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December 23, 2010

Wanda Franz, Ph.D., President
National Right to Life Committee
512 10th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Doctor Franz,

I am writing to you in the hope that you might avert a major national embarrassment for the pro-life movement which is now impending in Boston. Anne Fox, the President of your affiliate organization --- Massachusetts Citizens for Life --- has, over the objection of her own Board Chairman, who subsequently resigned, invited Howie Carr to serve as the featured speaker at MCFL's Annual Assembly for Life on January 16th.

Howie Carr is an anti-Catholic, Hispanic-bashing, immigrant-bashing, shock jock on WRKO Radio in Boston, and is a columnist for the Boston Herald. Carr's career has been characterized by vulgarity, bigotry and demagoguery. He has mocked the Holy Eucharist, made an unspeakably crude sexual reference to the Holy Family, and said vile things about the Pope and the Catholic priesthood. He has promoted invidious stereotypes associating Hispanics with illegal immigration and crime. Carr has repeatedly referred to children born out of wedlock to mothers on public assistance as "little bastards," and has reportedly argued that women on welfare should not be allowed to have children.

As the pro-life movement has always sought to demonstrate compassion rather than contempt for unwed mothers, Carr's choice as a speaker is as unfathomable as it is inappropriate. I have enclosed two documents, a December 17th letter to Anne Fox, and a December 21st Catholic Action League News Update which detail our concerns and reveal the problematic nature of Carr's selection to headline the Assembly for Life.

Any prudent observer can reasonably foresee that Carr's presence at the Assembly for Life will result in adverse media coverage and comment, and will likely be accompanied by protests and possibly demonstrations by Catholics, Hispanic groups, immigrant groups, Arab-American organizations, and others, including many in the pro-life community. It will also result in acrimonious and enduring divisions among pro-lifers in Massachusetts, and has the potential to cause irreparable harm to what remains of MCFL.

I urge you to do all in your power to prevent a national public relations disaster for the right to life movement, by ensuring that the invitation to Howie Carr is rescinded.

Sincerely,

C. J. Doyle, Executive Director


NEWS UPDATE

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2010

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

CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE REJECTS MCFL EXCUSES FOR INVITATION TO HOWIE CARR

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today rejected excuses offered by Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, for that organization's invitation to the anti-Catholic, Hispanic-bashing radio shock jock Howie Carr, to be the featured speaker at MCFL's Annual Assembly for Life on January 16th (scroll down MCFL's page).

In a late breaking development, the League has learned that the Chairman of the MCFL Board of Directors, long time pro-life activist Henry Luthin, resigned over the weekend.

The following is the reply of Anne Fox to the League's letter of December 17th:

Dear C. J.,

As I prepared to respond to your email, which requested that we withdraw our invitation to Howie Carr to speak at the Massachusetts Citizens for Life Assembly for Life, I realized that you had sent to your entire list what I assumed was a private email. It surprises me greatly that you would do that without contacting me first. If your goal was to have us withdraw our invitation, it would have been prudent to have contacted me...

You cite examples of statements from the last dozen years which are definitely out of order. I had not been aware of them. I have heard Howie praise the people and the school in his parish as well as The Montrose School. If someone as assiduous as you had been monitoring for the same dozen years, I suspect he would also have a dossier of positive statements.

Massachusetts Citizens for Life is nonsectarian. We, of course, join all pro-life people in admiration and gratitude for the leadership of the Catholic Church which has and is working so hard to restore the Culture of Life and would do nothing to embarrass her.

Howie is anti-abortion. He has been very helpful to us in our work over the past year and a half to publicize the anti-life aspects of Obamacare. We have not asked him to speak as an "entertainer". We have asked him to speak, because of his political acumen, about the unacknowledged power of the pro-life vote. The general public, politicians, and our own people need to hear that.

C. J., I trust that you will share this email with the people to whom you sent your original email.

Best, Anne

The Catholic Action League characterized Fox's remarks as "a bizarre attempt to defend the indefensible."

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle made the following comment: "Evidently, Anne Fox never heard of the old saying that when you are already in a hole, you should stop digging. She actually makes the insipid argument that blasphemy and sacrilege --- insulting the Body of Christ and making obscene references about the Foster Father of Our Lord --- can be overlooked if there are countervailing considerations. The notion that the vile things Howie Carr has said about the Blessed Sacrament and Saint Joseph are somehow counterbalanced by the financial support he has provided to his daughters' parochial school is manifestly absurd and intellectually dishonest, as is the pathetic attempt to hide behind the non-sectarian status of MCFL. Serious organizations do not invoke their non-sectarian character to excuse bigotry and hate speech.

     "As for the preposterous assertion that we have somehow neglected to mention the allegedly good things Howie Carr has said about the Church, here, Anne Fox descends from argument to comedy. The only things which we have omitted are the new revelations about Howie Carr which we are learning of every day as more people contact us with evidence of his Catholic bashing. If anyone believes that they can bring success to their organization by showcasing someone who has mocked the Second Person of the Holy Trinity and defamed the Head of the Holy Family, then their thinking is that of an atheist rather than a Christian.

     "For the record, Howie Carr supports sterilization and contraception, and has a long history of promoting pro-abortion candidates for public office. Where the pro-life movement demonstrates compassion for women in difficult circumstances, the caustic Howie Carr demeans the children born out of wedlock to mothers on public assistance as 'little bastards.' Do we really wish to project the surly and mean-spirited countenance of Howie Carr as the image of the Massachusetts pro-life movement? Those who rail against immigrants, minorities, and welfare recipients, far from building a culture of life, usually promote sympathy for population control.

     "Liberal Catholics malign the pro-life movement by unjustly accusing it of being a political front for the Republican Party. In this case, Anne Fox seems determined to vindicate that claim, even if it means embracing enemies of the Faith as repulsive as Howie Carr. From tailoring candidate questionnaires to make pro-abortion Republicans look 100% pro-life, to providing a platform to a Republican attack dog, it appears that Anne Fox is seeking to reduce the once proud Massachusetts Citizens for Life to an auxiliary of the Massachusetts Republican Party. For the credibility of their own organization, the officers, directors and members of MCFL ought to restrain her from doing so.

     "Meanwhile, the Catholic Action League will begin to call local and national attention to the scandal of having an anti-Catholic, anti-Hispanic, anti-immigrant, anti-life speaker at a pro-life event."


December 17, 2010
 
Anne Fox, President 
Massachusetts Citizens For Life
The Schrafft Center
529 Main Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
 
 
Dear Anne,
 
We were astonished to learn that Howie Carr will be featured at MCFL's Annual Assembly For Life on January 16th.  Carr is a notorious Catholic-basher with a long record of vicious and gratuitous attacks on the Catholic Religion. 
 
On April 8, 1998 --- Wednesday in Holy Week --- in response to a decision by the Red Sox to forgo alcohol sales in Fenway Park because Opening Day would fall on Good Friday, Carr hosted a segment on his program in which he invited listeners to comment on selling "Catholic Eucharists for $3.49 a bag" as a substitute for beer.  The result was a half hour of offensive slurs profaning the Blessed Sacrament.
 
In one particularly vile episode later in 1998, in a conversation between Carr and his producer Doug Goudie evidently intended to disparage Arabs, it was asserted that shepherds in the Middle East had unnatural relations with the animals in their flocks.  Into this depraved subject the name of Saint Joseph --- the Virgin Spouse of the Virgin Mother of God --- was introduced.  Saint Joseph was then misidentified as a shepherd. 
 
In an interview with Malachy McCourt, Carr laughed and snickered over McCourt's assertion that the late Francis Cardinal Spellman was not only a homosexual but a pedophile.  Carr went on to recount a story alleging that an episcopal ring was found by police in a homosexual brothel, implying that the ring belonged to Spellman. 
 
In January, 2002, Carr hosted a segment in which he asked his listeners, "Are you ashamed to be a Catholic?" during which he boasted that he never went to Mass.  All throughout the molestation crisis of 2002, Carr contemptuously referred to the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston as "Bernie Law," and on November 29th of that year the Boston Herald published a column by Carr in which he described the Cardinal as "a Bulger bum kisser."
 
