Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Catholic Appeal Weekend

Welcome back to my blog!

There has been a significant amount of public dialogue concerning my statement yesterday (as copied below) about the proposed arrangement involving Caritas Christi Health Care with the Commonwealth Care Program.

To be perfectly clear, Caritas Christi will never do anything to promote abortions, to direct any patients to providers of abortion or in any way to participate in actions that are contrary to Catholic moral teaching and anyone who suggests otherwise is doing a great disservice to the Catholic Church. We are committed to the Gospel of Life and no arrangement will be entered into unless it is completely in accord with Church teaching.

Recognizing the complexity of the proposed arrangement, I will ask the National Catholic Bioethics Center to review the arrangement and to provide me their opinion.

My statement of March 5:

The Catholic Church’s teaching on the protection of human life from conception until natural death and its commitment to promoting a culture of life is clear and without ambiguity. Promoting a culture of life calls for us to protect life from attack and foster the welfare of all, especially the poor.

In recent days concern has been raised about the proposed arrangement involving Caritas Christi Health Care with the Commonwealth Care Program. I understand and support the desire of Caritas Christi to serve as a health care system collaborating with this program. If it can happen without compromising the Catholic identity of the system it would benefit both civil society and especially the poor in our community.

At the same time, as Archbishop I have the responsibility to insure that Caritas Christi Health Care adheres to the Ethical and Religious Directives established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and that in every aspect of the hospital system the teachings of the Church are protected and maintained.

Consistent with this responsibility I want to confirm for the Catholic community and the wider interested public that Caritas Christi Health Care has assured me 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. Caritas Christi has been consistently faithful to these standards in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

These are principles of Catholic teaching on which we cannot yield. Our healthcare ministry is rooted in protecting the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn. Our embrace of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ goes back 2,000 years and is built on a foundation of Catholic moral theology and a desire to meet the needs of all through education, health care and social service.

- – -

The Jews have a custom of celebrating, as we do, the Month’s Mind — a memorial one month after the death of an individual. Following that tradition, the Anti-Defamation League and the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington organized a memorial service for Rabbi Leon Klenicki last Thursday, which I was honored to attend.

As I mentioned in a recent post, Rabbi Klenicki was a great figure in the field of Jewish-Catholic relations. I knew him for many years. He was a man of God who was a friend of the Catholic Church and a bridge between the Catholic and Jewish community.

Rabbi Klenicki’s wife, Myra, and other friends and relatives were there along with a number of Catholic and Jewish leaders including Cardinal Keeler, Cardinal McCarrick and the Apostolic Nuncio.

After the service there was a reception and then a working lunch in which the leaders had a frank discussion on some of the recent events that have caused concern in the Jewish community.

20090227cnsbr00030

Rabbi Irving Greenberg of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

At the end of the afternoon, the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center held a press conference announcing an ongoing dialogue that they will be hosting to promote better communication and understanding between the Catholic and Jewish communities. The dialogue will reach out to a number of communities that are not ordinarily involved in the Catholic-Jewish dialogue, to try to make it as broad a dialogue as possible.

20090227cnsbr00028

- – -

On Friday evening, I attended the monthly gathering of college students and young adults at Saint Leonard’s in the North End.

YngAdultMass_3316566974_4

YngAdultMass_3315737981_4

YngAdultMass_3316567576_4

YngAdultMass_3315739095_4

They had a Holy Hour and Adoration during which there were confessions and then I celebrated the Mass. Following the Mass, there was time for socializing and they served delicious North End pizza.

YngAdultMass_3315741515_4

YngAdultMass_3315741625_4

YngAdultMass_3316568790_4

YngAdultMass_3315742245_4

We took occasion of the event to announce the next Eucharistic Congress which will be held on April 3-4 and that will also take place in the North End.

The first Eucharistic Congress took place last year and it was a great success. In fact, these monthly gatherings with young adults are a fruit of that congress.

Eucharistic Congress

The theme of the Congress will be “No greater love” and will revolve around Eucharistic devotion and service to the poor.

Please visit the Eucharistic Congress web site to read more about the event and the speakers. You can also register for the Congress on-line.

- – -

On Saturday Msgr. Joseph Lahoud, the Pastor of our Maronite Parish in Jamaica Plain, came for a visit and he brought a surprise visitor with him: Archbishop Edmond Farhat, the Apostolic Nuncio to Austria. We were able to give them a tour of our beautiful Cathedral before we left for the Hispanic Men’s retreat in Waltham.

100_1609

- – -

Some time ago I spoke with Father Michael Nolan, the pastor at St. Mary’s in Waltham, about doing an event there for Hispanics. I had suggested to him that he invite Father Mario Castañeda, who was my secretary in Palm Beach. He is a very fine preacher and has been very involved in the preaching ministry.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

Father Castañeda

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

Our Episcopal Vicar for Hispanic Ministry, Bishop Emilio Allué, was there, as well as a number of the priests and deacons involved in Hispanic ministry in the diocese.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

Bishop Allue

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

Four to five hundred men attended the conference — though the church is large it was quite full. It was a very successful day and as a result they are now talking about doing something similar for Hispanic women.

Perhaps one day this can grow into a Hispanic Men’s Conference and can be linked to our current Boston Catholic Men’s Conference. But, for now, it’s a start and it was a very successful day.

The Feb. 28  day-long retreat at St. Mary Church in Waltham delivered by Father Mario Castañeda, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., for Spanish-speaking men on thier roles at Christian fathers, sons and workers.  The retreat concluded with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

- – -

In the evening, I went to Boston College for an Evening Prayer with the Sant’Egidio Community.

SantEgidio3322090437_38ed0eff77_b

SantEgidio3322085963_e4c6d3d45b_b

SantEgidio3322920536_4ba034db3c_o

We celebrated a vespers service with the theme of the poor. Afterwards, there was a reception at which some of the members spoke about their outreach programs to children and the elderly in nursing homes in Jamaica Plain, Brighton and Cambridge.

In the evening there was a dinner during which we had an opportunity to talk about the work of Sant’Egidio. I encouraged them to involve more people in the group and become better known in the Archdiocese.

SantEgidio3322929258_2e51ba1d8d_o

SantEgidio3322927274_6695ceb5ee_o

SantEgidio3322095469_eab9a04a99_b

- – -

This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Lent and so, as we always do, we celebrated the Rite of Election.

The Rite of Election is such an important opportunity for those preparing to be part of the Church to come to the cathedral and see that they are not alone in their spiritual journey.

03A-RiteofElection2009_CRW_9216

As a matter of fact, about 150,000 people a year enter the Church through the RCIA program in the United States.

This rite helps emphasize the fact that, when you become a Catholic, you are not just joining a parish but you are becoming part of a larger community—the diocese and the universal Church.

RiteofElection_

The Rite of Election is one more teachable moment, showing that we are the body of Christ and that our mission extends back through the apostles to Christ.

In the early Church, the bishops celebrated all of the baptisms and it was a great sign of unity within the Catholic Community. That is no longer possible. However, in a Latin Rite it is still a custom for the bishops to celebrate the Confirmations as a sign of unity.

- – -

And finally, as many of you may already be aware, this weekend we launch our Annual Catholic Appeal.

The Catholic Appeal theme this year, “Responding to God’s Grace, Renewing Our Church,” is an invitation for all Catholics to join in this renewal through prayer, service and sharing.

AppealPoster2009_941x1448

In recent months, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the blessings of my first five years as Archbishop of Boston. I am thankful for the spiritual renewal that is taking place throughout the Archdiocese and encouraged by an increasing confidence in the future of our local Church.

These difficult economic times serve to remind us of how essential the work of the Church is to our lives and those of our neighbors, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. During the Lenten season we are challenged to respond to our ongoing need for conversion and our mission to provide for the needs of so many people who rely on the Church for their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

May God bless you for your generosity!

Cardinal Seán

42 Responses to Catholic Appeal Weekend


Comments

  1. Comment by Richard Chonak | 2009/03/07 at 09:14:39

    Thank you, Cdl. Seán, for calling on the NC Bioethics Center for an outside review of the proposed Caritas project. They’re certainly respected experts, and their independence will help assure everyone that Caritas is doing the right thing. If they’re able to issue a public report of their analysis, it can help to educate all of us faithful about the issues involved.

