Religious Freedom The Catholic Way

In Philadelphia, foster parents are selected by private social service agencies using criteria provided by the city of Philadelphia.  As part of the cities “non-discrimination” policy, all qualified applicants should be considered regardless of religion, color, ethnicity or gender orientation.  Non-Discrimination means just that no one is disqualified for reasons unrelated to whether the candidate is trustworthy with the economic and emotional means to become a foster parent.  Sounds pretty clear to me.

Hold on, says the Catholic Social Services Agency, what about our religious freedom. Hmmm. Consequently, the Philadelphia Catholic Services Agency filed a law suit in Federal Court claiming the City was not treating them fairly.  Hmmm.  

So to be clear, the issue does not involve fitness (economic or emotional) to be a foster parent.  Rather the suit is about a  which groups of people or more to the point which groups cannot be considered as foster parent candidates due to a religious intolerance directed towards gender orientation.  Like many other Catholic dogma views, Catholics are not content to practice their dogma by themselves.  For example, the Catholic Church is free to decide who can be members of its churches. 

If the Catholic Services Agency does not want to interview same sex couples for foster parents openings, then CSA should not seek business from Philadelphia which clearly states that all qualified (economic and emotional) residents should be considered.  The Philadelphia CSA apparently sees “hypocrisy” differently.

Sadly Philadelphia’s decision to honor its non-discriminatory policy will deprive the city of what otherwise was a very competent services provider.  For Catholic Services Agency, backed with money from someplace, there could be another chance to challenge in court for the right to discriminate in the name of religious freedom.

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