Hispanic Catholics, with their large families and culture of life, are the future of the Church and the Pro-Life movement in America.  Howie Carr however, is not only an anti-Catholic but a crude nativist.  One of the recurring themes of his program is the attempt to link illegal immigrants to crime.  A particularly offensive gimmick is his habit of playing Mexican music while reading the names of criminal suspects with Hispanic surnames.  This hostility to Hispanics and immigrants places Cardinal O'Malley, or whoever represents him from the Archdiocese of Boston, in the embarrassing position of sharing a stage with someone who boorishly castigates some of the neediest members of his flock. 
 
In a Catholic community which has a significant number of Eastern Rite Catholics of Lebanese and Syrian descent (the Melkite Cathedral is in West Roxbury) it is unimaginable that MCFL would actually provide a platform to a rabble rousing shock jock who has described Arabs in the past as "towelheads." 
 
Inviting Howie Carr to address the Assembly for Life is an act of monumental ingratitude to elected officials who defended the right to life and came to the aid of MCFL in difficult times.  Men such as William Bulger, Ray Flynn, Thomas Finneran, and the late Jim Craven have been the victims of vulgar insults, venomous denunciations, and malevolent diatribes by this spiteful demagogue.
 
A larger issue here is why an organization with a predominantly Christian membership would want to showcase a public figure whose life and career embody such a cynical negation of Christian values.  Howie Carr is infamous for his uncharitableness of speech, his lack of compassion, and his sneering contempt for the objects of his scorn.  He preys upon the vulnerable, exploits the misfortunes of others, incites rancor and envy, and has grown rich by his indifference to the Eighth Commandment.  He mocks the Church, derides the poor, maligns men who have more integrity than he does, and has ridiculed the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
 
Inviting such a miserable creature to address an organization dedicated to the sanctity and dignity of human life is an affront to the Christian religion and everything the Pro-Life movement professes to uphold.
 
We urge you to reconsider this improvident decision and cancel the invitation to this inappropriate choice for a speaker.
 
Sincerely,
 
Daniel T. Flatley                         C. J. Doyle
Chairman Emeritus                     Executive Director
                                                         
The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts


November 23, 2010

Letters to the Editor
The Patriot Ledger
400 Crown Colony Drive
P. O. Box 699159
Quincy, MA 02269-9159

To the Editor:

Although The Patriot Ledger's coverage of the Pope's comments on condoms was more professional and more responsible than that of most Boston media institutions, the key assertion in the Ledger's story---that the Pope said the use of condoms may be permissible in specific, limited cases---was not accurate (Catholics applaud Pope's comments, 11/22/2010).

The Holy Father made speculative remarks about the beginning of moral awareness in the seriously corrupted conscience of a male prostitute. He never endorsed, overtly or implicitly, the use of condoms, and went on to say that condoms could never be "an authentic or moral solution." Taken in context, the Pope was defending his previous statements opposing condom use.

Catholic moral teaching is not derived from consensus or evolving opinion. An exploration of moral psychology may be interesting, but is not magisterial. Finally, no one, not even the Pope, has the authority to change Catholic doctrine in Faith and morals, which is irreformable.

Sincerely,

C. J. Doyle
Executive Director


November 22, 2010

Letters
Boston Herald
P.O. Box 5584
Boston, MA 02205-5843

To the Editor:

Neither the title nor the contents of the Herald's story on Pope Benedict and condoms were accurate (PONTIFF BLESSES CONDOM USE, 11/21/2010).

A speculative remark about motivation in a book interview, in which Benedict never used the word "justified," does not constitute papal approval of condom use, nor did I say or indicate anything to Herald reporters suggesting that I was shocked by it. What I told the Herald was that this was a single source story which required clarification, and that no one, not even the Pope, had the authority to change Catholic moral teaching about the impermissibility of contraceptive use.

Sincerely,


C. J. Doyle
Executive Director


MEMBER ADVISORY

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2010

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

CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE TO HOLD ANNUAL CURLEY COMMEMORATION

This Friday, November 12, 2010, is the 52nd Anniversary of the death of Massachusetts Governor and Boston Mayor James Michael Curley. The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts will hold its Annual Rosary at the Curley grave site in Old Calvary Cemetery, off Cummins Highway in Roslindale, at 12 noon. Mayor Curley's grave is located directly behind the chapel at the top of the hill, visible from Cummins Highway. All Catholic Action League members are invited to participate.

November is the month of the Holy Souls, when the Church remembers in her prayers the faithful departed. Please pray for the repose of the souls of all of the deceased members of the Catholic Action League, and those of our predecessor organization, the Massachusetts Chapter of the Catholic League of Religious and Civil Rights, including those listed below:

Joseph L. Ahern
Joseph Arena
Catherine Barden
Hon. Angelo Berlandi
David R. Burke
Hon. John F. Collins
Mary Collins
Leo J. Coveney
Hon. James J. Craven, Jr.
Rev. Msgr. John Dillon Day
Robert J. Delery
William S. Farrell
Robert J. Flanagan
Thomas J. Flatley
Roger Gill
Edward B. Hanify, Jr.
Mrs. Marian Hardy
H. Noel Hebard
Rev. Cornelius Heery
Rev. Harold J. Johnson
Hon. James Kelly
Eugene F. Kiely, Jr.
H. E., Edward J. King
Florence MacIsaac 
Albert James Healy Madden
Richard Malone
Paul McCarthy
Celia McClory
Gino Michelutti
Dante Pattavina
Rev. Gilbert Phinn
Janet E. Ray
Most Rev. Lawrence J. Riley
John S. Ring
Elinore Sheils
Francis N. Sheils
John W. Spillane, KHS
Dr. Joseph R. Stanton
Virginia Teehan
Peter Travers
Bro. Bartholomew Varden, CFX
Thomas Walsh
L. Thomas White

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. May their souls, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they might be loosed from their sins. (2 Maccabees 12:46)


Letter to the editor

November 3, 2010

The Boston Herald
P.O. Box 5584
Boston, MA 02205-5843

To the Editor:

There was a striking omission in Natalie Sherman's story about the attempt by protestors to illegally enter Vatican territory on October 31st (COPS BLOCK VATICAN MARCH, 11/1/2010).

The incursion was deliberately planned for Reformation Sunday---which marks the beginning of the Protestant separation from Rome---as a calculated insult to the Holy Father and the Catholic Faith. It is a pity that the grievances of the past have now become an excuse for an embittered and vindictive minority to malign the Catholic religion at every opportunity.

Sincerely,


C. J. Doyle, Executive Director
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts


NEWS RELEASE

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010

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

SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT APPROVES SALE OF CARITAS CHRISTI HEALTH CARE

Associate Justice Francis X. Spina of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court this morning approved the sale of Caritas Christi Health Care---the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston---to the Steward Healthcare System, a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management. Today's court decision was the final step in a review process that included a favorable recommendation by Attorney General Martha Coakley on October 6th, and a reissuing of hospital licenses by the Public Health Council on October 13th. In a letter dated August 27th, and filed with the court last week, Sean Cardinal O'Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, stated that the Holy See had given its approval for the transaction on August 17th.

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts called today's ruling "the likely point of no return in the impending loss of Catholic health care in Greater Boston."

Catholic Action League Director C. J. Doyle stated: "After a 147 years, Boston's Catholic community is about to be deprived of the right to receive medical care from institutions infused with Catholic ethics, and defined by their Catholic identity.

"There are three probable results from this decision. The fate and character of Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket is now uncertain. As its intended acquisition will now occur after the sale of Caritas, it may remain a secular hospital where abortion referrals are made and contraceptive services are provided. Secondly, it is likely that all of the former Caritas hospitals, including Saint Elizabeth's, will now comply with the Commonwealth's 2005 emergency contraception law, which requires even religious hospitals to dispense an enhanced dose of the morning after pill to rape victims.