  2. Comment by Joseph Grece | 2009/03/07 at 12:05:45

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Thank you for very much for your clarification of the Archdiocese’s position on this important issue, and your reiterating that the Catholic Church’s hospitals will not direct any patients to providers of abortion. This of course contradicts what Caritas Christi themselves said a week ago, as quoted in the Boston Globe:

    http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2009/02/27/caritas_bids_to_join_state_network_of_health_insurers/

    “How will our female members be provided these reproductive services?” said member Nancy Turnbull, an associate dean at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Those are not services Caritas provides.”

    In response, Caritas and Centene issued a joint statement late yesterday that said the new venture “will contract with providers, both in and out of the Caritas network, to ensure access to all services required by the authority, including confidential family planning services.”

    This statement strongly suggested participation in actions contrary to Catholic moral teaching, and strikes me as the opening shot in doing a “great disservice to the Catholic Church.” The subsequent statement “Caritas is the appropriate agency to respond” by your spokesman, Terry Donilon, continued the disservice, and with all due respect, your March 5 statement also did not explicitly rule out referring patients to abortion providers.

    So, your latest statement is most welcome! Yet it’s still unclear how Caritas can legitimately be a part of a program that requires access to abortion services, but somehow avoid referring patients to providers of those services. Since there is some validity to the expression, “Those who lie down with dogs wake up with fleas,” I hope you can understand why many people remain skeptical that Caritas can have it both ways. I hope and pray we are proven wrong, or that you end this agreement.

  3. Comment by Concerned Catholic | 2009/03/07 at 14:01:52

    Cardinal Sean, I think many people are concerned about this Caritas situation because they see a contradiction here.

    A few months ago, you (correctly) told us that it was morally wrong to vote for a pro-abortion politician.

    But now Caritas Christi wants to form a partnership that promises the Commonwealth it will directly provide abortion services– and you say *that* is OK?

    I’m afraid I don’t follow that logic at all.

    Both actions seem to be about voluntarily supporting an entity that advocates for or provides abortion– isn’t that morally wrong?

    I don’t think it’s the case that raising this concern “is doing a great disservice to the Catholic Church.” Those are very strong words. Please don’t aim them at us.

    Sadly, this isn’t the first time that Massachusetts pro-life supporters feel that the Archdiocese has burned them. Phil Lawler soberly recounts some of that history in his book, “The Faithful Departed.”

    There are many of us who care about you, and the Church, deeply. We are praying for you and we are hoping that you can help settle this problem that has us all concerned.

    Peace.

  4. Comment by Anna | 2009/03/07 at 14:49:15

    Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

    I too agree that the characterization by you to that prolifers raising concerns about this venture are people who “do a great disservice to the Catholic Church” is most surprising.

    As a poster states above, the information that Caritas will refer women who want abortions out of network to get them, came from Caritas itself.

    If the teachings of the Catholic Church are that it is okay to refer a woman to a person who will THEN refer her to an abortion clinic, this is news to us.

  5. Comment by Mariah | 2009/03/07 at 16:09:14

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    In all times, both good and bad, people need to realize that the only way for our world to survive and be good is through sharing what we have with the less fortunate.I think a great way to help others is through donating to the 2009 Catholic Appeal.

    In my Religion class at St. Paul School in Hingham, we learned about the parable of the rich young man. A wealthy young man knelt before Jesus and asked, “What can I do to earn eternal life in heaven?” Jesus responded, “Sell all you own, give the money away, and after you have done this, come and follow me.” The young man however did not lisiten to Jesus. Instead, he walked away from him. From this eyeopening story, I learned that giving to others is what Jesus would want me to do. Through prayer and charity, I walk closer to God instead of away from him.

    Thank you for this weeks blog! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Sincerely,

    Mariah Ward
    Seventh Grade student at St. Paul School in Hingham

  6. Comment by Dorothy Maffei | 2009/03/07 at 16:20:28

    Cardinal Sean: Sen. Ted Kennedy has been invited to the White House by President Obama this Monday to witness the reversal of the ban on embryonic stem cell research that former President Bush had instituted. Will there be any repercussions by you for these continuous actions against the doctrines of the Catholic Church or will Senator Kennedy continue to receive Holy Communion with your endorsement. Jesus did not want us to judge a person’s soul but his behavior, yes. If Sen. Kennedy thinks that this research may help him with his brain tumor, he is sadly mistaken…not on the lives of the unborn. God Bless and have courage to do the right thing.

