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At the 11th Hour, the Cardinal seems to get it right

After dragging out the process for a good, long, time (for no apparent good reason), Cardinal Sean O'Malley is to be commended for withdrawing Caritas Christi at the 11th hour from a joint venture in which an insurance company half-owned by Caritas would have provided abortion and sterilization to the poor in Massachusetts. According to the Boston Globe story, the insurance venture is now wholly owned by the secular Centene Corporation, rather than being 49% owned by the Catholic charity company as it previously was. According to the story, Caritas Christi's hospitals will receive patients covered by the Centene venture, as they receive patients covered by other insurance companies. Patients seeking abortions will be told that they must contact their insurance company--in this case the Centene-owned Celticare. Caritas claims that this represents no change from their previous policy regarding patients seeking abortions, which I would say is plausible enough.

Apparently, this means that Caritas isn't getting a contract with the state and is, rather, just continuing business as before. The contract with the state is now merely with Centene-owned Celticare, and Caritas can go back to doing things as it always did. That, at least, is how this is being reported, and I hope that it is true.

Some have implied that the financially distressed Caritas will go out of business altogether if it does not get this contract with the state. Naturally, I hope that this does not happen, though a Christian organization should certainly not provide abortions as the price of continuing to stay in business. If Caritas stays afloat without the state contract, this will only make the original intention to seek the contract with all its illegitimate requirements all the more blame-worthy and unmitigated.

Comments (41)

So, not even a thin acknowledgment that you prematurely jumped the gun and overly tolerant of the rhetoric employed against the man. Instead, a casting of doubt on his motives and the financial distress that Caritas operates under. Sad to watch, really. And now ypu're other thread is where we can feast on "cornered rat" diatribes from those who are enraged that they were not vindicated in their uncharitable verdict and disgraceful comportment.

Pro-life? Please.

Kevin, I don't know why I bother responding to you; I really don't. Jumped the gun? By no means. The contract was there and set to go into full, working effect in just a few days. It was what it was. It needed to be reported fully, and that was what I tried to contribute to doing. Indeed, you yourself were contemptuous of the original description of it, and now the nature of what that contract was, which you were incredulous of, is widely known and reported in the Globe. It is a matter of scandal that such a contract was ever signed. It is a matter of greater scandal that the Cardinal's office tried for so long to hold on to it and that he backed out only at this late date. The only credit to him here is that he did, in the end, back out.

Attributing bad motives to him? On the contrary. Insofar as I have any guess as to his motives, I assume they were good in themselves. Caritas is a worthy endeavor. Even if you are (as I guess that you are) conjecturally exaggerating the urgency of this contract for its continuation, I'm sure it could have _used_ the money from the contract. So he wanted the money for the worthy endeavor. But that was a corrupting influence, because it led him at first to agree to something seriously wrong, though you have never been able to bring yourself to say so. That's hardly impugning his motives, but it is calling a spade a spade.

I think a lot of credit is due to those who made known what was in this contract, to the incredulity and even unpleasant response from people like you, Kevin. They showed that Caritas was up to something wrong, and in the end Caritas evidently recognized this and got out. Kudos to them.

And Kevin, I'm wearying of you. One of my colleagues has already kicked you off his threads. I guess I don't have a real excuse for doing that yet, but be on notice that I'm getting tired of your obtuseness and your weirdness, and that I'm looking for one.

1) The Cardinal is responsible for rebuilding the Church in Boston. Without one there is no "pro-life movement" there. Period.
2) He tried to thread the needle - keep Caritas open while keeping it from falling under the state mandated abortion regime. Seems he navigated the course pretty damn well.
3)The nature of his office, personal track record and the conditions under which he operates called for giving him the benefit of the doubt. Not subjecting him to the kind of merciless thrashing that was recorded here.
4)That posture - patience, prayer and trust were rewarded. The predictions of a scandal delivered in purple prose fell short. Way, way short.
5) From the beginning, those proven faithful voices of Catholic Boston remained publicly quiet. Their silence was telling and a stark contrast to the Capuchin Abortion Services taunts.
5) The Church of Boston received a huge shot in the arm yesterday and nothing said here will alter that fact. Those who let suspicion and doubt poison their rhetoric should ask themselves; is there anything I can learn from this experience? Anything?
6)As for banning me; I understand.

Seems he navigated the course pretty damn well.

No, he shouldn't have agreed to the contract. The contract was a bad one and wrong to agree to. If he hadn't agreed to it, he wouldn't have had to back out. Navigating the course pretty well would have involved saying no the first time, not putting everybody through the scandal of watching the Church charity services contract to provide abortions and then say "oops" three days before the contract killings were to start. I don't know why this shouldn't be clear.

From the beginning, those proven faithful voices of Catholic Boston remained publicly quiet.

The diocesan charity service owned 49% of a company contractually required to provide abortions and sterilizations, and remaining quiet by Catholics is touted as a virtue? Not in my book.

the scandal of watching the Church charity services contract to provide abortions and then say "oops" three days before the contract killings were to start.

There was no ooops. He said from the beginning the Church would not be involved in such an arrangement and he was right. We do not know what the negotiations involved, nor the strategies he tried to employ but, again to say as was said multiple times in the other thread; that he was trying to have Church run hospitals profit from abortions was an obscene charge. And one that has been repudiated by the facts.

and remaining quiet by Catholics is touted as a virtue?

I said publicly quiet and eschewing the raging accusations that were scandalous in both substance and style. Men and women who know O'Malley and the circumstances that most Catholic hospitals will be facing sooner or later in this country, took another tact and prevailed.

O’Malley’s action yesterday drew praise from Anne Fox, president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, who had urged the cardinal to block the venture, but who had been less vitriolic in her criticism than some.

“A lot of people were slamming him, and we just kept saying we knew he would do what was right,’’ Fox said.

