Breaking – and disturbing – news out of one diocese in Illinois, where starting June 1st, the new civil unions bill threatens to make Catholic (and other religious) adoption and foster care agencies guilty of “discrimination” if they refuse to place kids with same-sex couples:
The Diocese of Rockford has announced that its Catholic Charities offices will no longer offer state-funded adoptions and foster-care services when the new Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act takes effect June 1.
Because the law did not include an exemption allowing religious organizations to refer adoptions or foster-care arrangements involving same-sex or unmarried cohabitating couples to other agencies, “the Diocese of Rockford is forced to permanently discontinue all state-funded adoption and foster-care operations as of June 1,” said Penny Wiegert, diocesan director of communications, at a May 26 news conference.
During the debate over the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act, the Catholic Conference of Illinois said the state’s six Catholic dioceses provide about 20 percent of the adoption and foster-care services in Illinois and had facilitated the placement of about 3,700 abused and neglected children with loving families over the past 10 years.
n Rockford, the shutdown will involve job loss for 58 Catholic Charities workers who were notified that morning. Catholic Charities in the Rockford Diocese had been handling approximately 350 foster family and adoption cases in northern Illinois with a state budget of $7.5 million. [CNS]
More info from the Diocese of Rockford website.
Once again, religious liberty is threatened by the intrusion of government into defining what the family is/should be. The Catholic bishops of Illinois actively opposed the civil unions bill which was rushed through the state legislature, because (among other reasons) almost no attention was paid to the serious religious liberty problems it contained.