By Kathleen Gilbert
BRAINTREE, Massachusetts, September 2, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Following a meeting with the local archdiocese, a Catholic hospital chain in Boston appears to have reversed its earlier position that a newly-acquired secular hospital would be allowed to continue its practice of providing contraception, sterilizations, and abortion referrals.
Terry Donilon, spokesman for the Archdiocesan of Boston, referred LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) to an archdiocesan statement in which Cardinal Seán O'Malley said he was "concerned" about statements appearing in the Providence Journal from both the Catholic hospital chain, Caritas Christi, and its prospective new hospital, Landmark Medical Center, indicating that the latter would not be required to abide by Catholic standards of medical practice.
But after meeting with O'Malley, Caritas CEO Ralph de la Torre announced that the chain wished to "clarify" statements regarding the nature of the agreement.
"Caritas Christi advises Landmark Medical Center, but does not manage the hospital," said de la Torre. "If Landmark Medical Center is acquired by Caritas Christi or by any company owning the Caritas Christi hospitals, Landmark Medical Center will function within and abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives."
The archdiocese had drawn criticism following the Journal report, especially in light of the fact that Cardinal O'Malley had previously vowed to preserve the Catholic identity of Caritas Christi, which is itself in the process of being sold to the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.
Several calls by LifeSiteNews.com seeking confirmation from Landmark spokesman Bill Fischer were not returned as of press time Thursday.
See previous LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Hospital Acquired by Boston Catholic Network to Offer Sterilization, Abortion Referral