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Commentary: Caritas Christi’s Deal with the Devil – Part II

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LifeSiteNews.com

Commentary by Judie Brown

See Part I of this two part series.

May 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The events in the Archdiocese of Boston that brought about the unbelievably bad news regarding the “joint venture” between Caritas Christi Health Care System and the Centene Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri, continue to unfold at a fast and furious pace.

In view of the public reports that Massachusetts regulators had approved a joint venture between the two entities in early March 2009, public expressions of alarm grew. Concerned Catholics could not help but see that this union would result in Caritas Christi being complicit in some way with providing for, or referring for surgical abortion, medical abortion, contraceptives or sterilization procedures – each of which are considered unacceptable according to Catholic teaching and Catholic health-care ethics.

In early March 2009, headlines and subsequent expressions of serious concern finally led to Cardinal Seán O’Malley’s first statement on the announced business partnership. In response to the questions being asked, Cardinal O’Malley issued this 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 theNational Catholic Bioethics Centerto review the agreement and to assure me that it is faithful to Catholic principles.

The cardinal’s words might have set aside concerns for most Catholics if the fear had not persisted that an acceptable compromise was being forged in the shadows without all of the facts being presented by the cardinal’s office and/or the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC).

One observer astutely told me:

The legalistic fig leafs floated by the [a]rchdiocese so far cannot, and do not, conceal the glaring fact that, by entering into a partnership with Centene, and by agreeing to the immoral requirements of the Massachusetts universal health-care insurance program, Caritas will necessarily be doing and profiting from immoral services that are directly contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Another concerned Catholic wrote in a letter addressed to officials at the NCBC:

You should know that in March of 2008, Attorney General Martha Coakley in her role of overseeing public charities, released a public report with the assertions that the Catholic Church was mismanaging the Caritas Christi Health Care System, and pressured the [a]rchdiocese to cede control of the operation of Caritas Christi Health Care System so that an independent board with expertise in healthcare management can run it.

This indicates the presence of serious financial problems, which might have led, at least in part, to the inauspicious announcement of the venture and back room negotiations that were obviously ongoing.

It is apparent from what we have been able to discern that since the initial announcement of the joint venture between Caritas Christi and the Centene Corporation, details have been either vague or simply do not exist. We have further learned that as of this writing the NCBC has not issued any type of definitive statement involving the acceptance or rejection of the agreement.

Catholic Action League said it best on May 19,

In the continuing controversy over the decision of Caritas Christi Health Care – a network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Boston Archdiocese – to seek a state contract, which will require abortion referrals, there have been several new developments.

 

- On May 4, 2009, CeltiCare Health Plan of Massachusetts announced that Richard D. Lynch had been appointed Plan President and Chief Executive Officer. Based in their new corporate office in Brighton, CeltiCare is a managed care organization that will provide health insurance to Massachusetts residents enrolled in the Commonwealth Care program. CeltiCare’s participation in the Commonwealth Care contract comes as a result of the partnership between Caritas Christi and the Centene Corporation, whose wholly owned subsidiary, the Celtic Insurance Company, is the parent organization of CeltiCare.

 

- In response to an inquiry from the Catholic Action League, Brian Delaney, Director of Communications for CeltiCare, stated on May 11 that, “CeltiCare’s program has been approved by the Massachusetts Connector Authority. Under the contract, CeltiCare will be operational July 1, 2009, and will meet all the [s]tate’s requirements under the Commonwealth Care program, including providing family planning services as appropriate.” Assertions to the contrary by Cardinal O’Malley notwithstanding, this is the third time since February 26 that a representative of the Caritas/Centene partnership has affirmed that the Commonwealth Care contract will include abortion and contraception.

