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.
CCI Executive Director Bob Gilligan talks to Pastor Cory Brooks of New Beginnings Church in Chicago, who is seeking to end the gun violence in Chicago through his Project H.O.O.D. program (Helping Others Obtain Destiny) by calling for 5,000 men and women to volunteer to patrol 500 corners in Chicago. Bob also speaks with Dawn Fitzpatrick, new Respect Life director for the Archdiocese of Chicago. He also chats with Ashley Collins of the Archdiocese's Office for Peace & Justice about their #ProjectCST program currently running this summer. Bob finishes up the program by talking with Ashley Feasley of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Migration about the unaccompanied minors crisis.
Are you ready for the third annual Fortnight for Freedom, set to begin this Saturday? Bishop Paprocki of the diocese of Springfield serves on the Religious Freedom Committee of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, and outlines why the fight for religious freedom goes beyond the federal Department of Human Services' mandate for all employers to offer insurance coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilizations. Jim Geoly, a Chicago lawyer specializing in religious and not-for-profit representation, offers his take on the impending ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding lawsuits from Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties against the HHS mandate. The decision on whether or not businesses can have a conscience is expected to impact the status of similar lawsuits by religious-based and nonprofit employers. To close out the show, Republican state Sen. Matt Murphy discusses the plethora of advisory referenda on the Nov. 4 ballot, including a measure asking if insurance plans should require the coverage of birth control. State law and the Affordable Care Act already require such coverage, leading many to criticize that the ballot question is simply a get-out-the-vote ploy in a gubernatorial election year.
What's up with POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment), and Senate Bill 3076? Ethicist Amy Martin from Presence Health joins Bob to clear up the confusion, noting the voluntary form "is meant to be protective of the person." Then, Professor John Kindt of the University of Illinois' College of Business joins the show to talk about the empty promises of gambling expansion. To wrap up the show, Rachel Ramirez and Leeanna Majors of the Chicago Coalition of the Homeless talk with Bob about how Senate Bill 3558 will help to reduce the scourge of human trafficking. Leeanna brings a unique perspective to the issue, since she is a survivor of human trafficking.
Bob kicks off this month's show by talking with Cara Smith, executive director of the Department of Corrections at the Cook County Sheriff's Office, about a legislative initiative from her office that takes an innovative approach to equipping inmates with construction skills to be used on rehabbing housing into transitional housing for the mentally ill. House Bill 4113 is a win-win: It provides inmates with a marketable skill for re-entry into society, and provides housing for the mentally ill, who often make up a third of the Cook County Jail’s population. Bob next talks to Lisa Christiansen Gee from Voices for Illinois Children, who explains how the state's Earned Income Tax Credit targets low-wage workers with financial relief. Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed doubling the state's EITC during the next five years. Finally, Steve Colecchi, director of the Office of International Justice and Peace with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, discusses the recent spate of religious-related bomblings and killings in Nigeria.