CCI Radio Hour

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.


June 19, 2017 show

Dr. Brian Callister, an internal medicine specialist located in Reno, Nevada, joins Bob to tell the story of how an insurance company told him it would pay for assisted suicide rather than an expensive medical treatment for two of his patients. He recounts this story in a short video produced by the Patients' Rights Action Fund. Then, Msgr. Pat Pollard, director of Catholic Cemeteries for the Archdiocese of Chicago, talks about this unique ministry as he approaches a June 30 retirement date. Closing out the show, Rachel Yarch, a partner with the downtown Chicago law office of Burke, Warren, MacKay and Serritella, discusses a recent unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling that holds that faith-based hospital pension plans are covered by the “church plan” exemption under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The decision in Advocate Health Care v. Stapleton represents a major victory for religious-based health care systems. 


May 15, 2017 show

State Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, joins Bob to talk about last week's Senate passage of House Bill 40, which allows taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions for Medicaid participants and state employees. Gov. Bruce Rauner has promised to veto the legislation, but Senate leadership is using a procedural move to keep HB 40 in the chamber. Next, Hillary Byrnes, Assistant General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, joins the program to talk about President Donald Trump's recent executive order on religious freedom and what it means for Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious organizations. Then, Sam Tuttle of Heartland Alliance joins Bob to talk about House Bill 3142, which would "ban the box" asking about criminal history on state college admission applications. The question discourages many ex-offenders from completing an application. Studies have found that recidivism rates drop dramatically when ex-inmates further their education. Finally, Sue Barrett, executive director of Aid for Women, a pregnancy resource center in the Chicagoland area, talks about the organization's upcoming fundraisers, including a "A Day at the Races" on Sat., June 10 at Arlington International Racecourse and "Swing for Life" golf tournament on Mon., June 19 at Royal Melbourne Country Club in Long Grove.


April 17, 2017 show

Greg Dolan, associate director for public policy for Catholic education for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, joins Bob to talk about what the Donald Trump administration means for Catholic education. The first school Trump visited as president last month was St. Andrew Catholic School located just outside of Orlando, Florida. Next, Fr. Tom Walsh, pastor of St. Martin de Porres parish located in Chicago's Austin neighborhood, talks about what Cardinal Cupich's new anti-violence initiative will mean to parishes like his. Finally, Kate Kuhn, assistant director of Catholic Charities of Chicago’s refugee resettlement program, talks about the program and the need to raise $250,000 by July 1 to continue it.



March 20, 2017 show

Sr. Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), joins Bob to talk about the American Health Care Act, which is the U.S. House GOP's answer to the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. CHA opposes the AHCA, pointing out the Congressional Budget Office notes the proposed legislation would increase the number of uninsured by 24 million by 2026, resulting in a total uninsured population of 52 million in 2026. Next, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Aurora, talks about her work on a statewide task force on veterans' suicide, and the recommendations gathered in House Bill 2647. Then, Sue Barrett, executive director of Aid for Women pregnancy resource center in the Chicago area, discusses the uptick in clients since Senate Bill 1564 went into effect on Jan. 1. Aid for Women, The Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford, and Dr. Anthony Caruso in December won a temporary injunction against implementing SB 1564. Donate to Aid for Women here. Finally, Alexandra Fedosenko, Respect Life coordinator for the Joliet diocese, encourages listeners to attend a "Life Advocacy Day" on March 29 or April 5 in Springfield to lobby House lawmakers against House Bill 40. The legislation eliminates the current ban on using taxpayer money for elective abortions in the Medicaid program and state workers' health insurance plans.