"Finally, the six hospitals will, sooner or later, be secularized, either through the exercise of the termination clause, or through their sale at the end of the three to five year so-called protected period. The sale of the Catholic hospital system comes just four years after the end of Catholic adoption services in Boston, and amid on-going controversies over the closings of Catholic parishes and schools. Under the episcopate of Cardinal O'Malley, the Archdiocese of Boston is suffering the greatest loss of institutional infrastructure in its 202 year history."


NEWS UPDATE

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2010

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

CARITAS CHRISTI---BOSTON SPECIAL ELECTION---PBS DOCUMENTARY---VOTING PRO-LIFE TOO "POLITICAL" FOR KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS

Associate Justice Francis Spina of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard oral arguments yesterday on the Petition of Relief filed by Caritas Christi Health Care---the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston---seeking approval for its acquisition by the Steward Healthcare System, a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management. Among the exhibits included with the petition was an August 27th letter from Sean Cardinal O'Malley indicating that the Holy See had granted its authorization for the sale on August 17th.

The SJC hearing comes after a favorable recommendation was submitted to the court by Attorney-General Martha Coakley on October 6th, followed by a unanimous vote approving new hospital licenses by the Public Health Council on October 13th. All that now remains is final approval by the Supreme Judicial Court, which is expected imminently.

The Preliminary District Six Special Election for the Boston City Council was held on Tuesday, October 19th. Both winning candidates, who will face each other in a November 16th final election, are supporters of abortion and the homosexual agenda. Front-runner Matt O'Malley, who ran for city council in 2003, was director of Mass Equality, the same sex marriage advocacy group. He continues to identify himself as a former CCD teacher.

Runner-up James Hennigan previously sought a state senate seat campaigning on a liberal platform. Hennigan is the brother of former Councilor Maura Hennigan, a longstanding supporter of abortion, same gender marriage and condoms in schools. Their father, former Jamaica Plain State Senator James W. Hennigan, Jr., was a supporter of Progressive Party candidate Henry Wallace against Harry Truman in 1948. The special election is being held to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Councilor John Tobin, who has assumed a higher paying position at Northeastern University.

The predictably anti-Catholic Public Broadcasting System documentary God in America, which is being aired on WGBH Channel 2 and WGBX Channel 44, begins with the Black Legend, portraying the gentle Franciscan friars of Spain as cruel, oppressive, intolerant, even murderous, towards native Americans. One would imagine therefore, that Catholic institutions would do nothing to facilitate such bigotry. On the contrary, some of the interior scenes in this propaganda piece were filmed in Mission Church---the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help---Boston's most venerable Marian Shrine. Perhaps PBS producers were impressed with the beauty of the place while watching Ted Kennedy's funeral Mass!

A Knights of Columbus member from Virginia, John Collick, circulated by e-mail an essay by Father Richard Perozich of California, in which the priest urged Catholics not to be intimidated, to stand up for their values, and vote only for those who support the right to life, traditional marriage and Christian morality. Incredibly, Collick's Grand Knight, on the instructions of Virginia State Advocate Anthony Fortunato, ordered Collick to cease distributing the e-mail, as it violated K of C prohibitions against politics in the Order! Fortunato claimed he consulted with the Supreme Advocate in New Haven before rendering his decision.

In May, the Catholic Action League revealed that K of C Supreme Advocate John A. Marrella quashed a state convention resolution offered by Former District Deputy Joseph B. Craven, Jr., which called upon the Massachusetts State Council to suspend pro-abortion elected officials and candidates from the ranks of the Knights in Massachusetts. Marrella claimed only the Supreme Council could do so, and then had to exercise "prudence."

Apparently, the Knights of Columbus has gone from refusing to remove pro-abortion pols to silencing pro-life speech. Urging Catholics to vote against that form of mass murder known as legal abortion is too controversial for an organization whose highest values are, in descending order, its insurance business, its tax-exempt status, and its Standard and Poors rating.


NEWS RELEASE

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2010

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

CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE CRITICIZES CARITAS CHRISTI CHIEF FOR HOSTING OBAMA FUNDRAISER

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today criticized Doctor Ralph de la Torre, chief executive of Caritas Christi Health Care--the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston--for hosting President Barack Obama at a political fundraiser in his Newton home. The event, held yesterday, reportedly raised $900,000 for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The Catholic Action League called de la Torre's decision to host the affair "a stunning example of audacious hypocrisy."

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated: "On October 13th, Dr. de la Torre testified before the Massachusetts Public Health Council about the 'bedrock' Catholic values of Caritas Christi being preserved under his leadership following its impending sale to new owners. Three days later, he hosted a campaign event showcasing a political figure whose support for legal and unrestricted abortion is a bedrock component of his political ideology. Ralph de la Torre is, of course, a repeat offender in these matters. In 2009, he was a prominent contributor to Attorney-General Martha Coakley, who famously advised pro-life Catholics not to work in hospital emergency rooms.

"No rational person can reasonably be expected to take seriously alleged guarantees of the future Catholic identity of Caritas Christi when Ralph de la Torre's own political choices speak to indifference and infidelity to fundamental Catholic moral teaching."


NEWS RELEASE

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2010

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

CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE HAILS CHURCH RECOGNITION OF SAINT BENEDICT CENTER

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today hailed the appointment of Father David Phillipson of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, NM as Chaplain of the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire. The decision to appoint an incardinated priest with faculties as chaplain, made with the approval of Rome, means that the last major community of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary---the religious order founded by the late Father Leonard Feeney in 1949---has now received official recognition by the Church.

The Catholic Action League called the appointment "a joyous event for traditional Catholics throughout New England, the United States, and the entire Catholic world."

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated: "Traditional Catholics, particularly those in Boston, have been waiting sixty-one years for this news. The motu proprio liberating the immemorial Latin liturgy, the lifting of the excommunications imposed upon the four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X, and now the recognition of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary---who continue to hold and teach the traditional understanding of the doctrine extra ecclesiam nulla salus---all represent milestones in the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. In the first five years of his papacy, Benedict has labored to restore orthodoxy, embrace continuity and bring traditional Catholics in from the cold.

"The Holy Father, and all those responsible for this just, long awaited and felicitous decision, deserve the gratitude of faithful Catholics everywhere."


TESTIMONY OF C. J. DOYLE BEFORE THE MASSACHUSETTS PUBLIC HEALTH COUNCIL ON THE SALE OF CARITAS CHRISTI HEALTH CARE

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2010
SARGENT HALL, SUFFOLK LAW SCHOOL, BOSTON

Mr. Chairman, my name is C. J. Doyle and I am the Executive Director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts. I will be brief.

We all want the hospitals to survive, but we also want their Catholic identity to survive. Contrary to your power point presentation, the Catholic identity of Caritas will not be be guaranteed for three years. Under the termination clause found in the Notice of Transaction, filed with the Public Charities Division of the Attorney-General's Office, the new owners may dispense with the system's Catholic identity at any time, for virtually any reason, unilaterally and without appeal, provided they are willing to pay a 25 million dollar buy-out penalty to a charity selected by the Archdiocese of Boston, which therefore gives the Archdiocese a financial incentive to acquiesce in secularization. It also renders any other guarantees manifestly inadequate.

The loss of Catholic identity will deprive the Catholic community of a health care system where Catholic medical ethics prevail, will imperil the conscience rights of doctors, nurses and administrators, will adversely impact charitable care for the poor and affordable access for all, will diminish the community orientation of the hospitals and will replace Catholic social teaching in employee relations---such as the concept of the family wage---with the free market law of supply and demand.

We urge you, therefore, to withhold approval of the license renewals until there are more meaningful and substantive guarantees for the future Catholic identity of the six hospitals, that is, until the termination clause is either modified or excised.

We realize that we are asking much of you---to show more concern for the Catholic identity of Caritas than the Archdiocese of Boston did. However, if Catholics cannot find redress on this issue from the Commonwealth, then their only recourse would be to initiate a canonical suit in the courts of the Holy See. Realistically, it is unlikely that such a suit would prevail against the Archdiocese. However, it might further delay and complicate these proceedings, and no one wants that. I urge you then to give some thought to the concerns of Catholics about Catholic identity before voting on this issue.

