"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

An archbishop in the abortion business

According to Carol McKinley, a Catholic blogger from Boston, Cardinal Seán O'Malley, the Archbishop of that city, is now in the abortion business. Her evidence consists mostly of extensive quotations from the website of Celticare, a new "joint venture" in which the Archdiocese's own health-care agency, Caritas Christi, is one of the two partners, the other being Centene Corporation. The facts seem pretty damning.

Since O'Malley must surely know of this, either he doesn't care or he does care and has some plausible defense to offer. Of course, that's assuming he cares enough to offer such a defense. I am willing to make that assumption because my impressions of him, from both news stories and Boston-area friends, have been positive until now. It's easy to think the worst of a man in charge of a diocese that was the epicenter of a decades-long scandal, has been hemorrhaging members and parishes, and belongs to what is arguably the most liberal state in the Union. I am not yet ready to think the worst. So I await the defense.

Carol, on the other hand, is awaiting a disciplinary response from the Vatican. I'm not sure that will come, at least not publicly, in a way that will have visible effect. Caritas' contract with Centene may be written in such a way that the Archdiocese cannot bow out without huge loss at a time when it's already reeling financially. If so, then the Vatican may just accept such defense as O'Malley is willing to offer. But maybe there is no defense. In that case, the Vatican may just end up forcing O'Malley's hand and making the Archdiocese bite the financial bullet. That would probably be O'Malley's downfall, paving the way for a successor to preside over the ensuing disaster. Boston's penance is far from over in any case.

This is going to be interesting. I'd appreciate any updates.
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