R.T. Neary
Catholic hospital system uses Nixon's dirty tricks
By R.T. Neary
August 4, 2010

The Caritas Christi Health Care System, an entity within the Archdiocese of Boston, has not only stonewalled inquiries into a controversial sale, but is employing trickery in thwarting Catholic opposition.

The dealings with Cerberus Management L.P. has brought Caritas' lack of ethical/moral public relations to a new low, and it's bringing further damage to the Archdiocese's tarnished reputation.

Caritas, which operates under the oversight of Cardinal Sean O'Malley, was caught in a particularly devious act committed by the Director of Public Relations, Chris Murphy. It occurred at a news conference announcing the formation of the Coalition To Save Catholic Health Care at the Omni Parker House on July 27 in Boston.

A Boston Globe article the next day reported that Murphy labeled the Coalition's complaints as "unfounded." The Globe article followed with his quote that, " The wild speculation engaged in today is absurd."

Not only was this a mischaracterization of the presentation, but an egregious act, as well, since Mr. Murphy had signed in under false pretenses, using a pseudonym. And to add to his trickery and deceit, before the start of the totally open program, he identified himself as working for the Bank of America, and that he attended because of interest in the issue, as a Catholic layman.

To add further insult to the Coalition above his accusatory, demeaning quote in the Boston Globe the next day, he asked not a single question during the conference. Nor did he make a solitary comment to any Coalition presenter.

The ultimate irony of these negotiations is that the once-proud Archdiocese of Boston is dealing with Cerberus, which is named after a mythological 3-headed dog, whose role is to guard the gates of Hades. Some of the orthodox laity are calling it a pact with the Devil.

Both parties are now seeking approval for a sale agreement, which after 3 years would allow for the termination of any Catholic identity if Steward Healthcare LLC, the new entity, finds the catholicity to be "burdensome." A 25 million dollar payment to a charity of Archbishop O'Malley's choice would consummate the complete takeover.

The 3-headed dog guarding Hades will have devoured the heart and soul of health care in the Roman Catholic tradition in the entire Greater Boston area.

© R.T. Neary


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