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.


Oct. 15, 2018 show

Manya Brachear, religion reporter for the Chicago Tribune, joins Bob to talk about her career covering the Catholic Church in Chicago as she moves to the East Coast. Next, Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, talks about the new Carafem abortion clinic that has opened in Skokie and is known for its bold advertising of abortion. Then, Ryan Gruenenfelder, director of advocacy and outreach for AARP Illinois, discusses the organization’s recent public opinion poll that shows that 65 percent of those polled are hopping mad about the state’s fiscal condition, and half have considered moving to another state. Finally, Melissa Hastings, policy advisor for the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services, explains a proposed federal change in the “public charge” rule, which would deny green card or permanent resident status to legal immigrants who use such services as food stamps or Medicaid.


Sept. 17, 2018 show

Matt Dietrich, spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Elections, joins Bob to talk about the upcoming November general election in light of the hacking two years ago of the agency’s database. Then, Anthony Granado with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Domestic Social Development talks about the status of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, as lawmakers debate whether to increase current work requirements and tighten eligibility. The cost of the program makes up about 80 percent of the Farm Bill, which is reauthorized every five years and is due to expire at the end of the month. Finally, Joyce Duriga, editor of the Chicago Catholic, talks about her recent pilgrimage to Lourdes with St. John Berchmans parish in Chicago. The parish annually takes high school and college students to the shrine in France.


Aug. 20, 2018 show

Rob Griffin, associate director of research at the Washington, D.C.-based Public Religion Research Institute, joins Bob to talk about recent results of a public opinion poll indicating the tide may be turning slightly in favor of religious freedom.Then, Fr. Charles Bouchard, Senior Director of Theology and Ethics at the Catholic Health Association, joins Bob to talk about the recent New York Times article for which he was interviewed in which Catholic health care was put on the firing line for its life-affirming perspective that does not allow morally objectionable services such as abortion and sterilization. The article is the latest in a string of recent media pieces that are critical of Catholic health care.


July 16, 2018 show

The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court kicks off the show, as Chicago attorney Jim Geoly joins Bob to talk about the Senate confirmation process. Next, state Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, discusses the impact of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding crisis pregnancy centers and how it may set a precedent for a similar Illinois case currently in the courts. Then, Greg Bishop, a journalist for the Illinois News Network, joins Bob to talk about a recent story he did on a 274 percent increase in the number of taxpayer-funded abortions for the first six months of 2018 as compared to the same time frame in 2017. He attributes the increase to the fact that HB 40 – which allows the use of taxpayer funds to pay for elective abortions in the Medicaid program, as well as the state employee insurance program – was implemented Jan. 1. Finally, Mary Kate Knorr, the new executive director of Illinois Right to Life, joins Bob to talk about her new role.