CCI Executive Director Robert Gilligan hosts the Catholic Conference Radio Hour on the third Monday of the month on Relevant Radio. Gilligan discusses current public policy issues affecting the Church with experts and newsmakers.
Pope Francis arrives this week in the United States, so Bob kicks off this week's radio show by talking to Michael O'Loughlin, national correspondent for Crux, the Boston Globe's website for "all things Catholic." O'Loughlin talks about his new book, "The Tweetable Pope: A Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters." Then, Maria Goldstein joins the show to talk about how Office Depot refused to make copies of a flier that simply included facts about abortion, Planned Parenthood and a prayer for the organization’s conversion. Thomas Olp, the attorney with the Thomas More Society who wrote the company and received an aopolgy for Maria, also talks about this case of religious discrimination. Finally, Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops talks about the bishops' concerns regarding proposed rules allowing Medicare coverage of doctor-patient conversations about end-of-life care.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, joins Bob to talk about House Resolution 671, which urges state officials to investigate Planned Parenthood in light of the undercover videos showing the organization's executives discussing the harvesting of fetal body parts for apparent sale. Fr. John Belmonte, S.J., superintendent of schools for the diocese of Joliet, talks about his tuition transfer grant program, as well as his side gig with the Chicago Cubs. Sue Barrett of Aid for Women discusses the opening of Monica's House for mothers and their children, and the dedication of a chapel in the name of the late Cardinal George. Finally, Catholic New World Editor Joyce Duriga talks about Pope Francis's upcoming visit to the United States and the World Meeting on Families.
Host Bob Gilligan is joined by Jason Negri, a lawyer and assistant director of the Patients Rights Council, to talk about the physician-assisted suicide movement in the United States. Then, Dr. Mark Potosnak, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Studies at DePaul University, joins Bob to talk about Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, Laudato Si’, and what it means to Catholics and the Archdiocese, in particular. To close out the show, Pam Terrell, division director of community services for Catholic Charities in the Joliet diocese, talks about how proposed budget cuts will affect the services the agency provides to its clients.
CCI's own Zach Wichmann joins Bob to urge listeners to call or email their state lawmakers to support the Illinois Kids Campaign. This initiative would increase the education expenses tax credit to $1,000 from $500, and would create scholarships for kids to attend Catholic schools. Next, Anita Bedell of the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems talks about the real possibility of gambling expansion to fix revenue problems for both the state and the city of Chicago. Then, Hillary Byrnes of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops joins the show to talk about the upcoming Fortnight for Freedom slated for June 21-July 4 and its theme of "Freedom to Bear Witness." Finally, Fr. Chris Reuter, O.F.M., prison ministry coordinator for the Belleville diocese, discusses the testimony he gave at a recent meeting of the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. This new commission created by Gov. Bruce Rauner seeks to reduce Illinois' prison population by 25 percent by 2025.