  7. Comment by GraceBlake | 2009/03/07 at 22:00:03

    Respectfully Cardinal O’Malley I would like to point out that your support
    of the proposed arrangement between Caritas Christi Health Care and Commonwealth Care will most certainly ..”compromise the Catholic identity of the system.”

    Cardinal O’Malley, by supporting the proposed Caritas merger with Commonwealth Care- “which covers abortions and family planning services” you are cutting a deal with the devil by the inevitable comingled relationship with a secular health organization. This venture will indeed compromise Catholic identity.

  8. Comment by Paul Primavera | 2009/03/08 at 07:38:03

    Your Eminence,

    Thank for for explaining your decision on Caritas Christi. I am certain that you intend for that organization to remain free from the stain of the blood of murdered babies. However, ultimately it is incorrect for any Catholic organization to seek contracts or other financial arrangements with Caesar. However well intentioned your decision is (and it IS well intentioned), the Church must remain forever separate of and independent from the grasp of Caesar’s power. Every time we entangle the Body of Christ with Caesar – even in pursuit of what we think is social justice and the common good – we submit a portion of authority from Christ (the Head of the Church) to Caesar. Catholic social service organizations should never, ever barter with Caesar. Otherwise, we give Caesar permission to tell the Body of Christ what to do. Catholic organizations should never make any contracts with Caesar, they should never receive any tax monies from the public treasury, and they should never support any endeavor of Caesar beyond the twin principles of (1) the individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and (2) the non-initiation of force. Now does this mean that the Church should remove itself from public political life? Heaven forbid! Of course not! Rather, by refusing to become entangled with Caesar over money and contracts, we preserve the purity of our mission (which is to save souls) and lend no legitimate room for Caesar to tell us what to do. Socialism is inherently immoral, whether theocratic or atheistic. In order for us to have a moral leg to stand on when we tell Caesar that infanticide and sodomy are evil, we must refuse all financial endeavors with Caesar, especially when they are done under the false guise of social justice and the common good. Without the individual right to life, there is NO common good, no social justice.

  9. Comment by Kathy | 2009/03/08 at 09:06:02

    Those are very very harsh words your Eminence since these “people” are only following their rights under Canon Law.
    In case you are unaware here it is – Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

    §2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

    §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

  10. Comment by Kevin | 2009/03/08 at 11:12:48

    Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you so much for seeking a second opinion.

    As a practicing anesthesiologist for 22 years in a Catholic hospital, I am now very confused about the teachings of the Church in terms of what is permissible and I look forward to reading the opinion of the Bioethics Center.

    Our pro-life initiative in was privileged to work with Fr. Tad when we were fighting stem cell legislation and can vouch for his doctrinal integrity and zeal for the Church.

    I’m sure you don’t recall, but we met once at a function near my summer home in Osterville when you were the Bishop in Fall River. I was most impressed with your humility and gentleness. I enjoy reading your blog and the photographs are magnificent.

    We met once at a function

  11. Comment by shannon m. | 2009/03/08 at 15:35:03

    dear cardinal sean,
    this weeks blog was great! i think the 2009 catholic appeal is such a good idea! i really liked the pictures you took of the church and of all the people who attended that day.i enjoyed learning about the eucharistic congress 2009.

    from,shannon m

  12. Comment by Kevin | 2009/03/08 at 17:44:12

    Cardinal Sean,

    I just found the below quote from the Boston Pilot which seems to adjudicate the matter:

    “Those providers are anticipated to include the six Caritas Christi Hospitals and approximately 33 other hospitals and 66 community health centers,” the statement said.

    “Caritas Christi Health Care wishes to make clear that at all times and in all cases we will observe the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the basic principles of Catholic moral theology,” said the statement.

    The document referenced by the Caritas statement “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” states that Catholic health care institutions, “are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation.”

