Religious principles or Caesar’s money?
The major US refugee resettlement contractor (in terms of the number of refugees ‘served’), the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, is between a rock and a hard place.
They have been taking millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars for decades and now they are faced with a possible lawsuit from the ACLU which wants to know how their federal contracts are awarded and how the Bishops, in taking federal money, are still allowed to impose their religious beliefs on those new ‘refugees,’ the ‘unaccompanied alien minors,’ they are contracted to care for.
You knew this day was coming—-the day of reckoning for the Bishops!
Religious groups such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are the target of an imminent ACLU lawsuit that hopes to order the federal government to release information about how the groups are awarded government funding contracts to assist illegal unaccompanied minors, yet refuse to allow the minors access to contraception and abortion.
According to a press release, the ACLU states, “The U.S. government has committed to providing services to meet the basic needs of these teens. Reports indicate that between 60 and 80 percent of women and girls who cross the border are sexually active.”
“Some of these organizations impose their religious beliefs on these teens by denying them access to contraception, emergency contraception, and abortion,” the ACLU continues.
Equating abortion and contraception with “health care,” Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said, “Religious freedom does not include the right to take a government contract that requires providing access to health care, and then refuse to provide a teen who has been raped the health care she needs.”
The ACLU’s suit comes in the wake of recent proposed federal regulations that require groups that receive federal contracting funds to assist with care for illegal minors to ensure they are provided with access to contraception and abortion. In response, however, the USCCB said such a requirement would violate religious freedom since contraception and abortion are against the teachings of the Catholic Church.
As the largest resettlement agency in the United States, the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) reported last year that “upwards of 90,000” young illegal immigrants were projected to arrive between October 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014. MRS showed a total budget of approximately $71 million, of which nearly $66 million–or about 93 percent–has come from federal grants and contracts.
The Catholic and evangelical groups requested that ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement in HHS] ensure their organizations are able to “remain free to act in accord with their religious beliefs and moral convictions in the area of human sexuality” when caring for illegal minors.
Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World News (CWN) cautioned the bishops about relying on federal contracts, stating, “Stop taking federal contracts. President Obama doesn’t want help from the Catholic Church. Say it’s a deal; don’t give him any.”
“Imagine the chaos that would ensue if ‘the largest resettlement agency in the United States’–the bishops’ MRS office–withdrew from that effort,” Lawler wrote. “For decades, some concerned Catholics have warned that by accepting (and, more important, energetically lobbying for) government support, Catholic charities have compromised their independence. President Obama has now illustrated that point.”
Given that, from its annual report, the bishops’ MRS program would shrink down to near extinction without federal grants, Lawler concluded, “What would be left would be a recognizably Catholic charity, not a federal program administered through the bishops’ conference.”
Please go back to Breitbart for the whole article (even though I snipped a lot) for more, and because there are lots of links I have not inserted.
I can’t believe I am cheering for the ACLU! I’ve been wondering for years where they were on the ‘religious’ federal refugee resettlement contractors.
Go here for our complete archive on the ‘unaccompanied minors’ issue. The archive goes back several years, even before the latest border invasion.
Did the Bishops actually start the stampede to the border in 2013?
See especially this post from last year—the Bishops issued a report in November 2013 predicting that 60,000 children would head to the US border soon. Someone needs to investigate whether the Bishops themselves, in their 2013 visit to Central America, actually lit the fuse for the huge migration of “children” to the US border in 2014 (ORR says that 58,000 entered the US in that one year). Amazing, isn’t it, how close their prediction was to the number which actually came.
Faithful Catholics must start asking their local priests about what the Bishops are doing in your good name!