Thank you.


NEWS RELEASE
 
 
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2010
CONTACT: C. J. DOYLE
(781) 251-9739
 
 
PUBLIC HEALTH COUNCIL APPROVES CARITAS SALE
CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE WARNS OF CANON LAW SUIT

 
The Massachusetts Public Health Council unanimously voted this afternoon to approve new hospital licenses for Caritas Christi Health Care---the network of six Catholic medical institutions affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston---as part of its sale to the Steward Healthcare System, a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management.
 
In testimony at the hearing which preceded the vote, the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts warned however that failure to provide "meaningful and substantive" guarantees for the continuing Catholic identity of Caritas would force Catholics to seek redress in a canonical lawsuit before the courts of the Holy See.
 
The Catholic Action League called the current guarantees "manifestly inadequate."
 
Attorney-General Martha Coakley recommended approval of the sale to the Supreme Judicial Court on October 6th. In addition to a decision by the court, authorization must be forthcoming from the Holy See.
 
Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated to the Council: "Contrary to your presentation, the Catholic identity of Caritas will not be guaranteed for three years. Under the termination clause in the Notice of Transaction, the new owners may end the system's Catholic identity at any time, for virtually any reason, unilaterally and without appeal, provided they are willing to pay the 25 million dollar buy-out penalty to a charity selected by the Archdiocese of Boston, which gives the Archdiocese a financial incentive to accept secularization."
 
"The loss of Catholic identity by Caritas will deprive the Catholic community of a health care system where Catholic medical ethics are practiced, will imperil the conscience rights of doctors and nurses, adversely impact charitable care for the poor and affordable access for all, diminish the community orientation of the hospitals and replace Catholic social teaching in employee relations with the free market law of supply and demand."

October 11, 2010

Letters to the Editor
The Boston Globe
P. O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

To the Editor:

If James Carroll wanted a truly compelling example of European injustice to native peoples in the Western Hemisphere, he might have pointed to Anglo-Protestant North America, where Native Americans were ethnically cleansed and nearly exterminated ("The mixed legacy of 1492," Oct. 11, 2010).

In Latin America, Spanish and Portuguese settlers converted indigenous peoples to Catholicism and inter-married with them. The result is a native population which numbers in the tens of millions today, and majorities in most Spanish-speaking countries which are mestizo---a mixture of European and Amerindian ancestry. In the United States, Native Americans comprise less than one percent of the population.

Sincerely,

C. J. Doyle
Executive Director
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts
(781) 251-9739


October 11, 2010

Letters to the Editor
The Boston Globe
P. O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

To the Editor:

The Boston Globe was correct in urging the Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Public Health Council to avoid rubber stamping Attorney-General Martha Coakley's recommendations regarding the sale of Caritas Christi Health Care ("AG's limits on Caritas deal don't go far enough," 10/11/2010).

The so-called protected period, during which the hospitals could neither be sold nor closed, should be extended to five years without conditions. Nor should any approval be granted until the issue of the termination clause is addressed, which actually gives the Archdiocese of Boston a financial reward for acquiescing in the loss of the system's Catholic identity.

Sincerely,

C. J. Doyle
Executive Director
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts
(781) 251-9739


October 7, 2010
Wanderer editorial:

C.J. Doyle & Paul Likoudis rebut
Washington Post'
s anti-Catholicism

Susan Jacoby, The Washington Post’s and Newsweek’s resident secularist who
writes as the “Spirited Atheist,” gave vent to her long-simmering anti-Catholicism after
Pope Benedict’s triumphal visit to England.

Jacoby, who is infamously known for her contention that anti-Catholicism in
American society is a “canard” that doesn’t exist, was obviously stung by the warm wel-
come Benedict received in England and Scotland, and so took it upon herself to de-
bunk Catholic martyrdom in English history, essentially arguing Elizabeth I was cor-
rect in her bloody anti-Catholic persecution because Catholics were trying to overthrow
her government.

Her September 22 essay, titled, “Martyrdom, Selective Memory, and Pope Bene-
dict in England,” opened with her mockery of the Holy Father for shaking the hand of
a female Anglican priest, and went down in tone and substance from there.
Read the complete editorial by Paul Likoudis and C.J. Doyle.


NEWS RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2010

CONTACT: C. J. DOYLE (617) 524-6309

CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE CRITICIZES ATTORNEY GENERAL'S RECOMMENDATION ON CARITAS CHRISTI SALE

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today criticized the recommendation made by Attorney-General Martha Coakley to the Supreme Judicial Court approving the sale of Caritas Christi Health Care--- the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston---to the Steward Healthcare System, a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management.

The Attorney-General's recommendation left intact the termination clause which will allow the new owners to end the hospitals' Catholic identity at anytime if they find compliance with Catholic medical ethics to be "materially burdensome", provided they are willing to pay a twenty-five million dollar buy-out penalty to a charity designated by the Archdiocese of Boston.

The Supreme Judicial Court is expected to follow the Attorney-General's recommendation. Approval is still pending from the Department of Public Health and the Holy See.

The Catholic Action League called the Attorney-General's report "a decisive turning point in the impending loss of Catholic health care in Greater Boston."

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated: "Although Martha Coakley deserves some credit for extending the period during which the hospitals cannot be closed, and in trying to ensure care for the indigent, her refusal to address the issue of the termination clause will likely result in the secularization of the six hospitals under the new owners. This means the abandonment of Catholic medical ethics, including the right to life from conception to natural death, the loss of conscience protections for pro-life doctors and nurses, a reduction in charitable care for the poor, and the replacement of Catholic social teaching in employee relations, such as the family wage, with the free market law of supply and demand."

"Catholics must now turn to the Holy See as the last court of appeal if one hundred and forty-seven years of Catholic health care in Boston is to be preserved."


September 30, 2010

Letters to the Editor
The Boston Globe
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

To the Editor:

James Shannon was correct in advising Attorney-General Martha Coakley not to be pressured into a hasty approval of the sale of Caritas Christi Health Care to Cerberus Capital Management ("The Caritas sale--with conditions," 9/28/2010).

The likely secularization of the hospitals that will occur under the new owners will not only result in the loss of Catholic medical ethics, but will adversely impact charitable care for those in need and will replace Catholic principles of social justice in employee relations with the free market law of supply and demand.

In her recommendation to the Supreme Judicial Court, the Attorney-General should embrace the proposal by health care advocates---endorsed by The Globe---to extend from three to seven years the period during which the hospitals could not be closed or sold. She should also call for eliminating the termination clause, which actually gives the Archdiocese of Boston a financial incentive in the loss of the system's Catholic identity.

For nearly a century and a half, Catholic health care has served the common good in Greater Boston. It is a legacy that should not be allowed to fail.

Sincerely,

C. J. Doyle, Executive Director
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts


NEWS RELEASE 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2010

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

 
ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON BACKTRACKS ON
SECULAR CHARACTER OF LANDMARK HOSPITAL  
 
 
On  August 31st, the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts broke the story in the Catholic media that Caritas Christi Health Care --- the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston --- would operate the Rhode Island hospital it is acquiring, Landmark Medical Center of Woonsocket, as a secular facility which would continue performing sterilizations and distributing contraceptives. 
 
Within twenty four hours, the Archdiocese began to reverse the decision by Caritas to keep Landmark secular, and now asserts that Landmark will become a Catholic hospital compliant with Catholic medical ethics. This is a direct disavowal of the statement by Caritas Director of Media Relations Chris Murphy, who told The Providence Journal, "Our intent is to preserve Landmark in its current form, which includes no religious affiliation."
 
The Catholic Action League called the reversal "a victory, though probably a temporary one, in the campaign to keep Caritas Catholic."
 
Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle made the following comment: "First, Landmark was to become a Catholic hospital.  Then it wasn't.  Now, it is to become Catholic again. 'Who's in charge?'  might be a interesting question to explore.
 