    Material cooperation is a Catholic moral term that refers to actions of cooperation with evil that can sometimes be permitted if there are proportionate reasons.

    “In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers,” the document states.

  13. Comment by Kelly Callahan | 2009/03/08 at 18:15:38

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I found your blog this week very interesting. My favorite part was about the Annual Catholic Appeal. I enjoyed watching the video posted, it helped me learn more about what “Responding to God’s Grace, Renewing our Church” means. I am excited for your next blog.
    ~Kelly

  14. Comment by Caroline K. | 2009/03/08 at 19:29:59

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I am an eighth grade student at St. Paul School. Thank you so much for your blog. I think that the Catholic Appeal is very important to help those who are less fortunate and to express our faith. I will keep you in my prayers during this season of Lent. Thank you again for your wonderful blog. GBY

    ~Caroline K.

  15. Comment by Francis Marion | 2009/03/08 at 22:49:36

    Your Emminence,

    Praised be Jesus and Mary! I was very pleased to see your comments about the wonderful servants of God at Caritas Christi never doing anything to promote abortions nor directing any patients to abortion providers, or participating in actions contrary to Catholic moral teachings.

  16. Comment by Daisy | 2009/03/08 at 23:55:25

    I echo the concerns expressed by a number of posters re the apparent conflict of interest between Caritas and their partners Centenae.

    Re the Hispanic Men’s retreat in Waltham, what a pity the band was placed in the sanctuary in competition to what was happening at the altar. Does the church have a choir loft?

  17. Comment by Clara | 2009/03/09 at 18:32:38

    Cardinal Sean, again what a wonderful blog! I really do not know how you can do it all!!!I think the “No Greater Love” idea is wonderful! Our society is becoming more and more poor, but very few seem to care. This program is a great idea and I hope it is successful!

    Thank You!
    Clara K.

    8th grade St. Paul Student
    Hingham MA.

  18. Comment by Clara | 2009/03/09 at 18:33:07

    Cardinal Sean, again what a wonderful blog! I really do not know how you can do it all!!!I think the “No Greater Love” idea is wonderful! Our society is becoming more and more poor, but very few seem to care. This program is a great idea and I hope it is successful!

    Thank You!
    Clara K.

    8th grade St. Paul Student
    Hingham MA.

  19. Comment by Charles O. Coudert | 2009/03/10 at 11:10:43

    Cardinal Sean:

    If it is not too late, could you ask the National Catholic Bioethics Center to provide an opinion on a very closely related topic? I.e. the moral validity of Catholic Hospitals providing the so-called “Morning-After Pill” (emergency contraception) in their emergency rooms for rape victims. The Pontifical Academy for Life issued what appears to be a clear teaching on this subject (“Statement on the So-Called ‘Morning-After Pill'” dated October 2000) which was reiterated recently in “Dignitatis Personae”. We are told that the pill only could prevent ovulation (i.e. function as a contraceptive) if taken several days before the rape. Otherwise, when taken not later than 72 hours after a presumably fertile act of sexual intercourse, it has a predominantly “anti-implantation” function. This function is further described as “nothing other than a chemically induced abortion.”

    The press has reported that at least some of the six Caritas Christi hospitals stock and administer the abortifacient emergency contraceptive pill in their emergency rooms. State law does indeed require this, but at least a few of the Catholic hospitals my not be complying with the requirement on moral grounds. If the National Catholic Bioethics Center’s view on this question differs from that of the Pontifical Academy, this should be explained.

  20. Comment by Hannah | 2009/03/10 at 14:23:42

    Cardinal Sean,
    This week’s blog was very interesting. I especially enjoyed the part about the Mass at Saint Leonard’s in the North End. The church looked beautiful, and it was nice to see all those people there!! I can’t wait until next week’s blog.

    ~Hannah

  21. Comment by Gabriella (a student from St. Paul School) | 2009/03/10 at 15:28:22

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    You posted a wonderful blog this week! I loved reading about your gathering at St. Leonard’s Church. I myself went to visit St. Leonard’s Church last year during the festival of St. Anthony, and I thought it was one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen. I also went to have some North End pizza afterward, which is also one of my favorites. This was a very enjoyable blog to read and I can’t wait until your next one. God bless.

