• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Catholic Charities of Chicago Joins Lawsuit Challenging HHS Mandate

    Lawrence Baker, a Vietnam veteran, thought he was going to die as a drug addict.  As an on-and-off user for the past 50 years, Baker had been incarcerated several times. It was only until his latest arrest in 2006 at Cook County Jail in the Chicago suburbs that he decided to stop using drugs. After his release, Baker was determined to maintain his drug-free status.

    That’s where Catholic Charities stepped in to help. Baker went to Cooke’s Manor, a home operated by Catholic Charities for men recovering from addiction to drugs and alcohol.

    “This is one of the best places I’ve ever been,” Baker recounted in story featured on Catholic Charities’ website. “This place is one of the reasons I’m doing so well.”

    Baker is now working to get his driver’s license back. He attends self-help groups and has a sponsor to support his sobriety. He’s also in touch with his two children and four grandchildren.

    “I want to be a role model to my grandchildren,” he said, “so when my name comes up they can be proud of me.”

    That’s possible thanks in part to Catholic Charities of Chicago. Unfortunately, the organization faces uncertainty due to the Obama administration’s anti-conscience mandate that forces this institution to violate its conscience or face hefty fines.

    The mandate, finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year, forces almost all insurance plans to cover “preventative” services, including abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization. This violation of church teaching prompted Catholic Charities of Chicago to file a lawsuit last week against the federal government. It joins nearly 60 other organizations participating in more than 20 lawsuits. Wheaton College, also of Illinois, sued yesterday.

    “Catholic Charities serves the poor because we are a Catholic organization, not because our clients are Catholic,” said Monsignor Michael Boland, the organization’s president and CEO. “We strongly believe at Catholic Charities that we witness our faith by our service to the poor.  We ask only, ‘Are you hungry?’ ‘Do you need clothing?’ or ‘Are you homeless?’ Under the HHS mandate, to be a ‘religious employer’ we would now have to ask, ‘Are you Catholic?’”

    According to 2011 statistics provided by Catholic Charities, the need in Chicago is significant:

    • Thousands of people received food, clothing, shelter, rent and utility assistance at Emergency Assistance sites.
    • More than 1,500 seniors lived at the independent living apartment buildings.  Thousands more seniors stayed safely in homes by providing home delivered meals and housekeeping services.
    • An estimated 1,000 children ages 6 weeks to 12 years received early care and education at Child Development Centers.
    • Thousands of children, youth and their families received counseling, case management and support services in schools, homes and offices.

    Cooke’s Manor provides alcohol and drug free transitional housing for men, Catholic and non-Catholic. Most residents, recovering drug addicts and alcoholics, pay minimal rent for housing.

    Now the HHS mandate threatens the organization’s ability to continue making significant contributions to society.

    “We oppose any policy that compels us to compromise our Catholic faith,” Boland said.

    Melanie Wilcox is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to Catholic Charities of Chicago Joins Lawsuit Challenging HHS Mandate

    1. Bobbie says:

      Stay focused on the will of God! Ignore Obama! His rules are man!
      Everyone knows Obama has been helping the infiltration of the forbidden into this country, corrupt this country, steal from the people of this country, collapse this country and convert this country into what the chosen weakest of mankind wants! Man made rules and punishments! Somebody better get the uncivil foreign beliefs and those that brought them to this civil country, OUT! They don't stand on their own, they're threatening to human life, they cause trouble and time and as much money as their pathetic humanity intimidates. Their beliefs and self sympathies aren't fitting to this country! They're totally counter-productive to everything civil and all civil humanity. They refuse to follow civil law and cause trouble when it comes to that. they're hypocrites and dishonorable to humanity! The ones that were born into this ugliness in this country can go with their parents, back to where it started or find their minds ability to use their minds for civility. Somebody should do some kind of financial research to see what immigrants get the most accommodations and exceptions (where America doesn't stand but forced by rape! ) The people of this country have put up with enough problems immigrants bring with them! Obviously they don't want to comply and have NO RIGHT dragging this country down because of their non compliance! Unfortunately they have the support of the highest man in America! Wasting everyone's time, money and dangerously!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×