"It is unimaginable that Caritas spokesman Chris Murphy would have publicly announced that Landmark was to remain a secular institution without the explicit approval of Caritas President Ralph de la Torre.  It is equally unlikely, that after fifteen months of negotiations between Landmark and Caritas, Doctor de la Torre would not have apprised his Board of Governors of this decision, which includes an Archdiocesan Cabinet Secretary and close advisor to Cardinal O'Malley.
 
"Whether the Archdiocese of Boston is trying to affirm Catholic moral teaching or simply trying to dig itself out of another embarrassing scandal of its own making, remains to be seen.  Given the buy-out clause which will allow the new owners of Caritas to terminate the Catholic identity of the system for the payment of an eight figure fee, it is likely that it won't take long for us to find out." 

NEWS RELEASE

TUESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2010

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

CARITAS CHRISTI REVERSES DECISION
ON RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF LANDMARK HOSPITAL

On August 27th, Landmark Medical Center of Woonsocket submitted a signed asset purchase agreement to the Rhode Island Superior Court providing for its acquisition by Caritas Christi Health Care, the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston. The Boston Globe previously reported that the merger would result in Landmark becoming a Catholic hospital. Now, The Providence Journal reports that Landmark will remain a secular facility.

According to Landmark spokesman Bill Fischer, "The goal is to remain secular, and that's what we're aiming for," while Caritas Director of Media Relations Chris Murphy stated " Our intent is to preserve Landmark in its current form, which includes no religious affiliation."

This means that Caritas will own and operate a facility where sterilizations are performed and abortifacient contraceptive services are provided.

Approval of the sale must be granted by Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch, Superior Court Judge Michael A. Silverstein, and the Rhode Island Department of Health. Meanwhile, approval is still pending from the Holy See, the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for the acquisition of Caritas Christi by the Steward Healthcare System, the for profit subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management.

The Catholic Action League called the decision to keep Landmark secular "further evidence that the Archdiocese of Boston has not been straightforward about the future Catholic identity of Caritas Christi Health Care."

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated: "It is morally impermissible for a Catholic health care entity to participate in contraception and sterilizations. That is gravely contrary to Catholic moral teaching and is a direct violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

     "More troubling however, is the lack of candor. During the 2009 controversy over a proposed joint venture between Caritas Christi and the Centene Corporation, Cardinal Sean O'Malley gave repeated assurances that Caritas would do nothing contrary to Catholic moral principles, going so far as to assert that those who suggested otherwise were 'doing a grave disservice to the Church.' Caritas was later forced to withdraw from the venture when it became apparent that it would entail abortion referrals.

     "In the public discourse about the impending transfer of Caritas Christi to Cerberus, the Cardinal, the Archdiocese, and Caritas have all claimed that the hospital network's continuing Catholic identity is assured. In testimony at a public hearing on July 1st however, James Karam, Chairman of the Board of Governors of Caritas Christi stated, 'I told the Cardinal that we cannot guarantee the future Catholic identity of Caritas.'

     "The retention of Landmark's secular identity is a disturbing harbinger of the likely future secularization of Caritas itself. It is now clear that what remains of the Catholic identity of Caritas Christi is being progressively abandoned, that the Archdiocese of Boston has consented to this abandonment, and that neither the Archdiocese nor Caritas is being forthright with the public and with the Catholic community about the consequences of this policy."


ADDRESS BY C. J. DOYLE TO THE SOUTH BOSTON TEA PARTY
Fort Independence
Castle Island, Boston
 
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thomas Paine spoke of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots. None are to be found here today.  I admire your dedication for persevering in this inclement weather.   

It is a great privilege to be here today on the same platform as one of the heroes of the pro-family movement in Massachusetts---Brian Camenker.  It is also a privilege to be here with retired Justice Joe Nolan, the only jurist on the Supreme Judicial Court to defend the Constitution and religious freedom in Boston's Saint Patrick's Day Parade case, whose sole dissent was vindicated by a unanimous  9 to 0 decision by the United States Supreme Court. Read rest of speech


August 11, 2010

Letters to the Editor
The Boston Globe
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

To the Editor:

James Carroll's revisionist attempt to portray Christians as purveyors of religious hatred towards Muslims ("Enter Christianity," 8/9/2010) is contradicted by history.

Over a period of eighty years, beginning in 634, Muslim armies overran what is now Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Portugal, and most of Spain --- all heretofore Christian provinces and kingdoms. After 1071, Seljuk Turks began the conquest and ethnic cleansing of Christian Asia Minor, and threatened Constantinople.

Carroll's ideological contortions cannot conceal the identity of the aggressor in these conflicts, nor the identity of the aggressor's victims.

Sincerely,

C. J. Doyle
Executive Director
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts


July 27, 2010

The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

To the Editor:

Like many secularized Catholics, Charles Pierce helped his career along by conforming to the dominant culture, and then boasted of his intellectual independence (WHAT I BELIEVE, 7/11/2010).

Pierce announced that he has become "an anti-Catholic Catholic." Of course he has. He works for a newspaper that has been criticizing the Catholic Church since the nineteen seventies, and which has never hired an orthodox Catholic to write on religious issues. If Pierce was a faithful, pro-life Catholic, he would not have a cover story, a byline, or a job at The Boston Globe Magazine.

Sincerely,

C. J. Doyle
Executive Director
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts


NEWS RELEASE

SATURDAY, JULY 3, 2010

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

CARITAS ADMITS CATHOLIC IDENTITY UNCERTAIN

James Karam, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of Caritas Christi Health Care --- the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston --- has admitted that he cannot guarantee the continuing Catholic identity of Caritas after it is sold to the Steward Health Care System, a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management. Addressing a packed audience in Dorchester Thursday night at a public hearing held by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office on the future of Carney Hospital, Karam said he told Cardinal O'Malley that he could not guarantee the future Catholic identity of Caritas, but could guarantee that the hospitals will be closed without the sale.

Karam's statement contradicted repeated assurances by both Caritas Christi and the Archdiocese of Boston (including some given at the same hearing) that the system's Catholic identity and mission, and its Catholic medical ethics, would be preserved under the new owners. The Catholic Action League has repeatedly cited the termination clause of the Notice of Transaction --- which allows Steward to end the Catholic identity of Caritas at any time for virtually any reason provided it pays just 3% above the purchase price --- as evidence that the so-called guarantees are meaningless.

The Catholic Action League called Karam's statement "confirmation from an official source that the hospitals are likely to be secularized."

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated: "It is now clear, that with this sale, 147 years of Catholic health care in Greater Boston is coming to an end. This will have adverse consequences for Catholic medical ethics, including the protection of human life from conception to natural death, for the conscience rights of Catholic and other pro-life physicians and nurses, and for charitable care for the poor."

"Ironically, most of the resistance to this transaction is coming from the secular left, rather than the religious right. Despite the obvious implications for the right to life issue, liberal groups concerned with access to health care have done a better job of due diligence in examining and scrutinizing this agreement and warning of its dangers, than mainstream pro-life groups, who have been silent out of deference to the Archdiocese. The time has come for the Massachusetts pro-life movement to put principle before politics and join the opposition to the secularization of Caritas Christi."


TESTIMONY OF C. J. DOYLE AT THE PUBLIC HEARING
HELD BY ATTORNEY GENERAL MARTHA COAKLEY AND
THE MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
ON THE SALE OF CARITAS CHRISTI HEALTH CARE
 
THURSDAY, JULY 1, 2010
CARNEY HOSPITAL, DORCHESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

Madame Attorney General, and representatives of the Department of Public Health:  My name is C. J. Doyle and I am the Executive Director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts.

The hour is late, and I will be very brief.  Once again, I rise to voice our concerns about the continuing Catholic identity of Caritas Christi, concerns which have hardly been alleviated by the statements of Chairman James Karem made earlier this evening. 

The supposed guarantees for the future Catholic identity of Caritas found in the Stewardship Agreement are manifestly inadequate.  They are effectively negated by the termination clause in the Notice of Transaction, which allows Cerberus, through its Steward Healthcare System, upon payment of a twenty-five million dollar penalty, or about 3% above the purchase price,  to end the Catholic identity at any time, for virtually any reason, arbitrarily, unilaterally, and without appeal.