    -Gabriella

  22. Comment by Elizabeth | 2009/03/10 at 15:54:45

    Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you,Caridnal Sean, for another wonderul blog this week. I watched the video that is on this weeks blog. I very much support this cause because we do need to fufill the mission of our catholic church, and also Jesus’ mission. There are many people out there who need our help and do not have the gifts we have received from Jesus. We should share these things with them. We do not realize somtimes how lucky we really are. We may be jealous of our peer for having something we want such as a new bike or a new tecnology. But when we see that the people who are less fortunate, what they have, we begin to see just how blessed we really are. I know that whenever I feel jealousy toward someone or something that someone else has, I always remember that I have a lot of special things in my life, such as my family, my health, my home, food when I am hungry, but I could be someone who has nothing at all. This week’s blog meant a lot to me. Thank you, Cardinal Sean.

  23. Comment by Emily | 2009/03/10 at 16:39:02

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I think it is great that you donated to the 2009 Catholic Appeal.
    Sharing what we have with people who truly need it is a great way to follow Jesus’s example,especially during the Lenten Season!
    I am from St.Paul School and we really enjoy to read your blog!

    ~Emily :)

  24. Comment by Susie | 2009/03/10 at 20:01:45

    Hi Cardinal Sean! This is Susie, from St. Paul School, in Hingham.
    It seem like you had a very busy week. I don’t know where you find all the time in the week. What stood out for me the most was the Annual Catholic Appeal. It sounds very interesting. Thank you for writing this blog!
    ~Susie

  25. Comment by Paul Dang | 2009/03/10 at 23:06:26

    Thank you Cardinal for your great works. We are so lucky to have you as our pastor. I will try my best to support the Catholic program this year. God bless you.

  26. Comment by Johnny | 2009/03/11 at 16:47:14

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    My name is Johnny and I attend St. Paul School in Hingham, Massachusetts. I loved this weeks blog but the part I loved about the blog the most was the part about how you went to Boston College for an evening of prayer. I liked this part because next year I will be going Boston College High School. Thanks again for writing and I can’t wait to hear form you next week.

  27. Comment by Kate | 2009/03/11 at 20:25:42

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    This week’s blog was wonderful. I loved the video.
    I don’t know how you get everything done! God Bless!
    ~Kate Morrissey
    St.Paul School
    Hingham

  28. Comment by Colby | 2009/03/12 at 16:06:53

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I enjoyed your blog very much this week. The one thing that stood out to me was the mass that you celebrated at St. Leonard’s in the North End. From looking at the pictures that you posted, it seems to be a very beautiful church. I would like to attend mass there one day. Thank You and I can’t wait until your next blog.

    Colby

  29. Comment by Barbara | 2009/03/12 at 16:33:36

    Cardinal Sean,

    I’ve just read the news reports on the abortion referral services at Caritas. You have not been honest.

  30. Comment by Caroline J.M.S. | 2009/03/12 at 17:31:17

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Another wonderful blog! Saint Leonard’s is really beautiful. I enjoyed the information about the Eucharistic Congress, I thought that it was very interesting.
    I can not wait until next week’s blog!

    Caroline Sullivan

  31. Comment by Six plus two | 2009/03/12 at 22:17:02

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Our ancestors worked very hard to build hospitals where they knew they could get ethical care. This agreement with Caritas Christi and Centene, at best, would have employees at the Caritas hospitals referring women for abortions and actually driving them there. We all pray that isn’t the case. It is most distressing to read that pro-abortion leadres are perfectly happy with the arrangement. They must anticipate with relish what we fear.

  32. Comment by Donald P Galamaga | 2009/03/13 at 09:04:08

    Dear Cardinal Sean:
    As you are aware, this administration in Washington has chosen to politicize the issue of science and embryonic stemm cell research by deferring even our basic beliefs and values to alimighty science. The Caritas project thus, in this worldly context not only involves Catholic ethics but also the politics of material secularism. I am very concerned that our faithful and the political leadership will see this proposed action as a grand “compromise” with this overarching evil which is the emboldened culture of death that is forcing its way into our lives. As such, I urge you to reconsider framing this action in terms of the culture of life, so that its primary purpose is to serve this mission. Failing that, I would respectfully and prayerfully submit that it should be abandoned.

