Ashley Feasley of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops joins host Bob Gilligan to talk about a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled an effort to rescind the DACA program was "arbitrary and capricious." Chicago attorney Jim Geoly discusses a different U.S. Supreme Court decision that safeguards religious freedom in employment at Catholic schools. Finally, Dr. Jim Rigg, superintendent of the Archdiocese of Catholic Schools, talks about the safeguards put in place for the reopening of schools this fall amid the ongoing pandemic.
Pope Francis today announced that he has named Bishop Ronald A. Hicks, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago, as the sixth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Joliet, Ill. Pope Francis had previously accepted the resignation of Bishop Emeritus R. Daniel Conlon and had named Bishop Richard E. Pates as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese until a new bishop could be appointed. Bishop Hicks, 52, will be installed at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet, Ill. on September 29, 2020.
The Little Sisters of the Poor today notched a big win in their fight for religious freedom, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 against a challenge by two states that argued an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide employee health insurance coverage of contraceptives violated federal law. But the victory may be short-lived, since the court left open the possibility for opponents to challenge in lower courts the exemption as arbitrary and capricious. Any further litigation will most assuredly continue past the 2020 election, which could bring a new U.S. president and his perspective on the issue.
The U.S. Supreme Court today looked to a 2012 decision establishing the doctrine of “ministerial exception” in ruling that Catholic school teachers could not sue for employment discrimination. In writing the majority opinion in the 7-2 decision in Our Lady of Guadalupe School vs. Morrissey-Berru, Justice Samuel Alito expanded upon the concept of “ministerial exception” created in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School vs. EEOC. In the 2012 case, the court ruled that ministers could not sue churches and religious institutions for employment discrimination. The high court today agreed the exception applied to two Catholic school teachers because they played a key role in educating their students in the faith.