His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
The Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City, Italy
Most Holy Father,
As members of the Roman Catholic Church, we are bringing to your attention an issue, one that threatens the mission of the Church in the Archdiocese of Boston in the United States of America.
The spiritual and physical healings of Jesus Christ, Our Founder, as brought to us in the New Testament writings have had an impact in our lives in many positive ways. In our quest to live better lives, the Gospel renditions of these events and of His life here in that earthly stay, are not only edifying in leading our personal lives, but they have formed the core of the approach to health care rendered in Roman Catholic institutions in our area. Caritas Christi, the very name of the Archdiocese's Health Care System, conveys the religious and philosophical basis for this approach to patients and their needs.
The Caritas Christi Health Care System here in Massachusetts is committed to our Roman Catholic Magisterial position respecting the sanctity of all human life from its biological beginning at fertilization to natural death.
In recent decades bioethical issues have expanded enormously. While they are historically centered on the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 legalizing abortion through the entire gestational period, there have been other devastating consequences as well. The over 50 million hearts, which have been legally stopped from beating in innocent developing humans since 1973 ranks as the most flagrant and tragic result of this cultural change in our country.
Unfortunately, however, medical and scientific research affecting human life in diverse ways, poses a multitude of new problems, ranging across the entire life spectrum. In-vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, chemical abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are very much on the cultural scene.
It is imperative that "the loving care of Christ", Caritas Christi, be retained permanently without compromise of any of the principles involved, for those of us who want to avail ourselves and our families of this approach to medical care in the Roman Catholic tradition. Because of a real threat to its very existence, we have undertaken this communication with you.
Under negotiations conducted with a multi-billion dollar venture capital business firm, Cerberus Management L.P., negotiators for the Caritas Christi Health System would allow for the ending of any Catholic identity in these medical facilities, after a century and a half of its presence in Boston and environs. That possibility should never have been allowed.
Specifically, the agreement being negotiated stipulates that for a donation of $25 million dollars, the Catholic identity of these Caritas Christi hospitals would be removed, and they would be secularized. Given the threats to human life across the entire spectrum which we have mentioned, this is anathema. The $25 million dollars can only be likened to 25 pieces of silver.
We, the supporters of the Coalition To Save Catholic Health Care, request that these proceedings with Cerberus cease immediately and permanently. The Coalition opposes all facets of the negotiations, having examined the ethical, moral, religious, and financial aspects of what has been involved in these dealings with Cerberus.
As laity loyal to the Magisterial teachings of the Church, we respectfully are requesting that the disappearance of the historical Roman Catholic approach to patients, both collectively as well as individually, never become a reality in health care in this Archdiocese of Boston.
These proceedings and the acquisition could be completed within months, and we remain available to present any additional information about the proposed transfer.
Prayerfully and with loyalty to the teachings of our Messiah, we ask you from the Chair of Peter to call for the cessation of all negotiations with Cerberus, and to renew our diligent commitment to retain the essence of what we, as laity, have obtained from the true meaning of Caritas Christi.
Caritas Christi must remain in Roman Catholic ownership.
Respectfully and with agape love,
R. T. Neary, Chairman
Coalition To Save Catholic Health Care
Copies: Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Papal Nuncio to the United States of America
Open Letter to Pope Benedict from Coalition To Save Catholic Health Care
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