WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently modified a rule that will help ensure faith-based social service providers will not be excluded from certain federally-funded programs of HHS. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop David A. Konderla of Tulsa, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, have issued a statement commending this rule modification.
Their joint statement follows:
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently modified a 2016 regulation in order to help ensure faith-based social service providers, namely adoption and foster care agencies, are free to continue partnering with the government to assist children in need. Each year the Catholic Church and faith-based social service providers serve thousands of families in need through foster care and adoption. Many of these providers have been doing this work long before the government became involved. The same core beliefs about the dignity of the human person and the wisdom of God’s design are what motivate both our positions on marriage, life, and sexuality, and our call to serve. It is a sad reality that state and local government agencies in multiple jurisdictions have already succeeded in shutting down Catholic adoption and foster care providers who operate in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church. With over 400,000 children in foster care, we need to work together to take steps to increase – not decrease – opportunities for children to be placed with safe and loving families. We appreciate the finalization of these rule modifications.”
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