I will leave with this last comment. These types of battles are fought all the time at the parish and diocesan level and I have been in my share. From walking into Mass and seeing an AIDS quilt draping the altar, being told I can't take kids to a prayer vigil in front of an abortuary, to having orthodox speakers initially rejected at my church, and being told an an iman would speak on Sept 13 even as we mourned 4 slain fathers. Each and every time calm conversation won the day. I learned long ago sometimes all a shepherd needs to know is that he is not alone and abandoned as he struggles to keep the sacraments before his confused and straying flock.

Sadly in most of the cases above there were parishioners fueled by despair and anger who took another approach; heated email chains, blistering phone calls to the Archbishop's office and confrontations after Mass. Most leave the parish sooner or later and shop around, perpetually discontent with their new Pastors, fellow communicants, the music, the homilies and God knows what else. They are too impatient to stay and build, and instead lash out at the flawed souls that they are stuck with.

What you just saw in Boston were these same dynamics writ large. Anne Fox (and many others up there) got it right.

There was no ooops

Yes, there was. First Caritas owned 49% of a company specially set up to take a contract that required them to provide abortions. Then, three days before they were going to start providing, Caritas decided to back out and not own 49% (or any percent) of said company, not to seek the state contract it had previously been seeking, and apparently to return to the status quo ante. That's an "oops." That's a major and dramatic change of direction. He made a major mistake, and he waited a long time, and at the end, at the last minute, he corrected it. To try to portray this as some kind of consistent approach throughout is illogical, to put it mildly.


Thank you.

Neither Ann Fox nor Kevin is in the loop of what has been going on. The Cardinal was forced into withdrawing because when he continued to lie about what eventually showed up on the Celticare website and he could no longer deny.

This last minute eleventh hour kibosh was a squeeze put on the Bishop from the higher ups and from his colleagues in the Episcopal Conference. We have a Cardinal here, who, as CJ says, has to outsource his conscience. While denying abortions were a part of the contract and being contradicted in the public square - he pretended he didnt have the intellectual resources to figure out whether or not he could invest in the abortion business, hire abortionists, hire people to answer the phone and give the women the number of their abortionists and have NARAL on his board of advisers police Catholics. He insisted this deal passed the muster of the Catholic Church.

This is not a man acting in good faith.

He called in the NCBC to give him an opinion he could use against us and that opinion never materialized - even though intense pressure was put on them. In the final hours, while Anne's people were doing nothing and they had Kevin out here harassing those of us who were, we were on the phone, sending faxes and emails to Cardinal George, putting a great deal of pressure on some of his colleagues in the Episcopal Conference, contacting high-ranking prolife Catholics and putting the squeeze on Rome to intervene. We were spending the weekend putting together an emergency injunction on the deal.

These are the tactics that are victorious. Sitting on the sidelines while the Bishop says his abortion business passes the muster of the Catholic Church - not so much.

The fact that the Cardinal was trying to claim that his CeltiCare abortion business was a fabricated obscene assertion, the Celticare website and the paper trail at the Secretary of State's office vindicated who was telling the truth.

The fact of the matter is, the Cardinal does not have a good track record record here in Boston. I won't bore you with the litany of disastrous appointments, policies and decisions - his conduct in this scandal was hardly the first time or the ten time he has made irrational decisions. I asked a person claiming his experiences with the Bishop were wonderful to cite examples of his experiences since they were so outside of what everyone in the trenches experiences, we wanted to be enlightened. He said he watched him in the parade and he watched him on television. That's the mentality we are dealing with.

Ann Fox has worked hard in the vineyard over the years but MCFL has deteriorated to the point of if prolifers don't salute corruption, they have the propensity of throwing people under the bus for speaking the truth. They'e got to stop doing that because they are losing credibility and respect in the prolife community. What's left of them now is a Board of Directors, a banner. They better smarten up. Perhaps there really is, as Kevin claims, an underground prolife community that never says anything about anything - let's call them MCFL's invisible prolife force. If the unborn are ever in a jam, when the phone doesn't ring and they don't show up to help, you'll know it's them.

We are NOT out of the woods yet. We want to see the National Catholic Bioethics Center opinion and we want to know what involvement Caritas has with CeltiCare. While the article claims they have pulled out of the Celticare LLC, there is still a Celticare corporation that they have not mentioned. What is their relationship with the corporation? What are the formal arrangements with Commonwealth Connector? Does NARAL still have oversight in compliance as Caritas promised in writing? Has Celticare promised in any form a contract to carry out that promise?

We want the details of this arrangement.

And, we are DEFINITELY not done with the rat.

As soon as this has been flushed out to the prolife communities satisfaction - we are going to create a dossier of disastrous decisions of the O'Malley administration - all guided by the rat - J. Bryan Hehir.


Perhaps there really is, as Kevin claims, an underground prolife community that never says anything about anything - let's call them MCFL's invisible prolife force. If the unborn are ever in a jam, when the phone doesn't ring and they don't show up to help, you'll know it's them.

I don't know that the Cardinal was acting in bad faith, but if he was in some sense acting in good faith, then he was being deliberately stupid, which is hardly better. But I have to say, that quoted bit cracked me up.

Lydia, Glad you enjoyed.

Kevin is the poster boy for the kind of personalities left in MCFL. These same invisible people now trying to grab up all the glory, claiming everything gets cleared up when good people sit back and do nothing, are the same people who have been invisible up at the state house in fighting progressive sex ed programs for the last 15 years and did not, therefore, experience the Mitt Romney administration who worked against us. They are also the same crew who weren't paying attention when Romney illicitly forced Catholic Hospitals to give out emergency contraception (another win for Bryan Hehir and the O'Malley administration) claiming Catholics had no legal rights to practice medicine without violating their conscience. When Romney needed to pretend he was a prolife advocate - he handed MCFL 10,000 and voila, MCFL gave Romney a prolife award and threw everyone under the bus describing Romney's tenure here in Boston with the people actually doing all the work, the activists.

MCFL is never there to do the grunt work, they're consistent in throwing people under the bus who do - and they rush in at the last minute to claim they are responsible for good outcomes. As far as the actual prolife community is concerned - they do more damage than good.

