus? Isn't he the hound guarding the netherworld? Just a little weird.


  4. Mike in CT,
    If only our bishops had threatened that course of action. It sickened me when pleas were made from the pulpit over $$ management of parishes (which I think the state had no business in at all) but our Archbishop sold us out on Plan B. And don't think for a minute that Mercy Hospital in CO is the only Catholic hospital that allows privileges to doctors that do abortions at other facilities.

  5. Charles O. CoudertAugust 12, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    The letter says that since 1973 more than 50 million hearts have been legally stopped from beating. That is about the number of surgical abortions since that date. Pharmacists For Life International tells us that since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton the approximate total of abortions done by chemical, mechanical and surgical means is 276,675,000.

  6. Mike, your speaking my language, 'cept I've been saying that about the Catholic schools. But, I have thought of that regarding the hospitals too (okay, not the part about leveling and letting nature take it over but most of the rest). But then I think of all the sick people :(

    So, what to do? How about serious paring down of services? Why do the Catholic hospitals need to address "acute care"? This is a great expense and drain, of course it has the potential to make a serious amount of cash as well. How about a wing for the dying (hospice-like) and a wing for the "borning". An area for basic care of simple non-political issues such as broken bones and stuff like that. Also, they could involve a lot of volunteer care givers. Really, just a place for love in the time of need.

    Just hoping...

  7. Yes--Cerberus--the Hound of Hell. Wow!


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