Removing Christ from Caritas Christi

In our last post, Steward’s Super Bowl Sunday Spending, we talked about the expensive television ad by Steward Health Care, the new entity formed to oversee the Caritas Christi hospitals–you know, the hospitals that said they were out of money and needed to sell-out to get the infusion of cash by Cerberus in order to stay afloat.  Beyond the connections of powerbroker Jack Connors, Jr and his son John Connors, III to the ad campaign–and beyond the matter that the commercial strikes everyone we have spoken to as bland, unmemorable, confusing, and a waste of some $500K+ that could otherwise have been put toward healthcare–has anyone noticed how Steward has now removed “Jesus Christ” from Caritas Christi?

Last spring, everyone said the goal of the stewardship agreement that set out conditions of the sale was to preserve the Catholic identity of the hospitals forever.

Christopher Murphy, a spokesman for the network, said the stewardship agreement would be designed to permanently maintain the hospital’s Catholic identity….“The main point is that it’s designed to last forever,” he said. “That’s the prevailing hope of everyone involved, that . . . the Catholic tradition of Caritas Christi stays in place forever.”  (Boston Globe, April 28, 2010)

“The Stewardship Agreement memorializes Steward’s commitment to maintain the Catholic identity of the Caritas Christi Healthcare system and its fidelity to the mission of the Church’s healthcare ministry.” (Fr. Richard Erikson, Vicar General, The Boston Pilot, May 14, 2010)

“We announced yesterday that an agreement has been reached with Cerberus that ensures the Catholic identity of the Caritas Christi hospitals… this stewardship agreement was a key component for us because it will preserve the Catholic identity of Caritas.” (Cardinal Seans blog, May 7, 2010)

Well, that was then and this is now. With the Super Bowl launch of Steward Health Care, it already appears rather clear that Steward’s stewardship of the “Stewardship Agreement” to maintain the Catholic identity at Caritas is flimsy at best, at least publicly. Just look at how the Steward website says nothing about Catholic hospitals, and especially note how the description of Caritas has changed on the Caritas Christi website in the past week to remove mention of Jesus Christ.

Read on for the before and after.

February 3, 2011. The website at had the Caritas Christi logo, with a subtle image of a cross in the logo.  The “About Us” page referenced the Caritas Christi mission:

Caritas Christi Health Care, rooted in the healing ministry of Jesus, is committed to serving the physical and spiritual needs of our community by delivering the highest quality care with compassion and respect.

(Click on the graphic below to zoom the image of the site as of Feb. 3)

February 8, 2011: On the same page, the former Caritas Christi logo is now gone, replaced by the new Steward logo (no cross).

The description on the “About Us” page just says,

“Steward Health Care System is a community-based accountable care organization and community hospital network. Headquartered in Boston, Steward has more than 13,000 employees serving more than one million patients annually in 85 communities.”

Notice how there is no acknowledgment that it was formerly Caritas Christi.   Where is Jesus Christ?  Gone.

Just for the sake of posterity, let us look at how Caritas Christi presented the hospital network just three years ago, before Fr. Bryan Hehir, Jack Connors, and Ralph de la Torre got involved. To the right is the former logo, with a prominent cross.  Here is a cached version of the Caritas Christi website as of January 2008. They described themselves at the time as follows:

Caritas Christi is a Catholic Health Care System rooted in the history of the Archdiocese of Boston. As a community of health care providers, we affirm Christ’s healing ministry, foster excellence in care, and commit ourselves to those in need in accordance with the principles of the Catholic Church.

That Catholic identity–at least expressed publicly at the time–is almost ancient history.

Now, the former Caritas Christi website is still clearly a work-in-process as they replace the old Caritas Christi identity with the new Steward one, and thankfully, there is a small remnant of that former Caritas mission statement left under “mission and values” for now, but we expect that will be gone shortly–unless this blog post triggers the Catholic identity stewards at Steward Health Care who are responsible for stewardship of the “Stewardship Agreement” to do something about preserving the Catholic identity publicly before the name of Jesus Christ is completely expunged.

If this is what they are doing with the Catholic identity publicly where people can readily see it, is anyone else wondering what is happening behind closed doors?

6 Responses to Removing Christ from Caritas Christi

  1. anna says:

    What gets me is the deception that came straight out of the archbishop’s office.

    What will be left of the Catholic infrastructure our ancestors worked to build for three hundred years here in Boston? Our Catholic hospitals, our schools our parishes staffed with priests is either gone or he is working to dissolve it with the Kennedy school of communists at Harvard led by his buddy Bryan Hehir.

    We need an intense and protracted campaign to defund the archdiocese and not just on the internet but on the ground inside of our parishes.

    In less than a decade this archbishop drove three hundred years of work into the ground. I am disheartened when I see the priests sucking up to him to advance their careers. I find myself with little tolerance for lay people who find ways to say it was somebody else’s fault. They have contributed to the dog and pony show for the Holy See who dismissed people trying to warn them as the circus went on.

    Everyone in the know is privy to the sad reality that this Archbishop is a lame duck and has been for at least 5 years.

    Poor Christ. Always shipwrecked with fools and cowards.

  2. DBP says:

    Prediction: When the deconstruction of the former Caritas Christi system has been accomplished (or is at least legally unstoppable), the apologists for the Cardinal and the other deal-brokers who sold us out, literally, will say something like, “We really had no idea – our advisers assured us that we were all right.”

    Just like with the missing $100+ million in the clergy pension fund – “Our advisers assured us that we were fully-funded and didn’t need to put the Christmas and Easter collections into the fund for sixteen years running — even though that’s what parishioners were told they were donating to!

    Anybody remember Claude Rains in Casablanca? “I’m shocked – SHOCKED – to find out there’s gambling going on in here!”

    Worse than the loss of our healthcare system, worse than the loss of our pension fund, worse than the capital-S “SCANDAL” of recent memory is the reality that our leaders think nothing of lying to achieve their own ends. To them, apparently, Pilate was right: “Truth? What is truth?”

    • Michael says:

      even though that’s what parishioners were told they were donating to!

      IS THAT TRUE? Can you say class action lawsuit?

  3. Mary Reilly says:

    I honestly don’t know who’s defending and protecting the Catholic faith any more here in Boston. Has that been delegated off to Jack Connors, Jr and Fr. Bryan Hehir?

    DBP, I think the deconstruction of Caritas Christi may already be unstoppable.

    I already stopped giving to the Catholic Appeal and have told my friends and family members to do the same. Will be interesting to hear how they did in this most recent year.

  4. James says:

    Also, the new Steward logo looks conspicuously like one-half of a swastika.

  5. […] the Catholic identity of Caritas publicly–and in fact they are in the process of actively removing Christ from Caritas Christi’s website. In case you missed reading the two pieces in the Boston Globe in recent days,  selected details […]

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