Check out Michael Paulson's ("Articles of Faith" at the Boston Globe) post on his blog. Apparently, the stampede of people sining up for CeltiCare didn't happen. All the doctors (150 extra) the Cardinal and Caritas hired but has intended to fire all along - because he just knew he was going to pull out of this thing for the last three months - are not going to have their rosters full and so withdrawing from the deal after signups were over was intended to "mitigate the loss".

Gotta love it.

I am thankful to hear this news and for all those who are working for the protection of unborn children in Massachusetts.

Thanks especially for those reporting fairly on the facts, trusting that readers and listeners will be able to discern the truth by which we may help support and advise our leaders, even as they serve over us in authority.

Many thanks, and keep up the good work!

Kevin said: Each and every time calm conversation won the day. I learned long ago sometimes all a shepherd needs to know is that he is not alone and abandoned as he struggles to keep the sacraments before his confused and straying flock.

Perhaps it won in those battles, but there are myriad battles where it does not win the day. I watched my mother and father fight those battles quietly, peacefully, calmly and respectfully for 25 years while growing up. They (and several dozen friends around the diocese) never once won a significant battle in the parish, school, or diocese when I was growing up - partly because the pastor and/or bishop was confident that he was not alone in wishing these nutty orthodox folk, who wanted the faith and the liturgy straight up without monkey business, would simply GO AWAY. As often as not the priest was the instigator of the problem, not the beleaguered bastion trying to do the right thing. After a heartbreaking 50 years in the trenches, my parents gave up and moved to a diocese where the church is not dead, but watched from afar as 3 of my siblings who stayed lost their faith piecemeal until nothing was left.

I have been involved in many quiet and several noisy pitched battles myself. All I can say is, you have to identify the character of the person who will make the final decision, and identify the motive forces in his sphere. If he is a pastor who really does mean rightly, and doesn't care too much about reputation, then you really can just let him know he has plenty of support for doing the right thing and reasonably hope for good results. But if the pastor has been taken in by the modernist heresy, that approach simply won't succeed. And if your bishop is more worried about the newspapers than making sure he is a good pastor of souls, then you better plan on getting your battle in the newspaper.

Kevin, you will never be able to make a convincing argument disproving that the cardinal choose to unravel the contract at the last minute in part because of all the attention from pro-lifers (some obnoxious, some more circumspect) shouting at him from the roof-tops. Even if that public force really had very little to do with it in his own heart, the public fracas can never be proven to have little to do with his choice.

And that means that in assessing his actions to decide whether he acted well or ill, you cannot realistically claim that he acted well through and through without some kind of presumption in favor of his righteousness, i.e. granting him the benefit of the doubt. This is precisely what we ought to do in many circumstances. It is always a judgment call as to how far to grant that benefit of doubt. So reasonable people will sometimes differ. In this case, it was certainly reasonable to grant him the benefit of doubt at first. As time went on and he continued to defend the contract, that became more and more difficult, considered on an objective basis.

Kevin is right that if more facts were known, then we might come to a different conclusion. That too is an area that is subject to a matter of assessment. The bishops are known to have used secrecy (under the code names of "privacy" or "confidentiality") to obscure unpleasant little truths, particularly in Boston . If the cardinal wishes to heal some of the damage caused by this unnecessary "privacy" all he needs to do is hold up the spotlight to the decisions made at the chancery and let people see the process. We are not talking about character judgments like whether to promote Fr. Bill to pastor of X church, we are talking about a contract. You can't hurt a contract's feelings, and you can't be unkind to a contract. There is no reason for the process NOT to be public knowledge.

Monday, June 29, 2009 A current assessment of the Caritas Abortion Scandal On Friday, the Cardinal announced that Caritas would be pulling out of the 49% ownership of CeltiCare. The Archdiocese no longer owns the corporation that has contracted with abortionists and hired phone operators. This is a triumph to be celebrated and a miraculous one at that given the powers we were up against.

The CeltiCare partnership previously 51% owned by Centene and 49% owned by Caritas signed a contract with the Commonwealth to provide health care including abortions and family planning. All parties in the venture, Caritas, Centene and the Commonwealth have reached an agreement that permits Caritas to withdraw from CeltiCare but remain as providers of healthcare to patient's of CeltiCare, now wholly-owned by Centene.

However, upon the withdrawal of their ownership interest, they have maintained their working relationship with CeltiCare and has said, they will in fact, continue to forward the women to Celticare. CeltiCare has lined up the abortionists and the 24 hour hotline and had previously placed NARAL as a police dog for the enforcement - to police Catholic employees - even inside of examination rooms if necessary.

Just because the Cardinal agreed to force Caritas to withdraw their ownership of CeltiCare doesn't mean all of the above arrangements that were in the original contract have been withdrawn. They may be - but I don't think we've done the due diligence and obtained the confirmation.

Is CeltiCare managing the obligations of the original contract? If so, in this scenario, Caritas employees are still burdened by them - even though the Archdiocese no longer has an ownership interest in CeltiCare?

Are we to assume that the Commonwealth agreed to permit Caritas to be the provider and released them from the obligation in the contract to ensure family planning and abortion be readily accessible in the arrangement?

Without a peep from Planned Parenthood representatives on the Commonwealth Connector Authority?

Caritas CEO Mr. de la Torre has affirmed that nothing at all has changed - when the patient comes in to seek an abortion, they will be referred back to CeltiCare who has taken out contracts with abortionists and hired phone operators to accept the requests from the patients that Caritas refers to it, they will make the arrangements for the abortion and then pay for the abortion.

Aren't we missing some details?

We still don't know if this new arrangement includes an intentional omission of that first course of action and in its stead, handing patients the CeltiCare number. If we are to take Mr. de la Torre's comments on their face value - that intentional omission is built into these new arrangements.

Are we to be satisfied with this in our prolife community?

Giving the number of CeltiCare as the first course of action because Caritas and CeltiCare have agreed to do so in return for the money, this leads thousands to their deaths when they could have been saved. Isn't this the theological flaw in the contract we've been trying to avoid?