  33. Comment by Debbie Mangone | 2009/03/13 at 11:55:12

    Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

    Although I am not a Catholic, I hold the Catholic Church dear to my heart. It was at the Chapel of Mary at Stonehill College where my entire family received the Lord Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour while attending a Bible study. I have also been involved in Operation Rescue with many of my Catholic Brother and Sisters, and if it were not for the Catholic Church there would be very little pro-life movement in the United States. I applaud and admire the Catholics and their work for the unborn, but I must say that I have been shocked that an other opinion would have to be sought regarding Caritas and this health plan, anything involving in anyway abortion is dealing with the enemy, and you know that you can not deal with the enemy. God’s word clearly states Resist him and he will flee! Please do not fall for any of Satan’s tricks. Rick Warren let himself be tricked either through pride or twisting of
    God’s word to appear with the President at the inauguration. It was a confusion to many Christians, yes, we are to pray for our leaders, God’s word tells us to, but to stand with them, and be part of their administration, no. Rick Warren could have done that at his church in CA. I don’t know why he showed up in D.C. but I know that it confused many Christians, and we know that confusion is not of the Lord, that is Satan’s tool. Just as this vice with Caritas and this insurance is, it is only causing confusion in the minds of many. The Holy Father made it clear to Speaker Pelosi on her visit to the Vatican what the Church’s stand is on abortion, and where a Catholics’s stand should be there is no second opinion needed. It is not a gray area, it is clearly a black and white matter, right or wrong.

  34. Comment by Barbara | 2009/03/13 at 12:31:33

    I am extremely disappointed in your support for the Caritas Christi/Centene collaboration. I’m glad everything seems to be going well with the Annual Appeal and that you’re enjoying many trips and visits around the world and at home. Meanwhile, many faithful Catholics (those who are trying to conform their lives to the Gospel as taught through the Magisterium and who never learned sophistry) are devastated by your failure to stand up for a basic Catholic principle – the sanctity of Life. The Archdiocese of Boston, and you personally, have agreed to allow referrals for abortion/contraception/sterilization and you cannot parse that away. If a women wants one of these services, Caritas Christi/Centene arranges the procedure and even provides transportation if needed. There’s really no way around it. What are you doing this for? Money? Does this partnership bring in more revenue for Catholic hospitals so we have to compromise away everything Catholic? Is it for the ‘poor’? The poor already have access to abortion mills and contraception and sterilization and is providing all these things charitable in the first place? Has helping the poor kill their children, contract STD’s thru promiscuity, or mutilate the body that God created now become a work of mercy? Something has gone terribly wrong in the Church when her shepherds open the gate for the wolves. Cardinal Law gets a nice spot at a major basilica and business goes on as usual under new/old management.

  35. Jim
    Comment by Jim | 2009/03/13 at 15:54:40

    Your Eminence:
    Although I have never been in a transaction with Caritas, as a healthcare lawyer who has had business dealings with Catholic orders who operate hospitals, I can only express skepticism (especially in light of the press release) that Caritas has any real interest in following the spirit of Catholic teaching, but I fear they will grudgingly go through contortions to meet the letter of Catholic teaching. I fear that you, as Archbishop, will quickly find yourself in the middle and have to either (i) force the issue with the hospital, or (ii) discard your own integrity on the matter. I pray you have the strength to do what is right. (I really pray that my “gut” about Caritas is off base, but 25 years in the industry tells me otherwise.)

    For what it’s worth, I have come to the conclusion that healthcare in the USA today is simply big business – it’s not a charity and not a mission in any meaningful way. I strongly recommend the Church exit the healthcare business in the USA as the corrupting effect of money in this business overwhelms the good of the charism that once imbued the orders’ actions.

    The “Daughters of Money” (a name given to one order in a WSJ article some years ago), the issues of abortion, euthanasia and contraception, horrendously complicated civil laws and regulations with criminal penalties, added to billions of dollars is a recipe for scandal and evil – healthcare not a charity like it was 100 years ago.

    God and mammon, Eminence. It’s just big business nowadays in the USA.

