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From Cardinal Seán’s blog

Posted: 3/13/2009

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(On Feb. 28) I went to Boston College for an Evening Prayer with the Sant’Egidio Community...I encouraged them to involve more people in the group and become better known in the Archdiocese. Pilot photo/ Courtesy Saint’ Egidio communitya

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.

Young adult gathering, North End

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

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.

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.

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.

Also in this week’s blog:

Attending a memorial service for Rabbi Leon Klenicki.

Hispanic men’s conference.

Rite of Election.

Announcing the launch of this year’s Appeal.