It's tempting to want to believe the new arrangement released Caritas from all the objectionable provisions in the contract. This certainly is implied in the Cardinal's and Caritas' statements. In reality, how that contract is being carried forward with all the parties remain mysterious. This is just too important not to insist on those details being made public.

Several people (reporters from the Boston Globe, from Catholic sources, prolifers in Boston, etc) have asked for clarification of the arrangements between all parties and the Cardinal has refused to make those details available. Since the National Catholic Bioethics Center has scrutinized this new arrangement we have asked for the report to be made public. If you review the facts as they are now, the Cardinal has not said that the NCBC has approved of this arrangement. The Cardinal thanked Caritas - who got them into the mess to begin with and thanked the NCBC whose comments have yet to materialize.

Now perhaps there is nothing sinister in the arrangements and the NCBC has approved this. If so, then the Cardinal needs to make all the contracts, partnership agreements and the NCBC opinion blessing this arrangeable, public. Until that time, we don't know what these changes are all about.

One more unpleasant thing needs to be dealt with in the post-mortem.

Though the contract had been long ago signed, the links on the Celticare website revealed, the Archdiocese had made contracts with abortionists and hired people to answer the phones, over 150 physicians and healthcare providers have been hired,the Cardinal continuously implying women would not be sent for abortions, even though Caritas had assured the Commonwealth they would and in fact the contract with the Commonwealth binds them to that promise, Anne Fox of MCFL is now claiming MCFL has always known the Cardinal would do the right thing and that is why they've been defending the Cardinal's false assertions for the last few months. In those few months - the conduct of MCFL activists is here and here.

The willful blindness, taking things out of context and full blown attacks upon people trying to bear witness to what is happening - the conduct in those posts speak for itself.

If you can't salute corruption, MCFL will throw you under the bus. They are not alone. For centuries now, whistleblowers have been treated as though they somehow got droped into an episode of Big Love.

It's time to put this dynamic out of its misery. This is the cause of the crisis that allowed the few pedophiles to fester into a situation whereby the problem could be hijacked to assert the word "priest" is synonymous with "pedophile".

We can no longer tolerate people who try to crush whistleblowers. People who do this in our parishes, in our communities, in our cyberworld and in our apostolates have got to be confronted and pushed back.

One victim of MCFL's tactics, Brendon O'Connell has had a pro-life television apostolate for many years that was somehow connected to MCFL. He interviewed CJ Doyle about the Caritas debacle (and I believe he interviewed Phil Lawler) and MCFL had Brendon's television program yanked.

This is the same conduct they have executed for the last 7 or 8 years, of recent vintage when Romney gave them 10,000 in exchange for a prolife award. When activists who had experienced Romney's tenure brought it to light into the public square, we all went under the bus then too.

They've got to knock this stuff off and everyone in the prolife community has got to put pressure on them to knock off. Firing salvos with the Cardinal at everyone in trenches that we are enemies of the Church is a hit to our reputation that is not only undeserved, it stalls convictions of people who have less knowledge of the situation and it stalls righteousness.

Every tactic has it's time and place. Crushing people speaking the truth has no place in our future. Let's stomp it out when we see it.

I was told earlier today a Q&A with the Cardinal produced by Joan Frawley Desmond will run in the National Catholic Register. I am contacting Fr. Owen and others in our prolife community to make known that a Q&A controlled and written by the Cardinal with Joan Frawley Desmond that will run in the Register is something the prolife community is going to be very, very upset about in light of the lack of transparency about the contracts between all the parties and the release of the "approval" by the NCBC. Having the Cardinal craft questions and then answer them while all the substance of the contracts gets left out of those questions, and the approval by the NCBC unpublished is unacceptable. Fr. Owen and the NCR are reasonable people and friends of prolife community and we expect they will see the problems with an arranged press release from the Cardinal.

If Joan Frawley Desmond is going to take our questions and get them answered, I'm all for it. We want to know the substance of the arrangements. When I get more details, I'll post them.

I just learned about the decision.Kudos to Carol. While I don't agree with everything you write, Carol, (attributing motive does nothing, prolly hurts, to help your cause) you are in there slugging it out and you uncovered a lot of facts for us. Thank you

And thank you Lydia. You were very patient, and calm, in the face of Kevin's actions.

The nature of his office, personal track record and the conditions under which he operates called for giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Kevin. It absolutely did not. When he forced the "Touching" Sex Ed upon the Parochial Schools, he forfeited any benefit of the doubt.

And as the orthodox authors of the complaints against this deal went public, there you were, daily, anxious to denounce them.

You are shameless, Kevin.

BTW, it seems as though all is not honk-dory:

+++++++++++++++++++++++ begin quotes ++++++++++++++++++++++++

The SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 2009

CONTACT: C. J. DOYLE, (781) 251-9739


The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today welcomed the news that Caritas Christi Health Care --- the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston --- has withdrawn, under Archdiocesan pressure, from the HMO CeltiCare, which it co-founded and co-owned with the Centene Corporation. CeltiCare was established in May to administer a state funded Commonwealth Care health insurance contract, scheduled to start on July 1, which includes abortion coverage. It was the Catholic Action League which revealed on June 8 that CeltiCare advertised abortion as part of its health plans and listed Planned Parenthood as a reproductive services provider.

The Catholic Action League called the decision by Caritas to withdraw from CeltiCare “an 11th hour, but only partial victory, for the thousands of pro-life Catholics who have spent the last four months bombarding the Archdiocese of Boston with letters, petitions, phone calls and e-mails. The League warned however, that any continued participation by Caritas Christi in Commonwealth Care would obligate Caritas, directly or indirectly, to make abortion referrals.

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated: “Caritas Christi has indicated that a woman seeking an abortion at a Caritas hospital will be sent back to her insurer. For Commonwealth Care members that insurer will be CeltiCare, which will not only procure the abortion but will provide transportation to the abortion facility. Instead of offering compassionate alternatives to abortion, Caritas Christi will still be engaged in a two-step abortion referral. Troubling questions also remain about whether Caritas has already benefited financially from this contract, and whether it continues to have an ongoing relationship with the Centene Corporation.”

