Current Issues
Catholic Charities Closing Due to Standing for Core Teachings
February 19, 2010

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. –Thomas Jefferson


D.C.’s same-sex “marriage” law may still be under congressional review, but the city’s children are already feeling its effects. After 80 years in the District, D.C.’s Catholic Charities has been forced to close its doors on a popular foster care program after an ugly confrontation with the City Coun

cil about placing kids with same-sex couples. Late last year, officials with the city issued an ultimatum: ignore the Church’s core teachings or wave goodbye to $2 million in foster care funding. Susan Gibbs, a spokesman for the Archdiocese, said Catholic Charities really had no choice. “The city is saying that in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that’s really a problem.”

In negotiations with the District, Catholic Charities had asked members to compromise by adding a religious exemption to its gay “marriage” bill. The city refused, leaving people to wonder about the fate of the 63 other programs operated by Catholic Charities in the Washington metro area. Barry Lynn, who has taken it upon himself to police the issues of church and state, argued, “If faith-based charities cannot or will not obey civil rights laws, they ought not benefit from public funds.”

He’s wrong on two counts. For starters, counterfeit marriage isn’t a civil right. Nowhere in the Constitution do we find a compelling or logical basis for treating it as such. Secondly, Catholic Charities wasn’t the one benefiting from public funds–Washington , D.C. was. Last year alone, more than 124,000 people were fed, housed, treated, legally defended, or adopted as a result of Catholic Charities programs. If the City Council is willing to sacrifice a child’s well-being on the altar of political correctness, then no one in the District is safe–including D.C.’s neediest. These city leaders have proven that they would rather let men marry men than provide for their residents’ basic needs.

Councilman David Catania, author of D.C.’s same-sex “marriage” bill, shrugged off the Church’s impact. “[Catholic Charities doesn’t] represent, in my mind, an indispensable component of our social services infrastructure.” This, coming from a city whose infrastructure can’t even manage to clear the snow off its streets! Are we to believe that the District, which has trouble operating a fleet of plows, can somehow navigate the tricky road of child services? D.C. needs all the help it can get! In the meantime, we applaud Catholic Charities for refusing to swallow policies that are incompatible with their faith. Maybe in the end, the best way they can serve the community is by standing up for what they believe.