WBEZ | Catholic Charities http://www.wbez.org/tags/catholic-charities Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Catholic Charities of Peoria withdraws from lawsuit against Illinois http://www.wbez.org/story/catholic-charities-peoria-withdraws-lawsuit-against-illinois-92934 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-07/AP110712151064.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Three Catholic dioceses in Illinois are continuing a court fight over Illinois' new civil unions law, while another is withdrawing from the litigation.</p><p>The Catholic Diocese of Peoria announced Thursday it plans to stop providing state-funded services and withdraw from the court battle.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.pjstar.com/news/x2075437708/Catholic-Charities-of-Peoria-withdrawing-from-state-foster-care-contracts">According to the Peoria Star-Journal</a>, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) plans to transfer more than 1,000 from Catholic Charities of Peoria to a new organization, The Center for Youth and Family Services, by January 31st.&nbsp; However, that organization currently has no director and no state license to handle foster care cases.</p><p>Catholic Charities of Peoria isn't the first local arm of the organization to end its contract with DCFS.&nbsp; In May, Catholic Charities of the Dicocese of Rockford terminated its foster care and adoption services contracts due to the threat of potential litigation.</p><p>The litigation stems from the passage of the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, which provides many of the same marital rights and protections to those couples who seek to enter into civil unions, including same sex couples.</p><p>Catholic Charities affiliated with the Joliet, Springfield and Belleville dioceses were among the organizations who filed suit asking a judge to determine whether they could refuse to serve same sex couples and unmarried parents seeking adoptions if the agencies continued to receive state funding.</p><p>The state claims that's discriminatory and amounts to a violation of the civil unions law.&nbsp; But the charities argue that religious organizations are except from the provisions of the Illinois Religious Freedom Proteciton and Civil Union Act.</p><p>In August, a Sangamon Circuit County Court Judge ruled in favor of the state, but lawyers for the plaintiffs filed an appeal earlier this week.</p><p>Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Peoria Diocese says the decision to withdraw from the litigation and from providing state-funded social services was not made lightly.</p><p>Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Peoria Diocese said in a statement that the decision to withdraw from the litigation and from providing state-funded social services was not made lightly.</p><p>"Public policy and state law, however, have increasingly clashed with church teachings in such a way that we no longer can maintain this partnership as a viable option," Jenky said.</p><p>Peoria Catholic Charities' foster care contracts with the state total $15 million to $17 million annually, more than half the budget of the charity, said Patricia Gibson, general counsel for the Peoria Diocese and its charity.</p><p>"That's a big hit," Gibson said, and finances didn't play into the decision, Gibson said. Leaders in the diocese saw the opportunity to move all its foster care cases to one new nonprofit group would "minimize disruption in lives, particularly of the children that we serve," Gibson said.</p><p>Illinois ended contracts with Catholic Charities in the four dioceses in July because of the organizations' practice of referring unmarried couples to other agencies.</p><p>Diocese of Joliet spokesman Doug Delaney issued a statement about the Peoria decision.</p><p>"We understand the Diocese of Peoria's frustration with the state of Illinois' stance on foster-care contracts," the statement said. "Each diocese is making its decisions regarding this lawsuit that it finds appropriate to its operations and needs. Due to its own particular circumstances, the Diocese of Peoria has determined not to continue as a party to this appeal. We continue to believe in the merits of our case and remain hopeful that we will prevail on appeal."</p></p> Fri, 07 Oct 2011 15:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/catholic-charities-peoria-withdraws-lawsuit-against-illinois-92934 Catholic Charities, Illinois cut ties over civil unions http://www.wbez.org/story/catholic-charities-illinois-cut-ties-over-civil-unions-88977 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-11/quinn.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn is defending the state's civil union law in a dispute with a Catholic adoption agency. State officials say they won't renew foster care or adoption contracts with Catholic Charities. The organization has received state money in the past, but Catholic Charities has said it would not comply with the new civil unions law signed by Quinn.</p><p>Quinn said the law granting gay couples many of the same rights as married couples is staying put.</p><p>"We're not going back. Any organization that decides that because of the civil unions law that they won't participate voluntarily in a program, that's their choice."</p><p>Quinn said another agency is helping coordinate more adoption services. There are four Catholic Charities offices around Illinois.</p></p> Tue, 12 Jul 2011 22:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/catholic-charities-illinois-cut-ties-over-civil-unions-88977 Chicago-bound refugees navigate a long and winding road http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-11/chicago-bound-refugees-navigate-long-and-winding-road-88962 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-11/5233711537_7ab504630c_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For some leaving their home country, finding a new life in the U.S. can be complicated. Marie Jochum is a community resource developer for <a href="http://www.catholiccharities.net/" target="_blank">Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago</a>.&nbsp; She joined<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> to explain the long and difficult road many refugees must travel before they arrive in the U.S. and what challanges they face once they join Chicago’s own large and diverse refugee community.</p><p><em>Music Button: Grey Area, "Sadness Dub" from the release And Then the Clouds (Waveform)</em></p></p> Mon, 11 Jul 2011 15:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-11/chicago-bound-refugees-navigate-long-and-winding-road-88962 Ottawa agency to take over Rockford foster cases http://www.wbez.org/story/ottawa-agency-take-over-rockford-foster-cases-87957 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-16/2556353.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>An Ottawa child welfare agency will take over caseworkers and staff who serve foster children in Rockford.&nbsp;</p><p>The move comes after Catholic Charities announced it would end state-funded adoption and foster-care rather than comply with Illinois' new civil union law.&nbsp;</p><p>The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services announced Thursday that Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley will take on about 300 cases by the&nbsp; end of June. The agency already serves about 1,200 children in six counties.&nbsp;</p><p>Ottawa is about 70 miles south of Rockford.&nbsp;</p><p>The new Illinois law allows same-sex couples and unmarried opposite-sex couples to get civil unions. The law went into effect June 1.&nbsp;</p><p>Catholic Charities in Joliet and Peoria also have said they would halt licensing foster and adoptive parents because of the law.</p></p> Thu, 16 Jun 2011 19:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/ottawa-agency-take-over-rockford-foster-cases-87957