The loss of Catholic identity would not only negatively impact Catholic medical ethics and conscience protections, but would adversely affect charitable care for the needy, pastoral care for patients, and Catholic principles of social justice in the treatment of hospital workers. 

I urge therefore, that the transfer of ownership of Caritas Christi to the Steward Healthcare System, not be approved. 

Thank you.


ACTION ALERT!!

MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2010

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

KEEP CARITAS CATHOLIC!

Boston's Catholic health care system, which dates back to 1863, is about to be sold, converted to a for-profit entity, and rapidly secularized. Caritas Christi Health Care --- the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston --- is being acquired by the Steward Health Care System, a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management.

Despite assurances by Caritas and the Archdiocese that the hospitals' Catholic identity will be retained for at least three years, the Notice of Transaction filed by Caritas with the Public Charities Division of the Attorney-General's Office on May 5th, 2010 clearly indicates that the new owners may unilaterally terminate the Catholic identity of the hospitals at any time for virtually any reason provided they are willing to pay just three percent above the original purchase price, which is an additional twenty-five million dollars.

If the Steward Health Care System finds compliance with Catholic medical ethics to be "unlawful or materially burdensome," which is broadly defined as anything which would "jeopardize the welfare of its patients, employees, or the communities in which it operates," the determination of which will be in "the sole discretion of Steward," the system's Catholic identity could be immediately abandoned upon payment of the termination fee.

This is an impending disaster for the Church, the Catholic community, the Pro-Life movement and Catholics in the medical and nursing professions!

This means that such iconic Catholic institutions as Carney Hospital, and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center may become participants in abortion, contraception, sterilization and passive euthanasia. Catholic and other pro-life doctors, nurses and administrators will lose their conscience protections. Charitable care for the poor will suffer, and Catholic principles of social justice in employee relations, such as the Catholic principle of the just wage, will be replaced by the capitalist law of supply and demand.

There will be a public hearing on the future of Carney Hospital on Thursday, July 1st, 2010 at 6 p.m. at the IBEW Hall, Local 103, at 256 Freeport Street in Dorchester. The hearing is being sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Attorney-General Martha Coakley's Office. Please make every effort to attend this important public event and oppose the sale of Caritas Christi until stronger guarantees of its continuing Catholic identity are in place.

If you cannot attend the hearing, or wish to comment on the other five hospitals, or on the entire Caritas system, members of the public may file comments regarding the transaction by emailing caritas@state.ma.us or by regular mail to: Public Charities Division/Caritas Transaction, Office of Attorney-General Martha Coakley, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108.

You may also submit written testimony, before July 30th, to the Department of Public Health, Determination of Need Program, 99 Chauncy Street, Boston. MA 02111.

Powerful corporate, financial, political, and ideological interests are working to destroy Catholic health care in Massachusetts. Given the culture of death which afflicts our country, we need Catholic hospitals now more than ever. Saving Catholic health care should be the top priority of every pro-life citizen of Massachusetts. Please join us in this vital struggle!

(For those of you in the Merrimack Valley, there will be a public hearing regarding the sale of Caritas in the Holy Family Hospital service area at the Tenney Middle School, 75 Pleasant Street, Metheun, MA at 6 p.m. on Tuesday June 29th. Once again, we urge you to testify in person, or send written comments to the above addresses. Thank you.)


NEWS RELEASE

 
FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2010
 
CONTACT: C. J. DOYLE
(781) 251-9739
 
CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE CALLS UPON PROVINCETOWN
TO ABANDON CONDOM DISTRIBUTION POLICY
 
The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today called upon the Town of Provincetown to reverse its decision to make condoms available to elementary school children without an age limit, and without parental notification and consent.  Following the intervention of Governor Deval Patrick, who is seeking re-election this year, the Chairman of the Provincetown School Committee, Peter Grosso, indicated that the policy would likely be modified, restricting distribution to 5th grade students and older. 
 
The Catholic Action League called the policy "a government sponsored, taxpayer funded assault on parental rights, religious freedom and moral sanity." 
 
Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated:  "This bureaucratic aggression against the family, intruding into the relationship between parent and child, is more characteristic of a totalitarian society than a democratic one.  It requires Olympian arrogance for the officials of a public school system, who are agents of the government, to believe that they have a mandate to usurp the right of parents to control the moral and religious upbringing of their own children."
 
"This affront to the innocence of children and the authority of parents exposes minor children to sexual experimentation, and sends the message that sexual activity by young people is both expected and inevitable, and the use of contraceptives is not only morally permissible but socially responsible."
 
"The separation of church and state demands government neutrality, not government hostility to religion and religious values.  This policy violates that separation by effectively telling Catholic children to ignore the teachings of their Faith, and to disregard the moral convictions of their parents.   This policy should not be amended.  It must be abolished." ###

 

NEWS RELEASE

THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2010

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

CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE CALLS UPON ARCHDIOCESE TO HALT
SALE OF CARITAS CHRISTI

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today called upon Sean Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, to halt the sale of Caritas Christi Health Care --- the network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston --- to the Steward Health Care System, a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management, citing concerns over the Catholic identity of the hospitals.

Steward, which will convert Caritas to a for-profit entity, has promised not to sell the system or close any hospitals for three years, and during that time abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the administration of the hospitals. A buy-out clause however, allows Steward, for the payment of 25 million dollars, to terminate the Catholic identity of the system if it finds compliance with Catholic medical ethics to be " unlawful or materially burdensome," which is broadly defined as anything which would "jeopardize the welfare of its patients, employees, or the communities it serves." What constitutes "materially burdensome" will be within the sole determination of the Steward Health Care System.

The Catholic Action League called the supposed guarantees for the system's Catholic identity "manifestly inadequate, defective in substance, and utterly lacking in credibility."

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J Doyle stated: "This impending transfer of ownership means that the future of 150 years of Catholic health care in Boston will be within the discretionary authority of a non-Catholic, for profit, out of state, capitalist corporation. It is now clear that Caritas Christi will be rapidly secularized, that such iconic Catholic institutions as Carney Hospital and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center will no longer defend the culture of life, (and may well be compromised by the culture of death) and Catholic and other pro-life doctors, nurses, and administrators will lose their conscience protections."

"This comes just four years after Catholic Charities withdrew from adoption services in Greater Boston. Beautiful and historic churches are being closed, the parish based Catholic school system is being effectively downsized into 'consolidated', lay-governed regional academies, and now the Catholic hospital system, which dates back to 1863, is about to be abandoned. A two hundred year legacy of Catholicism in Boston, as reflected in an institutional infrastructure, is being systematically dismantled and improvidently discarded. The time has come for the Catholics of Boston to demand that their patrimony, built by the sweat of immigrants, be preserved for future generations."


TESTIMONY OF C. J. DOYLE
AT THE PUBLIC HEARING HELD BY ATTORNEY GENERAL
MARTHA COAKLEY AND THE MASSACHUSETTS
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
ON THE SALE OF CARITAS CHRISTI HEALTH CARE
 
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2010
BRIGHTON HIGH SCHOOL, BRIGHTON, MASSACHUSETTS
 
Madame Attorney General, and representatives of the Department of Public Health:  My name is C. J. Doyle and I am the Executive Director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts.

Catholic health care in Greater Boston is now 147 years old.  Catholic medical institutions have become a long established and well respected part of the fabric of our communities, and have compiled an outstanding record not only in the practice of medicine, but in charitable care for the poor, and in social justice towards their employees. 

Our concern is with the continuing Catholic identity of Caritas Christi Health Care under the conditions of this transfer of ownership.  The potential loss of the system's Catholic identity would deprive the Catholic community of authentically Catholic health care facilities where Catholic medical ethics are upheld --- including protections for the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life from conception to natural death.  It would imperil the conscience rights of Catholic and other pro-life doctors, nurses and hospital administrators.  It could also adversely affect medical care for those in need who may be uninsured, or underinsured, and could jeopardize pastoral care for patients and staff.  Finally,  it would replace Catholic social doctrine, such as the concept of the just wage and the family wage, with the free market law of supply and demand in labor relations. 