“Other questions are still unanswered. It has been publicly known since the 27th of February that this contract entailed participation in state subsidized abortions. The Caritas Christi Board of Governors, which includes an Archdiocesan Cabinet Secretary, has presumably known this since the end of 2008. Why did Caritas, with Archdiocesan support, seek to secure and eventually sign a contract which they knew to be morally problematic? Why did Cardinal O'Malley castigate the now vindicated critics of the contract as doing ‘a great disservice to the Catholic Church’? Why did it take the Archdiocese six months (just five days before the start-up date) to begin to disengage?”

“Caritas withdrew from CeltiCare because it became a toxic public relations liability for the Archdiocese, provoking a firestorm of pro-life opposition throughout the country. If Caritas is to remain faithful to Catholic moral principles is must withdraw however, not only from CeltiCare but from the entire Commonwealth Care contract."

++++++++++++++++++ end quotes +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What exactly is the bishop's role in Caritas Christi. Is he supposed to run it? Most of the time these organizations are at arms length and intervention by the bishop is made only in extreme circumstances. I can see that he might have hoped that Caritas Christi would figure out on it's own what the right course of action was. At the end of the day he got it right. We need to try and make the most charitable assumptions about everyone but especially out bishops.

There is the larger issue of Catholic organizations being run by very world people. This is most true in areas where there is a high percentage of Catholics. Boston is one such area. It is hard for a bishop to demand a strong commitment to Catholicism from everyone in positions of power in such organizations. They would just fall apart. So what is a bishop to do? Convert them to secular institutions? Most of them have not gone there. They have some influence and they generally use it for good. But it is limited and sometimes these groups will do something that causes scandal.

So I imagine you called the Archdiocese office and left a message of gratitude and support, right? http://www.cardinalseansblog.org/

Or, is it more satisfying to judge from afar with a predetermined narrative than it is to build-up and assume good faith?

While, heat of the moment rhetoric is to be expected on a blog devoted to polemics the cyberspace ankle-biting on display was destructive and revealing. My gut tells me those who assume the worst are given to despair and are not responsible for any conversions, much less active in RCIA, religious ed or any other worthy ministry. I really doubt anyone here would want to have their own fidelity to the Gospels publicly held up in comparison against Sean O'Malley's.

I am grateful, but unsurprised the Cardinal kept his promise. Still, I doubt that this is a long-term solution. The moneyed elites, media and State will not relent. What deeply infects Boston also operates in varying stages around the country and soon it may be impossible for the Church to exercise the corporal acts of mercy through instutitions regulated by the State.

An Empire based on brutality fell when confronted by the delicacy of Grace. For that to occur again laymen have to engage in introspection and exchange harsh emotional rants for the spiritual acts of mercy. Otherwise, the complete cultural hegemony of the abortion regime will be ushered in over the din of ugly, divisive and misplaced accusations.

Thanks IANS,

Stay tuned. We've only had a partial victory. The only crowd satisfied with what has been divulged thus far is limited to Anne Fox and Kevin - and of course the invisible people who never show up to do or say anything except to claim victory.

If Kevin has somebody else satisfied with this arrangement - let him cite the names of those persons here for all to see. And, Kevin, before you go putting your foot in your mouth because you are not actually tapped into the prolife community - I'd be careful about what sound bytes you pull - because there's about to be another round of press releases from various parties that have been dogging this debacle.

We want the details of the contract. We don't want any more stories saying what the Cardinal thinks and what we think and letting people try to crack the code. We want the contracts involved so that we can scrutinize the substance for ourselves and make judgments and we want the opinion of the NCBC released.

The crowd is re-gathering to force transparency about the details in this new arrangment.

(BTW - I don't know what the Cardinal's motive is - I presumed it's money but that is complete and irrelvant conjecture. )

Stay tuned. We've only had a partial victory.

Carol McKinley is remarkably correct; unless and until we burn the good Cardinal at the stake, consider it nothing more than essentially a partial defeat!

BTW - I don't know what the Cardinal's motive is...

And here, I thought based on Carol's dead-set verdict in the previous thread that it was already a veritable & wholly justified, corroborated conclusion that the Cardinal himself is but a heinous rapist as well as blatantly malicious murderer of children.

Who would've thought that such a hastily drawn-out and, not to mention, calumnious accusation as this could have ever been subsequently deemed dubious by the horrendous homintern herself?

So I imagine you called the Archdiocese office and left a message of gratitude and support, right?

No. I didn't call because it appears to me, based on what I posted, and what Carol posted, that there are still unanswered questions.

Right now, the deal seems to still be on the Fritz, but, if everything ends-up Jake, I'll call with a message of thanks after The Cardinal apologies to orthodox pro-lifers:

++++++++++++++++++++ begin quotes +++++++++++++++++++++++


MONDAY, JUNE 8, 2009

(781) 251-9739


Celticare Health Plan of Massachusetts, which describes itself as “a partnership between Celtic Group, a subsidiary of Centene Corporation, and Caritas Christi Health Care” --- the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston --- has revealed on its website that all three of its Commonwealth Care health plans will include abortion coverage.

On March 12th the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, the state agency which administers the Commonwealth Care program for low income Bay State residents, awarded a contract to the Commonwealth Family Health Plan Inc. CFHP is a joint venture between Caritas Christi and Celtic Group. On May 6th, the partners established Celticare as a for-profit HMO to manage the state awarded Commonwealth Care contract.

Four of the ten directors of Celticare are officials of Caritas Christi, including Mark J. Rich, the Chief Financial Officer of Caritas, and Dr. Justine M. Carr, Chief Medical Officer of Caritas. The other six directors are affiliated with either Centene Corporation or its wholly-owned subsidiary, the Celtic Insurance Company. Caritas CFO Mark Rich is listed as the Secretary of Celticare.

Celticare also listed on its website the names of “Family Planning and Reproductive Services Providers”, including Planned Parenthood, to which it will refer plan members.

The Catholic Action League called the revelations “final and conclusive proof that Caritas Christi will be a participant in state subsidized abortions.”

