Skip to comments.Illinois: Catholic Charities ends adoption-services appeal, will 'focus on being more Catholic'
Posted on 11/17/2011 7:43:56 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o
It is with deep regret that we have decided to relinquish our appeals in the litigation concerning the provision of foster care and adoption services by Catholic Charities of the Dioceses of Joliet and Springfield in Illinois and by Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois in the Diocese of Belleville, the bishops of the three dioceses said in a joint statement.
This lawsuit had sought clarification as to whether the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act passed at the end of last year protected the freedom of faith-based agencies to provide foster care and adoption services in accord with their religious beliefs.
The decision not to pursue further appeals was reached with great reluctance, but was necessitated by the fact that the State of Illinois has made it financially impossible for our agencies to continue to provide these services and the courts have refused to grant a stay for these operations to continue while further appeals are pending, the bishops continued
Since we now need to close offices and lay off employees, further appeals would be moot.
Because the State of Illinois has put an expedited process in place to transition to other agencies the foster children under the Charities care, any relief ordered by the Appellate Court would come too late to save the Charities foster care ministry, the Thomas More Society, which represented Catholic Charities, stated in a press release announcing the end of the litigation. Both the Circuit and Appellate Courts denied the Charities emergency motions to prevent the transition.
Catholic Charities: The Bishop of Springfield Gets it Right
The silver lining of this decision is that our Catholic Charities going forward will be able to focus on being more Catholic and more charitable, while less dependent on government funding and less encumbered by intrusive state policies.
One is tempted to emblazon this statement by Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois on every bumper sticker in the world, and across the very heavens as well. This was Bishop Paprockis conclusion after the bishops of Illinois failed to get a temporary stay of execution of the States plan to move adoption and foster care services to other agencies willing to place children with same-sex couples.
Weve been talking about this for some time on CatholicCulture.org. For example, see Phil Lawlers Christian Social Services of Illinois: martyrs need not apply, written just a few days ago, and my own Mixed Morality in the Peoria Adoption Solution, back in October. The Bishop of Springfield is exactly right: This development frees Catholic Charities in the affected regions to be both more Catholic and more charitable.
Catholic Charities can be far more forthright about its Catholic identity if it is free from government funding and the regulations that inevitably accompany it. It is never good for a religious mission to be dependent on government. The missions of the Church and the State are not the same, the values of Churchmen and politicians are seldom identical, and in a modern secular state, the endemic opposition to both religion and the natural law makes a classical problem far worse. Any situation in which the Church receives funding through the governmentwhether for social services, education or ministerial stipendsis a disaster waiting to happen for the Church.
Moreover, the Church must never put herself in the position of being considered an agency of the State. This goes beyond the damage done by misguided or even immoral state regulations, such as those specifically at stake in Illinois. When the Church or its agencies carry on their charitable and apostolic activities with funds provided by the State, they are by that very fact subordinated to the State in both perception and reality.
But the Church is an independent institution in her own right, wielding the spiritual sword. Indeed, it is the Church which has the proper role of specifying the legitimate and moral ends and means of temporal government, and not the other way around.
Bishop Paprocki was also correct when he said that this disentanglement of Catholic Charities from the State would make Catholic Charities more charitable. While it is perfectly legitimate, as a means of fostering the common good, for government to provide various forms of relief and assistance to those without any other recourse, this is not a charitable work on the part of the State. For those who provide the fundsnamely the taxpayersit is not charity, for it is not voluntary. And for those who administer the funds, it is not charity but a paying job.
True charity is a voluntary sacrificial giving for the personal good of someone in need. While many in social service careers have wonderful motives, and some may go beyond their duties to perform many acts of personal charity, public social services do not represent that direct and vivifying charity by which we voluntarily enter the life of another to seek the good of the whole personof the brother or sister in need. There are typically vast affective and effective gulfs between State social programs and true charity. Catholic Charities, by its very nature, should maximize the latter.