The Executed Stewardship Agreement of April 30th between Cardinal O'Malley and the Steward Healthcare System, contains elaborate provisions purportedly intended to preserve the Catholic identity of Caritas under its new owners, including arrangements for ethics committees and hospital ethicists. 

The Notice of Transaction however, filed by Caritas Christi with the Division of Public Charities of the Attorney General's Office on May 5th, is much more problematic.  On Page Nine, in Article VI, ironically entitled Preservation of Catholic Identity, Steward is permitted, for the payment of a penalty, to terminate the Stewardship Agreement if compliance with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would be "unlawful or materially burdensome to Steward or any of the hospitals."  Materially burdensome is broadly defined as anything which would "jeopardize the welfare of the patients or employees of the hospitals, or the communities in which they operate."  Determining what is materially burdensome would be in "the sole discretion of Steward." 

This means that the future of nearly a century and a half of Catholic health care in Greater Boston will be in the discretionary authority of a secular, non-Catholic, for-profit, out of state, capitalist corporation.  For those of us concerned with Catholic identity, this is thin gruel indeed! 

Until the guarantees for the future Catholic identity of Caritas become more concrete, and less ethereal, we must oppose the transfer of ownership of Caritas Christi Health Care to the Steward Healthcare System.

Finally, I wish to endorse the skepticism, more eloquently expressed by others, of the likelihood of a long term commitment to the care of the indigent from a for-profit health care corporation.

Thank you.


NEWS RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 2010

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

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS PROHIBIT REMOVAL OF PRO-ABORTION POLITICIANS

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today criticized the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus for prohibiting state and local jurisdictions in the Order from suspending the membership of candidates and elected officials who support abortion and same gender marriage. At its annual state convention last weekend, the Massachusetts Knights of Columbus refused to take action on a resolution authored by Former District Deputy Joseph B. Craven Jr. urging the State Deputy to suspend such members, citing a letter from Supreme Advocate and General Counsel John A. Marrella.

Marrella stated: "... a subordinate council may not impose fraternal discipline with respect to a public figure's official actions on matters pertaining to faith and morals. Rather, any such discipline must be made by or at the direction of the Supreme Board of Directors, which will consider the prudence of addressing the conduct of the public figure in light of the overall good of the Order."

In the thirty-seven years since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Board of Directors has never, to public knowledge, removed a single pro-abortion political figure from the Knights of Columbus. In Massachusetts, a majority of Knights serving in the Legislature voted in 2007 against a constitutional amendment restoring traditional marriage, and voted in 2005 for a law which compels Catholic hospitals to distribute the so-called morning after pill to rape victims.

The Catholic Action League called Marrella's letter "a shocking abdication of responsibility, and a shameful surrender to the culture of death."

Catholic Action League Executive Director C.J. Doyle stated: "This letter effectively kills any grassroots initiative within the Knights to address the scandal of pro-abortion pols in the Order. It is now clear that the Knights of Columbus, for the foreseeable future, will continue to harbor in its ranks public officials who oppose Catholic morality, and who believe that the killing of 1.3 million pre-born children each year ought to remain legal in the United States."

"Apparently, for the national leadership of the Knights of Columbus, the protection of its insurance business, tax exempt status, and its ratings from Standard and Poors is more important than defending the right to life. Despite its pretensions to the contrary, the Knights of Columbus has now made its peace with legal abortion in America."

A copy of the letter from Supreme Advocate John A. Marrella to State Deputy William F. Donovan follows.

April 15, 2010

Mr. William F. Donovan
State Deputy

Worthy State Deputy and Dear Brother Donovan:

You have asked our opinion with respect to a proposed resolution calling on the State Deputy to summarily suspend certain public figures who are members of the Knights of Columbus and who have publicly taken positions contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. For the reasons set forth below, we conclude that the proposed resolution would be imprudent and contrary to the policy of the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council.

We recognize that some of our members who are public figures may use their public position to advocate or support policy positions that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals. We further recognize that such conduct may cause confusion in that, among other things, it contradicts the Catholic identity and mission of the Order. We also recognize that such conduct can be the source of internal dissension within councils and among members.

We understand that some subordinate councils have the impulse to address real or perceived scandal caused by members who are public figures. Because of the public stature of such members, however, decisions to summarily suspend the member necessarily affect the entire Order. For this reason, a subordinate council may not impose fraternal discipline with respect to a public figure's official actions on matters pertaining to faith and morals. Rather, any such discipline must be made by or at the direction of the Supreme Board of Directors, which will consider the prudence of addressing the conduct of the public figure in light of the overall good of the Order.

The reason for this is straightforward. Any action by a state council likely will be understood by the public as an action of the Supreme Council on behalf of the entire Order. Of course, subordinate councils, including state councils, do no have the authority to speak on behalf of the entire Order with respect to such matters. To the extent that any subordinate council addresses the public acts of particular public figures, they may do so only at the express direction of and in concert with the Supreme Board of Directors, only in the rarest of circumstances, and only after careful consideration of all possible ramifications relating to the good of the Order.

Finally, the Order must be sensitive to the role of the bishops, with whom we stand in solidarity. If the public figure's bishop has not excommunicated him for his public positions on issues relating to matters of faith and morals, it would be highly inappropriate for the Knights of Columbus to do so.

We thank you for bringing this important matter to our attention. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss this matter further.

Sincerely and fraternally,

John A. Marrella
Supreme Advocate and General Counsel


NEWS RELEASE

THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010

CONTACT: C.J. DOYLE,  (781) 251-9739

CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE CALLS UPON ARCHDIOCESE TO SUPPORT DECISION OF ST. PAUL'S SCHOOL

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today called upon the Archdiocese of Boston to vigorously defend the decision of Saint Paul's Elementary School in Hingham to refuse admission to the child of a lesbian couple.

The Catholic Action League called the decision "entirely appropriate, warranted and necessary."

Catholic Action League Executive Director C.J. Doyle made the following comment: "A student is admitted to a parochial school with the expectation that the parents will cooperate in imparting Catholic values, a condition which clearly does not obtain in this case. The real question here is why two people who radically repudiate the moral teachings of Catholicism would want their child educated in a Catholic school. It would seem that they are either looking for an excuse to litigate, or an opportunity to embarrass the Church in the court of public opinion."

"The religious freedom rights guaranteed by the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution and by Article II of the Declaration of Rights of the Massachusetts Constitution safeguard the right of church affiliated institutions to preserve their religious character, integrity and identity. The admission of a child of a lesbian couple to a Catholic school would only result in self-censorship, and de facto acceptance of same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption. The Archdiocese must support Saint Paul's."


May 10, 2010

Letters to the Editor
The Anchor
887 Highland Avenue
Fall River, MA 02720

To the Editor:

A recent Anchor story on Massachusetts health care reform inaccurately characterized the partisan group Catholic Democrats as a pro-life organization ("Abortions decrease under Mass. health care reform," 4/9/2010).

Catholic Democrats do not support legal protection for human life from conception to natural death, do not support the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and do not support Humanae Vitae.

As an organization, Catholic Democrats is a pro-abortion front group whose cynical purpose is to spread disinformation about the mainstream pro-life movement by asserting that pro-life opposition to pro-abortion politicians is motivated by some partisan Republican agenda. Its stock in trade is intellectual dishonesty.

Faithful Catholics should view Catholic Democrats as having the same credibility as Frances Kissling's Catholics for Free Choice.

Sincerely,

C. J. Doyle
Executive Director
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts


April 30, 2010

Letters
Boston Herald
P.O. Box 55843
Boston, MA 02205-5843

To the Editor,

Margery Eagan didn't let the facts get in the way of a good argument when she included in her column a story that had already been exposed as a fraud (ABUSE TOO HEAVY A CROSS TO BEAR, 4/25/2010).

Contrary to Eagan's inaccurate assertion, the Pope's former Vicar General in Germany was not pressured into defending the Holy Father, and stands by his original story that he, not the Pope, made key personnel decisions in the Munich Archdiocese.