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated: “This is the fourth time since February 26th that the Caritas/Centene partnership has indicated that abortion will be part of its Commonwealth Care contract. The question of Caritas Christi’s involvement in practices which violate fundamental Catholic moral teaching has now been answered repeatedly and definitively. Four officials of Caritas Christi serve on the board of a health maintenance organization (jointly founded by Caritas and its partner Celtic Group) which will refer women to Planned Parenthood for taxpayer funded abortions, as part of a government program which requires abortion coverage.”

“It is now unmistakably clear that the Archdiocese of Boston has spent the last three months cynically misleading Catholics in this controversy. The time is long overdue for Cardinal O’Malley to apologize for his assertion of March 6th that ‘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.’ ”

++++++++++++++++++++++ end quotes ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Or, is it more satisfying to judge from afar with a predetermined narrative than it is to build-up and assume good faith?

Kevin. I had no predetermined narrative and I do not see how those faithful orthodox Christians who opposed this venture can be charged by you with bearing a predetermined narrative.

Who knows, maybe that is just your clever way of saying those who publicly opposed the Cardinal bore false witness. If that is what you intend to say, just say it.

As it now stands, it seems to me that it has been you who has the predetermined narrative to snark, criticise, obfuscate, and play your little rhetorical games, while the faithful orthodox Christians have been responding to real world events in real time vis a vis this abomination of a deal.

Be a man. Say what you want to say and say it simply and clearly.

And then apolgise for your behavior during the entire time this (still not yet done)abomination has played-out publicly.


Those who accused the Cardinal of being a contract killer, gangster and abortion profiteer bore false witness. That is obvious.

Stating that isn't shameful or unmanly. Not seeing it or playing along is.

Now, you want to arrange both our Pastors to compare notes? Ask Lydia for my email. She has permission to give it to you. Love to learn how faithful you are at the parish level.0r is your Pastor a morally corrupt man too and one you hold in contempt?

I like to zero in on a question. So here's the question I would zero in on: Is it true that the Caritas hospitals previously referred patients seeking abortions back to their own insurers and gave them the number of their own insurers, without regard to whether the insurers provided abortions? To tell you the truth, I would probably not be inclined to regard this practice in itself as the same thing as referring for an abortion. However, if this isn't what the hospitals used to do and they are doing it now, or if they are doing it w.r.t. people insured under this plan for the poor but not under other plans, or if they used to not do it if the insurer provided abortions but are now ditching that requirement, then there is a movement in the wrong direction going on.

Oh, here's another question to zero in on: Who provides the transportation "if necessary"? Is it Centene or the Caritas hospital? The contract as I've heard it would seem to indicate the former, meaning that now that Caritas no longer is a party to the contract, they don't provide such transportation. But it would be good to get this verified.


A few things.

First, in general, when a woman expresses to her primary care physician in a Catholic facility that she would like to terminate the pregnancy - no, Catholic physicians in Catholic hospitals do NOT respond to them by saying we don't do those here but call your insurance company and they'll give you the number of somebody who'll take care of that for you.

There is an indelible moral code that prevents Catholics from responding in such a ridiculous way. Imagine how ludicrous a similar response would be if a patient visiting a Caritas facility in Nevada told his primary care he felt the lack of a sexual relationship in his life was causing him physical ailments and emotional problems and does the hospital have a brothel to relieve the symptoms.

Catholic hospitals respond to a woman by counseling her with alternatives to abortion and referring her to life-supporting apostolates. If a patient is counseled compassionately and righteously and she still says I'm getting an abortion - after all counseling has been exhausted - of course at that point, a Catholic is relieved of the duty and it would be allowable to say, "I'm sorry, we have no information here about abortions. You'll have to contact your insurance company".

It's clear that Caritas has been violating ethics for a long time. It is incumbent upon the prolife community to change this policy and we are determined to make those changes happen.

With respect to the Caritas situation, let's be clear about our remaining concerns.

We don't object that Catholic hospitals be providers to Blue Cross or Commonwealth Care patients.

The difference here is Blue Cross did not force Caritas to give them written assurances to provide abortions or find somebody to provide abortions and shuffle women to those abortionists. The situation didn't compel them to find a partner to infuse cash into a new corporation to make contracts with abortionists and hire people to answer the phones, put NARAL as the Advisory Board to police it. There is no signed contract in play between Caritas and Blue Cross with these stipulations.

The ownership interest Caritas took in the partnership was not the primary ethical flaw. The primary ethical flaw was bidding on the contract in the first place, setting up all the contracts and people to carry out the abortions and promising to send the women to them as the first line response to a woman asking for an abortion. With this kind of an arrangement, there is an inherent willful omission.

Just because Caritas pulled out their ownership interest, the contract and all it's obligations didnt go away, neither did the corporation Caritas brought in to carry out all the moral evils so they could win the contract. Further, Caritas remains in this dynamic as the primary care physicians.

We do not know whether Caritas, the Commonwealth and Celticare have agreed to carry out those stipulations in the new arrangement. On the face of the statements being made, in fact, it appears the promises are being carried forward. We do not know if our Catholic healthcare workers are going to be burdened in this arrangement because we have no information whatsoever on what the arrangement is.

This is insufficient.

If we are not bound to the stipulations of the original contract in this new arrangement between all the parties, then the Cardinal and Caritas need to disclose those details and give us the proof - along with the opinion of the National Catholic Bioethics Center. That is the current state of affairs. But, there is more secrecy.

There is already emergency contraception laws here in Massachusetts. I'm assuming Caritas calls a taxi if the situation calls for it. The difference is now, the contract Caritas bid on - and has brought in Celticare to carry out, will now pay for that transportation.

Now, you want to arrange both our Pastors to compare notes?

No, Kevin. No I don't. What I have come to know of you in here is sufficient for the day.

I bear you no ill will but I really don't think you have anything to write that is worth responding to.

God Bless you and yours.

Now, you want to arrange both our Pastors to compare notes?

No, Kevin. No I don't.