    Pax te cum,

  36. Comment by John Jakubczyk | 2009/03/13 at 21:24:33

    You and I do not normally talk unless we are walking from the March for Life site to the capitol. so I was concerned when I first read about this Catitas deal. Then i was informed that you were submitting it to the NCBC for a complete review. That is a good move. They can make sure that there is nothing in the arrangement that will compromise you or the church or allow for the referral of women for abortions. As we all know the devil in in the details.
    Given the current political climate we must not allow anyone to manipulate the Church for it own purpose. There can be no material cooperation with evil and there can be no appearance of impropriety that could be used to hurt the church, women or the unborn.
    As always you will continue to be in my prayers.

  37. Comment by Michael Walsh | 2009/03/13 at 22:10:57

    I’m quite disturbed by the sophistical reasoning Caritas Christi and Cardinal O’Malley are engaging in regarding their cooperation with Commonwealth Care’s “family planning” and abortion services.

    When the Church becomes a silent partner in the State’s efforts to promote the culture of death we are far down the road to perdition.

    I hope Caritas Christi and the Cardinal will reconsider. My contribution to the 2009 Appeal will not be forthcoming unless a decision is made in favor of a culture of life.

  38. Comment by padraig breatnac | 2009/03/13 at 22:59:43

    I have always been troubled by these alleged Catholic
    service agencies like Caritas. Mother Theresa wisely
    took no money from government organizations.

    The trouble with the Boston Archdiocese is that it is too much concerned with the Church as an institution. One is reminded
    of the twelve apostles before being visited by the Holy Spirit.

  39. Comment by Therese | 2009/03/15 at 01:27:14

    Can’t help but think that any union of the two entities will result in a shell game. There is no way to build a wall that does not result in one part of the organization benefiting the other part that one does not wish to benefit. Accountants can play games with the money and put it in different buckets but the fact remains that if the Catholic side makes monies and those monies are shared with the other entity, they are aiding all activities of the other entity whether they want to or not.

    For example, the Catholic entity makes 100 dollars of profit that is used for the non-Catholic entity. The non-catholic entity is careful not to apply that 100 dollars to activities that are incompatible with catholic morals. So the 100 dollars goes into fund X and 100 dollars that would have went into the general fund now can go to the non-Catholic entity. It may not be the actual bills but the effect is the same. It’s naive to think that the Catholic entity can be part of a secular entity and not be affected by that entity. Over time the Catholic identify will be lost, people will resent restrictions and the Catholic entity will become shell game.

  40. Comment by James Downey | 2009/03/15 at 13:14:09

    Cardinal Sean

    A article in the Globe Friday 03-13-09 states that Caritas gave written assurances that medical staff orperating under the Centene-Caritas insurance plan will inform women of their healthcare options includeing Abortions. Caritas may not do the Abortion themselves but helping women optain the Abortion or transporting them to the clinic for the Abortion is just as sinful as performing the Abortion themselves

  41. Comment by Jim H | 2009/03/16 at 17:27:55

    Cardinal Omally,

    Your Health care plan causes confusion and and scandal. Especially in light of this news artical.

    http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=94289

    please take notice to the last couple of paragraphs.

    If I may from the article….
    “Last week, in a response to such criticism, Cardinal Sean O’Malley asserted: “Caritas Christi will never do anything to promote abortions, to direct any patients to providers of abortion or in any way to participate in actions that are contrary to Catholic moral teaching and anyone who suggests otherwise is doing a great disservice to the Catholic Church.” However, the cardinal’s claim was contradicted by representatives of Commonwealth Care, who assured state officials that their program would provide “ready access” to all of the services mandated by the government program, including abortion.

    Under the Commonwealth Family Health Plan system, abortions will not be performed at the Caritas Christi hospitals. But women who wish to procure abortions will be given a telephone number to call for information on where abortions are performed, and, if necessary, transportation to those sites. ”

    Jim

  42. Comment by Christine | 2009/03/16 at 21:02:32

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Thank you, once again, for writing ur wonderful blog.
    You helped me understand things about the Catholic Appeal that I was not aware of before.
    Thank You,
    Christine


Comments are closed