Cardinal O’Malley releases statement on Caritas Christi’s proposed arrangement involving the Commonwealth Care Program

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley released the following statement March 5 regarding the proposed arrangement involving Caritas Christi Health Care with the Commonwealth Care Program:

“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.”