Bernie McDaid's plan to insult Catholics by bringing the symbolism of the Protestant Reformation into St. Peter's Square tells us all we need to know about the victims groups criticizing the Catholic Church. As many Catholics have long suspected, these groups, for all their talk of healing and accountability, seem more interested in affronting, at every opportunity, the religious sensibilities of faithful Catholics.

There is one aspect of Martin Luther's life however, which Eagan and McDaid may want to imitate. Luther, at least, had the integrity to leave.

Sincerely,

Joseph B. Craven, Jr
Executive Secretary
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts


PRESS RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 2010

CONTACT: C.J. DOYLE,  (617) 524-6309,  info@catholicactionleague.org

CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE CALLS FOR APOLOGY FROM PRIEST WHO SLANDERED POPE BENEDICT

 
The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today called for an apology from the Reverend James J. Scahill, Pastor of St. Michael's Church in East Longmeadow, for suggesting Pope Benedict XVI has lied in the sexual abuse scandal and ought to resign.  Scahill, a priest of the Diocese of Springfield, made the charge during his Sunday homily, and repeated it in numerous interviews with both local and national media.  
 
The Catholic Action League called Scahill's remarks "a gross and defamatory injustice to the Holy Father." 
 
Catholic Action League Executive Director C.J. Doyle stated: "It is a serious matter when a priest suggests that the Vicar of Christ is a liar. Prudence and justice would demand that he had unassailable facts and irrefutable evidence to substantiate his charge.  Sadly, James Scahill has neither."
 
"Media critics of the Pope have resorted to innuendo, distortions, reckless assertions, sweeping generalizations, and tendentious misinterpretations.  Ignored in all of this is the leadership which the Pope has demonstrated in confronting the sexual abuse issue, which includes his removal of Father Maciel, head of one of the most powerful religious orders in the Church, the Legionaries of Christ."
 
"A Catholic priest ought to be cognizant of the Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.  It requires no courage to join a lynch mob.  Father Scahill ought to be ashamed of himself."

April 13, 2010

Letters to the Editor
The Boston Globe
P.O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

To the Editor:

In his criticism of Pope Benedict XVI, James Carroll offered a revisionist version of Catholic history which contained multiple and manifest inaccuracies (Rescue Catholicism from Vatican, 4/5/2010).

As he has done before, Carroll continues to erroneously assert that the doctrine of papal infallibility was proclaimed as a sort of compensation for the loss of the Pope's temporal power. This unsupportable contention is contradicted by the sequence of events. Pope Pius IX was the Sovereign of the Papal States on July 18, 1870 when the Dogmatic Constitution on infallibility was passed by the First Vatican Council. Two months later, on September 20,1870, Rome was seized by the forces of the Kingdom of Italy, following the unexpected evacuation of the city's French garrison after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War.

Carroll went on to claim that late nineteenth century popes centralized church government by signing concordats with various states, and by establishing Roman educational institutions for priests. In these matters, Carroll errs by several centuries. The Concordat of Worms with the Holy Roman Empire was signed in 1122, and Concordats with France and Scotland were signed in 1516 and 1535 respectively. Roman national seminaries for priests began with the German College in 1552. A half dozen others were products of the Counter-Reformation in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Incredibly, Carroll argued that the Second Vatican Council was called to make the pope a "first among equals". This claim is refuted by the council's own teachings. Lumen Gentium states that "In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church."

Carroll treats history not as an objective reality obliging a truthful presentation, but as malleable material which may be subjectively rearranged for ideological purposes. His assertions are not to be trusted.

Sincerely,

C.J. Doyle
Executive Director
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts


March 31, 2010

Letters to the Editor
Boston Herald
P.O. Box 55843
Boston, MA 02205-5843

To the Editor:

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week, the most solemn time of the liturgical year for Catholics. The Boston Herald's gift to Catholics on Palm Sunday was a venomous diatribe by a shrill bigot culminating in the insolent demand that our Holy Father resign and give himself up for prosecution (He's got to go! 3/28/2010).

The Herald should be ashamed of itself for publishing such vitriol. As for Margery Eagan, it is time to end her twenty year campaign of inciting contempt for Catholicism. Eagan should resign.

Sincerely,

C. J. Doyle
Executive Director
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts


January 31, 2010

Letters to the Editor
The Patriot Ledger
400 Crown Colony Drive
Post Office Box 699159
Quincy, MA 02269-9159

To the Editor:

The recent Patriot Ledger story on Voice of the Faithful referred to that organization's so-called reform mission ("Faithful carry on after the Crisis," 1/22/2010).

The Catholic conception of reform has always entailed interior conversion, that is, turning away from the temptations of the culture to practice the personal pursuit of holiness. Voice of the Faithful however, wants the Church to conform to the culture. VOTF provides platforms for dissidents, refuses to affirm Catholic morality, and advocates "structural change" in the institutional Church.

Given its secular values, sterile spirituality, and aging demographics, Voice of the Faithful might more accurately be characterized as an anti-reform movement on the margins of the Catholic Church.

Sincerely,

C. J. Doyle
Executive Director
The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts


January 25, 2010

Letters to the Editor
The Pilot
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184-3839


To the Editor:

While pro-life Catholics may justly celebrate the defeat of a pro-abortion extremist in the special U.S. Senate election held on January 19th, The Pilot story on Scott Browns' victory conveyed the impression that I believe Senator-elect Brown is in accord with Church teaching on the sanctity of innocent human life. I don't and he isn't ("Many Catholics react favorably to Browns' election," 1/22/10).

Brown supports Roe v. Wade, and as a legislator has voted for buffer zones, emergency contraception and Commonwealth Care, which includes state funding of abortions, sterilizations and birth control. The best we can expect from Senator Brown is that he will support restrictions on abortion, limitations on abortion funding, and conscience clause protections.

The longstanding and bipartisan tradition in Massachusetts politics however, is for those seeking office to accept the votes, endorsements and contributions of social conservatives during an election, and then move leftward after the election.

In Scott Brown's case, he didn't wait for election day to tell the Boston Herald that he now considers same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth to be "settled law."

Sincerely,


C.J. Doyle
Executive Director
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts


NEWS RELEASE

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2010

CONTACT: C.J. DOYLE (617) 524-6309

COAKLEY VS. THE CONSTITUTION

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today rebuked Attorney General Martha Coakley for suggesting that pro-life religious believers should not work in hospital emergency rooms. During an interview on the Ken Pittman Show on WBSM Radio in New Bedford, Coakley --- the Democratic nominee in the special U.S. Senate election to succeed the late Edward M. Kennedy --- criticized her Republican opponent for attempting to insert a conscience clause in the state law requiring hospitals to dispense so-called emergency contraception to rape victims. When asked about the conscience rights of hospital personnel, Coakley, after raising the separation of church and state, responded "You can have religious freedom, but you probably shouldn't work in the emergency room."

The Catholic Action League called Coakley's remark "a chilling expression of extremism, effectively endorsing religious discrimination in the workplace."

Catholic Action League Executive Director C.J. Doyle stated: "Martha Coakley evidently believes that anyone with sincerely held moral and religious convictions about the sanctity of innocent human life --- such as Catholics, Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and others --- should be excluded from the medical and nursing professions. For pro-life religious believers, the only 'choice' Coakley is prepared to allow is one between violating their consciences or sacrificing their jobs."

"It is no wonder that Martha Coakley has kept such a low profile in this campaign. Her handlers obviously understand that a candid enunciation of her far-left views would shock and offend mainstream voters."

"The religious freedom rights guaranteed by both the free exercise clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and even more broadly, by the Declaration of Rights of the Massachusetts Constitution include not only freedom of worship but the right to act in accordance with a religiously informed conscience. This principle was affirmed by the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth as recently as 1995 in the Desilets case, when the court ruled that the Attorney General had to demonstrate a compelling state interest --- a substantial burden in law --- to enforce an anti-discrimination statute against two Catholic brothers in Turner Falls who refused to rent an apartment to an unmarried couple. That the chief law enforcement officer of Massachusetts is unaware of this, or indifferent to it, or opposed to it, should alarm anyone concerned with religious freedom in America."


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