Save Catholic Health Care

Coalition To Save Catholic Health Care
R. T. Neary, Chairman

August 27, 2010

Most Rev. Pietro Sambi, Papal Nuncio
Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Dear Archbishop Sambi:

Roman Catholics here in the Archdiocese of Boston have had the benefit of health care administered according to the teaching of Christ, Our Lord, for 147 years. There is now a very serious threat to its continuance, and that is the reason for this letter.

We are aware of the multitude of issues which you must address as the Holy Father’s ambassador, but we ask that this very urgent and distressing problem receive the attention it needs for resolution—while this is still possible. Should the situation be allowed to stay on its current course, Caritas Christi—the Archdiocese’s hospital mission—will have come to an end.

May I give you details of what has occurred by relating some background information? The 6-hospital chain known as the Caritas Christi Health Care System is an entity of the Archdiocese of Boston. It provides a comprehensive range of medical services to patients in need.

In recent months, there have been negotiations taking place to sell this Roman Catholic hospital system to Steward Health Care System LLC, a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management L.P., a venture capital company. Cerberus has no experience in running hospitals, nor anything even resembling Catholic principles. Rather, its prime goal is to enhance the capital worth of investors in a variety of enterprises. Therein lies the crux of the problem.

The most glaring evidence of the need to permanently call a halt to any further negotiations was the revelation of a clause in a proposed agreement which would allow, after 3 years, for the termination of any Catholic identity in any or all of the facilities of Caritas Christi. This would, as early as 2013, bring an end to the current commitment to respect life from conception to death.

Caritas Christi’s mission, which is currently “rooted in the healing power of Jesus” is compromised by any dealings with Cerberus/Steward, whose sole aim is monetary gain. The Coalition To Save Catholic Health Care was founded specifically to continue Roman Catholic health care in the tradition of the Church’s Founder, Our Lord and Savior.

We have presented all of the following arguments, among others, against allowing any continuance for these negotiations with Cerberus/Steward:

1. Caritas Christi Health Care System is not in dire financial difficulty as has been reported in the mass media. On the contrary, we have researched and examined the monetary situation and found that Caritas Christi is not only viable, but financially healthy as well.

 2. The Roman Catholic Church’s position on life issues from embryonic stem cell research to assisted suicide is unswerving in its respect for human life at all its stages. The emerging entity created by Cerberus, Steward Healthcare System LLC, has no such commitment.

3. Over the years many Catholics loyal to the Church’s mission contributed money in good faith with no thought that some day the Church’s approach to health care would be deemed of negligible importance. Abandonment of the mission was never even mentioned in any request for contributions from faithful donors.

4. There are business aspects of this proposed sale which pose serious moral and ethical problems with regard to conflicts of interest, as well as to the potential for large personal monetary gains. We have challenged some of these publicly through governmental agencies. However, the Vatican, with the power to stop any further negotiations, must know of other improprieties and put a halt to these proceedings and end them permanently.

Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston seek to live their lives to the fullest through the Gospel teachings of the Church’s founder, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Institutions such as Caritas Christi were founded to further this aim.

We ask you, under the leadership of Our Lord, to exercise the authority of your office to intervene and end the negotiations with Cerberus/Steward. Caritas Christi must remain in Roman Catholic control and ownership, committed to respect human life from its very first biological moment to death.

May we hear from you.

In Christ,
R. T. Neary, Chairman

C.C.: His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston

For More Information:

Bryan Hehir Exposed:

Boston Catholic Insider:

Cerberus, Hades and the Archdiocese of Boston:

Most Rev. Pietro Sambi: