Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Illinois Catholic Agencies Drop Suits Seeking To Keep Foster Care Funding

The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that the Catholic dioceses of Joliet, Springfield and Belleville, Illinois have dropped their lawsuits against the state of Illinois in which they were seeking to retain state funding for foster care services without placing children with same-sex couples who had entered civil unions. (See prior posting.) An attorney for Catholic Charities says that they were forced to drop the lawsuit when the state delayed payments to the agencies and thus prevented foster care parents from receiving payment.

Meanwhile, Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois announced that it was separating from the Diocese of Belleville and as a new organization, Christian Social Services of Illinois, will continue to offer foster care services in compliance with Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. A statement by the Diocese of Springfield indicated that it is completely ending its foster care and adoption services, but added: "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."