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Mass. Cardinal ends Caritas link to insurer

June 27, 2009
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BOSTON—Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley has ended a joint venture between a hospital system founded by the archdiocese and a Missouri-based health insurer, fearing it linked Catholic hospitals too closely to abortion providers.

O'Malley has been criticized for allowing Caritas Christi Health Care to partner with Centene Corp., which covers abortion services.

With the decision, Caritas will still provide health care to patients, including those covered by Centene -- though it won't provide services that violate Catholic teachings.

But the archdiocese won't be co-owner of an insurance venture with Centene. The archdiocese is hoping that will remove questions whether it's profiting from abortions or other services Centene covers in non-Catholic hospitals.

A spokeswoman for the struggling Caritas system declined to say what the financial impact of O'Malley's decision would be.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/globe