Pledging to adhere to state legislation requiring equal treatment for same-sex couples in adoption and foster-care services, Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois is separating from the Diocese of Belleville. The agency will now be called Christian Social Services of Illinois.
“The Catholic Diocese of Belleville has announced that Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois (CSS), consistently one of the most highly rated providers of foster care and other social services in the State of Illinois, is separating from the Diocese of Belleville,” the diocese said in a statement. “It will no longer be connected to or sponsored by the Diocese.”
“Unable to remain faithful to the moral teaching of the Catholic Church while adhering to the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, the 64-year-old social service agency chose to disassociate from the Diocese. It is hoped that this new entity will experience no interruption in its services and programs.”
“Catholic Social Services, incorporated in 1947 as Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Belleville, will separate from The Catholic Diocese of Belleville,” the agency said in a separate statement. “This action is being taken so that the agency, which will be known as Christian Social Services of Illinois, may adhere to the new State of Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.”
“This solution is what is best for the children by providing for their continuity of care and allowing for the retention of the caring, dedicated and professional staff employed by the agency,” said Gary Huelsmann, the agency’s executive director.