 

- It has now been more than two months since Cardinal O'Malley requested an advisory opinion on the contract from the National Catholic Bioethics Center. On May 14, Fr. Tadeuscz Pacholczyk, [d]irector of [e]ducation for NCBC, stated that, “The NCBC is not able to comment regarding on-going, confidential consultations. Your best source of information would probably be the Archdiocese or perhaps Caritas Christi.” Later, when asked if the opinion had been given to the Archdiocese, another NCBC official told the League “I’m not at liberty to say.”

 

- On May 3, at the annual convention of the Massachusetts Knights of Columbus, the State Council repudiated a resolution by former District Deputy Joseph B. Craven Jr. opposing the Caritas contract with Commonwealth Care. The State Council ruled the measure “rejected” and “out of order,” an impossibility under parliamentary procedure. State Officers claimed that an unnamed Archdiocesan official (reportedly one of the Cardinal’s two secretaries), stated that the resolution contained unspecified factual errors. Deacon John Baniukiewicz then told assembled delegates that “We can’t be more Catholic than the Church,” and “We can’t tell the Cardinal what to do.” The measure was defeated.

 

Catholic Action League Executive Director C.J. Doyle made the following comment: “It is clear that the Caritas/Centene partnership is proceeding with all deliberate speed towards the July 1 start-up date of the Commonwealth Care contract, while the Archdiocese continues its efforts to suppress Catholic opposition to the arrangement. Given the prolonged uncertainty about the nature, or even the public availability of the NCBC advisory opinion, one might reasonably surmise that the Cardinal’s request for their involvement was a public relations tactic intended to buy time and diffuse pro-life opposition. Catholics need to keep the pressure up on the Archdiocese to cancel the contract, and they need to keep Rome informed.”

According to the Boston Rescuer, Bill Cotter, head of Boston’s Operation Rescue and one of the heroic pro-life leaders of the state of Massachusetts “believes the archdiocese was taken off guard by the Caritas move. ‘But,’ he said, ‘there’s been a terrible loss of credibility for the archdiocese. It must forgo the potential financial gain and refuse this pact with the devil.’”

As we mentioned yesterday, American Life League is well aware of the health-care plans being orchestrated by the Obama administration. We are equally aware of President Barack Obama’s track record of using Catholics to his advantage and their willingness, for whatever reason, to be used. Obama’s relatively short history of appointments of totally pro-abortion Catholics, the Notre Dame scandal and other such events lead us to suspect that if the Archdiocese of Boston remains silent and does not demand immediate dissolution of the “joint venture” agreement, the death knell for genuine Catholic health care will have been sounded.

The evil that has gone unaddressed by Cardinal O’Malley, and persists in the context of unanswered questions and absent policies based on Catholic doctrine is scripted by the devil himself. Of that, there is no doubt.

American Life League cannot be silent while such a dastardly plan moves forward with nary a whimper.

It should be obvious that the Archdiocese of Boston could, either knowingly or unknowingly, become the first Catholic casualty as it falls beneath the Obama nationalized health-care bulldozer. Clearly if the Archdiocese of Boston succumbs to dollars over dogma, the end result could devastate Catholic health care nationwide.

As the wise director of Catholic Action League, C.J. Doyle, told Kathleen Gilbert of LifeSiteNews.com:

If Caritas actually intended to accept tax dollars while evading state demands for abortion coverage, every voice on the political left would be raised against it – in the media, in the [l]egislature, and among the advocacy groups. Instead, we have heard nothing but silence from the usual adversaries of the Church.

The only solution is for Caritas to withdraw from the contract.

If there is a morally acceptable justification for all of this, the archdiocese has not disclosed it, notwithstanding three months of raging public scandal. Not only that, but regardless of public opinion that there is little the archdiocese could do in this situation, our perspective is that there is plenty they could do, starting with revocation of the contract itself.

Want to voice your concern? Please do so, writing respectfully but firmly to Seán Cardinal O’Malley. Remember: time is of the essence.

Cardinal Seán O'Malley
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184
Telephone: 617-254-0100
e-mail form:
http://www.bostoncatholic.org/ContactUs.aspx

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PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received millions in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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