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Cardinal cautions Caritas health care agreement not final


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BRAINTREE - Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley released a statement March 12 cautioning that Caritas Christi Health Care participation in Commonwealth Family Health Plan, a venture that received approval the same day to participate in a state run health insurance program for low income residents "can only be realized if the moral obligations for Catholic hospitals as articulated in the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are fulfilled at all times and in all cases."

This is the text of the statement:

"While I appreciate the opportunity given to Caritas Christi to serve the poor through this agreement, I wish to reaffirm that this agreement can only be realized if the moral obligations for Catholic hospitals as articulated in the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are fulfilled at all times and in all cases. In order to assure me that this agreement will provide for the integrity of the Catholic identity and practices of Caritas Christi Health Care System, I have asked the National Catholic Bioethics Center to review the agreement and to assure me that it is faithful to Catholic principles."

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