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.


Jan. 21, 2019 show

Alex Berenson, author of the just-released book, “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence,” joins Bob to talk about the effects that marijuana has on psychosis, which can lead to an increase in violence. Illinois lawmakers are expected to legalize recreational marijuana this spring, and new Gov. JB Pritzker has said he supports the initiative. The Catholic Conference opposes legalization. Next, Anthony Holter, executive director of Empower Illinois, talks about the just-opened application process for Year 2 of the Tax Credit Scholarship program. Then, Kevin Appleby, senior director for the Center for Migration Studies, offers clarity on what is really happening with immigrants and refugees along the border with Mexico in light of President Trump’s recent address to the nation and visit to the border. Finally, Rep. Jeanne Ives, recently retired state lawmaker and GOP candidate for governor in the primary election, reviews her tenure in the Illinois Legislature.



Dec. 17, 2018 show

Ryan Bomberger, co-founder of the Radiance Foundation, joins Bob to talk about the March for Life Chicago in January at which he will serve as the keynote speaker. Ryan’s biological mother was raped but  followed through on her pregnancy, giving up Ryan for adoption when he was six weeks old. The Radiance Foundation seeks to affirm that every life has purpose and is known for its various billboard campaigns celebrating adoption, unplanned pregnancies and fatherhood. Next, Mike Stark, a producer of the recently released film, “A Glorious Life: Cardinal Francis George,” joins Bob to talk about gathering the various Catholic luminaries who pay homage to the late Cardinal George in the film. Finally, Chicago Catholic Editor Joyce Duriga talks about her new bookAugustus Tolton: The Church is the True Liberator. The book outlines the life of Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first identified black American to be ordained to the priesthood in the United States. In 2011, Cardinal George opened Fr. Tolton’s cause for sainthood, which is ongoing.


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.