Somehow, I don't think it's the notes from the pastor that reflect how Kevin's conduct manifests itself on the parish level - but more the people in the pews. (or those who fled to surrounding parishes to get away from his demonstrable cool, calm, rational, non-judgmental and charitable approach to those protecting the welfare of the Sacraments and children).

I digress.

I neglected to add to my post above that I believe we have an ancillary conundrum that revealed itself when Catholics reported the ethical flaws and the dangers of the situation. The use of the media, an apostolate and media sources to willfully create of confusion, obsfucation and discrediting and maligning people who are reporting factual information. You see, I find it almost impossible to believe that several hundred thousand prolifers could identify the primary ethical flaw in the situation in the first five minutes that Dr. John Haas and Fr. Tad from the National Catholic Bioethics Center were unable to detect the primary ethical flaw after four months of intense scrutiny of the arrangement. I also find it impossible to believe the NCBC neglected to report this primary ethical flaw to the Cardinal.

There was a lot of flapping of wings on a Friday night press release and they got out of Dodge on a 7:30 flight with the Cardinal blowing kisses - but after the victory party we woke up Saturday morning realizing Catholics in Boston actually don't know their findings.

This is important factor to know because it adds to the index of the willful deceptions going on up at the Chancery. And, willful deception is not something the people of Boston want to tolerate - for reasons I don't think any of us need to catalog.

Therefore, we have come to a place where we now, instead of getting quotes about the Cardinals thoughts and then getting quotes from prolife activists without the material substance of to examine so we can all make a judgment in the matter is upon us.

And here, I thought based on Carol's dead-set verdict in the previous thread that it was already a veritable & wholly justified, corroborated conclusion that the Cardinal himself is but a heinous rapist as well as blatantly malicious murderer of children.

May I ask a pointed question?

By any chance, were you the author of the infamous document advising George Bush about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

I bear you no ill will

Didn't say you did. After being told "no child is safe with you in the room", motives became unimportant. Instead I was struck by the monumental task facing those responsible for rebuilding the Church in Boston. Scourging the public figure most entrusted with that task is merely reopening the wounds of Christ and allowing past hurts to generate new ones.

Didn't say you did. After being told "no child is safe with you in the room", motives became unimportant. Instead I was struck by the monumental task facing those responsible for rebuilding the Church in Boston. Scourging the public figure most entrusted with that task is merely reopening the wounds of Christ and allowing past hurts to generate new ones.

This drivel belongs on Big Love. It's clear the Cardinal covers up corruption with lies, uses sound bytes in the press to deliberately and willfully misrepresent what is happening, he uses people and apostolates to say things and do things to cover up the corruption and tweak the situation to get praise for doing it all. And, he has Kevin and others out in cyberspace lying for him trying to intimidate with bullying and slander.

Children are not safe in this environment - and I am marching forward to continue to demonstrate the Cardinal's conduct in this debacle and portray the situation as one where sexual abuse would be handled with the same dynamics. Certainly, killing children is more serious and raping them and, the Cardinal has just demonstrated what he does when allegations about corruption are put on his desk.

By the way, Anne Fox now appears to be joining me in the realization there is a problem with the new arrangement:


As I said, stay tuned.

If abortions were not involved in the arrangement, why wouldn't Caritas be direct providers for Commonwealth Care?

Any schmoe doctor can apply to be a provider for blue cross. Any hospital can apply to be providers for blue cross.

Caritas had to bring in CeltiCare so they could say they would provide abortions and other moral evils the Cardinal wouldn't dare perform himself. Being such a holy, holy person that he is, he decided he could approve the go ahead for being a provider to Commonwealth Care with the written promises to provide abortions so long as he and Ralph de la Torre rounded up the abortionists and created another business to flow the women in and out of - CeltiCare. Like when the mafioso needs a contract to kill somebody, they round up people to do it. That's what you call holy, holy, holy.

"We do need to look at it further. But the pulling out from being involved in the organization that would be sponsoring abortions is a huge step," Anne Fox of Citizens For Life said.

Caritas is still sponsoring the abortions, that is why CeltiCare is still involved. Otherwise, the hospitals could be providers like Joe chiropractor. Commonwealth Care doesn't expect Joe chiropractor to do abortions do they.

Caritas doesn't need CeltiCare. Caritas could be a provider for Commonwealth Care just like Joe chiropractor. What are they still doing around?

Do you suppose they're still around because the contract they signed that included providing abortions and CeltiCare whom they set up to provide those abortions is rolling out today?

What is the contract?

What did the National Catholic Bioethics Center say about the current arrangment.

Nobody knows.

Even Anne Fox has to admit there is a problem. MCFL is damaging to prolife activism. They mean well, they're nice people - but they have the cult mentality that will fire salvos at people who bring forth allegations of corruption, because they want the illusion that they are powerful people. They are being deluded, they are deluding themselves and they are deluding others - people stalled judgments on this because of MCFL. They're tools who can be used when somebody comes along with a 10,000 or a miter. More importantly, they have Kevin out there doing damage to righteous people.

This cannot and will not be tolerated.

Hey Lydia,

by any chance is our friend "Kevin"'s or aristocoles IP addresses originating from Maryland?

This is extremely important.

Can you email me at cmmckinley@aol.com as soon as possible please?

Chevy Chase, Maryland?

Surely, such an act of divulgence would be a blatant violation of privacy, no?

Our dockets are cleared anyway for the rest of this month; I shall, like the illustrious Thomas More himself, wade bravely through this vile villainy that is this modern Westminster inquisition, with Carol M. McKinley who is most assuredly its inimical Cromwell.

Clearly, you are no servant of Christ; for Christ acts on behalf of the Innocent (such as the precious babes murdered by Lucifer's henchmen). Yet, you have no concept of such a thing as you dare actually deal in sheer calumny and extreme malice merely to achieve your ends, no matter those innocent you would violently crush to do so!

Go forth, 'Lucifer' in disguise and teach us all exactly this Culture of Death that you ironically yourself actually promote and stand for!

You said you knew classmates of mine from college(where?) and spoke to the Friars of the Renewal about me. Are you now admitting that too was untrue?


