Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Catholic Church Never Learns

Robert M. Haddad, MD, President/CEO, Caritas Christi Health Care

They just don't take accusations of sexual misbehavior seriously. You'd think after paying out millions for the priest pedophilia scandals, they'd have learned a lesson, but no. Sunday the Boston Globe reported that the head of the Catholic church's hospital system in Boston, Dr. Robert Haddad, was privately reprimanded for sexual harassment of several female employees, despite a hospital board recommendation that he be fired. Why did they recommend he be fired? There were four women complaining, and there had been prior complaints about Haddad, for which he was warned against any further harassing behavior. Today's article in the Globe says Haddad even lied to investigators about the prior reprimand.

Once the story hit the papers, women started coming out of the woodwork with their own stories of harassment by Dr. Haddad. The count of new complaints is put at 'over 10'. Haddad gives the old 'cultural differences' defense; do men in Lebanon talk about sex with women who work for them? I don't think so.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley is the Vatican's man; he has continued to run the Diocese of Boston as Cardinal Law did, with an iron fist and a deaf ear to the laity. Why do you think they made him a cardinal three months ago? He protects the hierarchy -- even the lay hierarchy -- and to hell with the parishioners. Close their churches, the churches built with the weekly donations of the faithful. Protect the priests, not the innocent children. Cardinal Law and Cardinal O'Malley are the poster children of a broken institution.

Boston Sunday Globe: O'Malley reprimands Caritas chief

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley last week decided to privately reprimand Caritas Christi Health Care System's president, Dr. Robert M. Haddad, for multiple instances of kissing and other physical touching involving four women employees, despite an investigation by senior Caritas Christi officials that concluded that Haddad should be fired, according to internal documents and e-mails obtained by the Globe.


One of those stunned by the decision to rebuke but not dismiss Haddad is Helen G. Drinan, senior vice president for human resources at Caritas, who sent an e-mail Thursday to the board members in which she declared: ''I know what will befall this organization when the public learns that the Church in Boston has once again put the powerful predator ahead of the powerless victim."

In a May 8 letter to O'Malley, Drinan said Caritas had ''always" fired other employees who have engaged in similar behavior.

She also advised him that both she and Jean Musiker, an outside lawyer who was brought in to conduct an independent inquiry, concluded that Haddad violated federal workplace law, as well as the written sexual harassment prohibitions of Caritas Christi, which operates six hospitals and has 12,000 employees.

Drinan, who fielded the initial complaints about Haddad from women employees, elaborated on Haddad's behavior in an e-mail to members of the Caritas Christi board of governors on Friday, a day after they endorsed O'Malley's decision.

Haddad, she wrote, ''hugs subordinate female employees, kisses them on the lips, rubs them on the back, calls them late at night, and asks them about matters that are highly personal to them."

She also said that, even during the course of the investigation, Haddad continued to behave inappropriately, citing a report from Peter Holden, president of the Caritas hospital in Methuen, that Haddad ''was observed to be winking and leering" at one of the four women complainants a week earlier.

Boston Globe: Caritas chief faces new accusations

Haddad, who had previously declined to comment, issued a statement yesterday through his spokeswoman, Nancy Sterling, saying he was committed to continuing as president. He said that the behavior for which he was sanctioned was merely an extension of the Lebanese culture in which he was raised, and has been misinterpreted.

``In my Lebanese culture, hugs and kisses among men and women are not only expected, but warmly given and received," he said in the statement. ``So I was stunned to learn that some of my actions may have been misinterpreted; at no time was I aware of making anyone uncomfortable. And although I have never acted inappropriately, I deeply regret causing anyone any discomfort."


Meanwhile, in a reflection of simmering tensions within the archdiocese, Bishop Richard G. Lennon, who was O'Malley's vicar general until he became bishop of Cleveland last week, issued a statement saying that O'Malley removed him from two joint Caritas boards just hours before last Thursday's vote. Lennon, according to several people he has talked to, had strongly urged that Haddad be dismissed, and would have made that argument to the governing board.


The Globe yesterday interviewed a female former Caritas Christi manager who has not filed a complaint. She said that when she met Haddad several years ago, he made sexual innuendoes in a casual conversation with her about her husband, which he then repeated in several subsequent conversations.

1 comment:

Mike said...

catholic = sex harassment