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.


Nov. 19, 2018 show

This fall marks the first semester for new students attending Catholic or other private schools on the Tax Credit Scholarship program signed into law just over a year ago. We hear about the impact from Jon Priest, assistant principal of Our Lady of Charity School in Cicero, and parent Laura Garcia. Next, Glenn Van Cura, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet, talks about the re-entry house the organization will open in the spring for former female inmates. Finally, State Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, ends a 17-year legislative career in January, since he chose to retire and not seek re-election on Nov. 6. The pro-life Democrat and former prosecutor reflected on his tenure, the change in politics, and what he sees in store for Illinois under a new Democratic governor.


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.