There is no dispute that what you see, I see the opposite. Clearly our spiritual worlds are diametric - and oppose each other's.

I don't know what you possibly could be inferring with all your assertions that I have some kind of personal "end" I am trying to achieve. What are the achievements you believe I'm after in this grand conspiracy of mine?

Avoiding laundry?

Making a chump out of the Cardinal in the hopes the Vatican will crown me as Bishop of Boston?

Trying to find out whether you are the same delusional individual telling George Bush there were weapons of Mass destruction in Iraq?

Indulge me. What "end" am I after?

Surely, such an act of divulgence would be a blatant violation of privacy, no?

No. I believe at this juncture, I have a right to know who my accusers are?

I should think that since you and "Kevin" have presented yourselves in these threads as people sitting at the table with the Cardinal hammering this thing out with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and Anne Fox - and were privy to internal details -- and the conduct contained in these threads -- your identity would be a critical part of the story. If this conduct can be traced to the Cardinal's inner circle to retaliate and intimidate against someone bringing factual information into the light of day - there is going to be a lot of commotion.

Should you two clowns get to present yourselves as Chancery insiders and perform in these ways anonymously and get away with it?

I think the time has come and gone that we coddle this kind of conduct.

I think not.


I've been around as an activist for a couple of decades. There are a couple of handfuls of people in the nation who act as you act. I thought I recognized the shtick and I did run your names by my contacts at the FFotR. Most certainly the FFotR need to be apprised of your names and your conduct and the dangers they represent to the faithful.

After your carryings on here, if you are working in a church ministry, I believe the conduct is offensive enough to be reported. You are a threat to whistleblowers and bullying whistleblowers was the problem and remains the problem in the Catholic Church. If you are, in any way, shape, or form, in the Cardinal's inner circle - I believe everyone has the right to this information.


A person who would engage in outright malice as you clearly do (especially with regards to my own person which you continue to do so in sheer unmitigated calumny and libel) are no protector of the innocent; indeed, you are but nothing but a contingent of Lucifer but are under the delusion that so long as your objective is seemingly virtuous, you have free reign to attack even those innocent who simply do not share your villainy nor dare espouse it.

And for your information, I don't even actually know the ever illustrious "Kevin" nor am I a pawn of the 'good' Cardinal himself; and, once more, as for your many other wicked lies as to my being merely another pawn of the insidious church; I warn you, watch your continued streams libelous refrains about my person, else I shall wreak such vengeance upon you, no attorney or court in the land will serve your refuge -- rather, it shall be the means by which the Lord Himself will give you yours and swift Justice shall be served!

The more dangerous and insidious of villains are those demons who merely disguise themselves in such cloaks of virtue; you, malicious minion, are no Christian. You serve a wholly differnt master!

Here we are in those two different worlds again!!

Your veiled legal threats are entertaining. However, I've got more news for you: Aristocoles is dead. Your reputation, whoever you are, has not been harmed in the least. On the contrary. I've been out here using my real name and there are two streams of threads making accusations against my motives and my character -- and, implying you and Kev and the Cardinal and the Friars and Anne Fox were at the table hammering this thing out.

Lawyers have a reputation for being shameless - but stupid, they are not. The laws of record are not in your favor.

Once again, assuming you are not Aristocoles back from the dead, I believe your conduct to be worthy of finding the whereabouts of both of your IP addresses.

Today is a sad day for this blog. The rank enmity between Catholics and Catholic sympathizers on display here is disgusting.

Brett, you're right. I'm shutting down comments on the thread.

There is a sad irony that plays throughout this entire thread, and it is of a grand and tragic sort because its participants are unaware that they are actors in it. If you can't see it, take a few days off and come back. I read every one of the writers here with enough charity to assume that they can't possibly mean what they have said here.

Are there really none here that can sympathize with Kevin's initial reaction? Or are you afraid of never being able to be teach a CCD class if you do? Forget the ensuing polemic--can no one see the yawning pitfall he rightly warns you about concerning the tone of all of these comments? Sure he's surly (I can call him that because he called me it first), but if you are unable to at least sympathize with his position I'm not sure you could possibly understand Catholicism.

Extra ecclesia nula salus entails at least sympathizing with his concern, even when you reluctantly disagree with his advice. Something extra ecclesia nula salus certainly means, is that one should never so relish the work being done here as some Catholics seem to relish it. We say, outside the Church there is no salvation, and the present discussion is about the leaks in the Church's roof. Are we to be so eager in our search for leaks? Please, let us do it well, but it should not be done with such relish. There is a certain sort of Catholic who cherishes searching for leaks in the Church's roof. By some weird progression, a sad necessity can easily turn into a perverse pleasure. Like soldiers that are sad when the war is over, they may not admit it, but it is the leaks that give them joy, it is the leaks and not the Church that give them meaning. They spend their whole day on the rooftops, laboring with a magnifying glass, content never again to re-enter the Church from which they issued forth. This is the same sort, too, that finds cracks in sound patches of roofing.

Now Carol, I don't know anything about you but am hoping that your rhetoric has gotten the best of you. The above is a general warning that any Catholic should have the humility to swallow and it is queued by all of the "I"s and "We"s in this thread--"we" I'm assuming means "true Catholics" not fawning Bishop sycophants? In this regard, the "I'm marching forward" talk is also concerning. There also seems to be a very unhealthy disdain for your fellow Catholics who are not "in the trenches." Is yours the only way? Do you also think monasticism is cowardice?

Oh, one more thing, before I shut down comments: I would never do as Carol requests and reveal to another commentator personal information which is available only to contributors and blog administrators. To do so would be a blatant violation of Internet ethics. IP addresses and other personal info. are kept private and used only for the blog's own purposes--for example, if the blog needs to ban a commentator for bad conduct. Carol, I request that you never again ask me for such information. That request is totally out of line. I want our readers and commentators to be assured that their private information is safe at W4.

I apologize for letting that slip by. I have had guests today and not been as blog-obsessed as usual and just now saw that inappropriate request.