It is worth rereading the second part of Pope Benedict XVIs encyclical Deus Caritas Est to review and more deeply grasp this precise and essential point.
One final thought: When people rely primarily on the State for their needs, they become increasingly dependent on the State. A cycle of dependency is perpetuated and seldom escaped through State programs. Yet such programs invariably increase the power of the State in a way which reduces the influence of other institutions which make for a more vibrant social order. By contrast, when a persons extraordinary needs are met with charity, there will generally be a natural progression of assistance which addresses the root causes of the visible misfortune. People can get back on their feet, and then they often become new agents of charity in their own right.
Through this process, the intermediary institutions which provide such sacrificial service gain stature in the minds and hearts of those they serve, attracting others to the same values and service. A whole tapestry of good habits, and organizations which foster them, will emerge to enrich the social order. People will be able to find their place in communities of genuine concern which affirm their dignity and worth. The State, with its frequently corrosive impact on initiative and self-reliance, will shrink as society grows healthier in this way.
There is no question that Bishop Paprocki is exactly right. The decision to end the battle with the State of Illinois has a silver lining. But the corollary is that all of us need to increase our sacrificial commitment to doing and supporting truly Catholic charitable work. For if that silver is invested well, its future value will be immense. Its future value will be incalculable.
Well written and correct.
Absolutely. Catholic Social Services has been sucking at the teat for too long. We need to get this God forsaken government of ours the hell out of our business. We've cooperated with the Devil for too long.
I am glad to hear this. They made the right decision, for the right reasons.
Our bishops may be slow to turn the ocean-liner, but they have finally started on the midcourse correction. They're going to need to hear from the pewsitters that this is exactly right: cut off the nuzzling at the governemnt teat, and WE WILL SUPPORT CATHOLIC CHARITIES.
As Dorothy Day of Catholic Worker said,
"You don't need permission to perform the Works of Mercy."
And also to the point, she followed that up with:
"As Catholics we have no right to force the poor into dependency on Holy Mother the State.
If anyone would like to help out Catholic Charities & you’re in the central Illinois area, come on out to the Nelson Center on Dec. 7th at 7pm for “Hockey with Paprocki (the Holy Goalie)” all proceeds from the game will go to Catholic Charities! $3 admission. Good chance to show support!
I agree Bishop - but do not, for a minute, think the "intrusion" will end when you end any Gov't funding. There will be a short respite. Then they will come at you in other ways.
Thanks for the ping!
Just amplifying what OneBob said:
If anyone would like to help out Catholic Charities & youre in the central Illinois area, come on out to the Nelson Center on Dec. 7th at 7pm for Hockey with Paprocki (the Holy Goalie) all proceeds from the game will go to Catholic Charities! $3 admission. Good chance to show support!
God have mercy on the little babies that are being given to homosexual couples.
So true. Sadly, too many Catholics neglect charities directed by the Church, because they have the attitude that "the Government takes enough of my money in taxes to take care of poor people, why should I give to the Church, too?"
The state of IL is run be evil people. From the RAT controlled state gubmint to the RAT controlled, and hand picked judges on the courts. Including 'our' RINOs who are
all in 'The Combine'(1) with the RATS.
Come Judgment Day every one of them will burn in Hell.
[That will be St. Peter's easiest part of the day.]
(1) Combine Member Quote (from John Kass article):
"When we're in, we're in. And when they're in, we're in."
You would never know that she was not a statist/commie based on how shes often portrayed by the social justice types.
They may be getting off the “social justice” government train. Good to hear. But as another posted, more babies will be going to homosexual couples.
I’m Protestant so I probably shouldn’t be on this ping list.
The Catholic Left has always portrayed her as a generic leftie, when in fact she believed in maximizing the Kingdom of God, and shrinking the State.
Her autobiographical writing is marvelous. "The Long Loneliness" brought me back to the Church.
Was this a matter of merely having to use Caesar’s dime the way Caesar said, or did Ill Noise presume to tell the Roman Catholic church how to do its own private adoption operations, ordering it to give them the full gay treatment?