11 July 2011

Governer takes stand against Catholic Charities

The State Journal-Register reports today that Governor Pat Quinn, himself a Catholic, will not sign contracts with Catholic Charities of the Dioceses of Springfield in Illinois, Joliet, Peoria and Belleville, with my emphases and comments:
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is defending the state's new civil unions law in a dispute over adoptions with Catholic Charities [while at the same time ignoring the state's new religious freedom protection law, which are, strangely, the same piece of legislation].

State officials say they won't renew foster care and adoption contracts with the group that has received state money for placing children [but has never been required to place them with non-married couples until now, seemingly against the new law regarding the protection of religious freedom].

Quinn has sent letters to the four remaining Catholic Charities agencies that place children letting them know Illinois won't accept contracts because they won't comply with the civil unions law [the law itself says, "Nothing in this Act shall interfere with or regulate the religious practice of any religious body."  Quinn and others are attempting to do just that in what seems to be a violation of the new law]. The agencies are in the dioceses of Peoria, Joliet, Springfield and Belleville.

Some Catholic groups say the new civil unions law, which gives gay couples many of the same rights as married couples, threatens their religious beliefs [which, clearly, it does].

Quinn says Catholic Charities has "made a choice" and Illinois has a law and isn't going back [quite wrong.  The practice of Catholic Charities has not changed.  It is the State that has "made a choice"].
Effectively, then, the Governor is ignoring the first part of the title of the Act that made civil unions in Illinois legal: Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act.  What happened to the protection of religious freedom?

Catholic Charities has asked to continue State contracts as they have been, by which Catholic Charities has only placed children for adoption and foster care with married couples.  By not allowing Catholic Charities to continue with its placement Catholic Charities is being forced out of adoption and foster care services.
For more background information, see Bishop Paprocki's column in which he explained the four Dioceses are seeking clarification on religious freedom protection.

Update: I was just informed that Catholic Charities does place children with single people, but not with cohabiting couples.

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