Member's Blog
An Illinois Catholic Charity Succumbs to the Secular, Homosexual Agenda
Written by News

By Michael Terheyden


In a shocking turn of events on November 11, 2011, Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois announced that it intends to split from the Belleville diocese and offer adoptions and foster-care services to homosexuals and unmarried heterosexual couples in direct opposition to Church teaching.

NOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - In a previous article titled "Catholic Charities Forced to Shut Down Services around the Country," I informed readers about the state of Illinois using the homosexual agenda to attack Catholic Charities. Now, one of the worst developments that could happen has happened: Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois has succumbed to the pressure of the secular state and its homosexual agenda and intends to split from the Diocese of Belleville.

It began with the implementation of the "Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act," which went into effect this past summer in Illinois. This law allows homosexuals and unmarried heterosexual couples to adopt children and become foster parents under the guise of tolerance. However, the law has absolutely nothing to do with tolerance or religious freedom. We know this because the state could easily allow secular and religious adoption and foster-care programs to coexist, but it does not want to. Instead, the state is forcing all adoption agencies operating in Illinois to place children into these promiscuous relationships or shut down. 

Consequently, Catholic Charities from three Illinois dioceses--Springfield, Joliet and Peoria--filed a lawsuit against the state. Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois in the Belleville diocese later joined the suit. However, state officials found a way to thwart the lawsuit by cancelling Catholic Charities' 40-year contract to provide services in Illinois, thus rendering the suit moot. This forced Bishops in three of the Illinois dioceses to drop their lawsuit against the state and shut down their adoption and foster-care programs. 

In a shocking turn of events on November 11, 2011, Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois announced that it intends to split from the Belleville diocese and offer adoptions and foster-care services to homosexuals and unmarried heterosexual couples in direct opposition to Church teaching. And as a result of the split, it will change its name to Christian Social Services of Illinois. The agency's executive director Gary Huelsmann "called the move a 'solution' that will be 'best for the children' as it ensures 'their continuity of care.'"

Unfortunately, this is not the best solution for the children. It is the worst solution for at least some of the children. Placing children into unstable and unhealthy relationships comprised of unmarried heterosexual couples or homosexuals is not responsible.

Furthermore, Mr. Huelsmann's reasoning presumes that the end justifies the means. In this case, the end being 'continuity of care.' But the end never justifies the means, and, according to paragraph 1753 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this presumption is opposed to Church teaching.

The tragic decision made by the principals of this particular agency also sets a bad example for the rest of us. Interestingly, on the same day that I read about their decision, I also read 2 Maccabees 6:18-31. It was the first reading for Mass on Tuesday, November 15. It offers us a much better example to follow. I have included it below in its entirety:

"Eleazar, one of the foremost scribes, a man of advanced age and noble appearance, was being forced to open his mouth to eat pork. But preferring a glorious death to a life of defilement, he spat out the meat, and went forward of his own accord to the instrument of torture, as people ought to do who have the courage to reject the food which it is unlawful to taste even for love of life.

"Those in charge of that unlawful ritual meal took the man aside privately, because of their long acquaintance with him, and urged him to bring meat of his own providing, such as he could legitimately eat, and to pretend to be eating some of the meat of the sacrifice prescribed by the king; in this way he would escape the death penalty, and be treated kindly because of their old friendship with him.

"But Eleazar made up his mind in a noble manner, worthy of his years, the dignity of his advanced age, the merited distinction of his gray hair, and of the admirable life he had lived from childhood; and so he declared that above all he would be loyal to the holy laws given by God.

"He told them to send him at once to the abode of the dead, explaining: 'At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense; many young people would think the ninety-year-old Eleazar had gone over to an alien religion. Should I thus pretend for the sake of a brief moment of life, they would be led astray by me, while I would bring shame and dishonor on my old age. Even if, for the time being, I avoid the punishment of men, I shall never, whether alive or dead, escape the hands of the Almighty. Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now, I will prove myself worthy of my old age, and I will leave to the young a noble example of how to die

willingly and generously for the revered and holy laws.' Eleazar spoke thus, and went immediately to the instrument of torture.

"Those who shortly before had been kindly disposed, now became hostile toward him because what he had said seemed to them utter madness. When he was about to die under the blows, he groaned and said: 'The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that, although I could have escaped death, I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging, but also suffering it with joy in my soul because of my devotion to him.' This is how he died, leaving in his death a model of courage and an unforgettable example of virtue not only for the young but for the whole nation."

Comparing Eleazar with Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois reminds us of one of the tactics corrupt governments have used to force people to change their beliefs throughout history. It begins with promises of comfort, wealth, friendship, and happiness. And if that does not work, it ends with torture and death. We see this same pattern in some of the other mass readings this week, such as the stories of Mattathias and the mother and her seven sons in 1 and 2 Maccabees, Chapters 2 and 7 respectively. So, in a certain respect, what is happening in the state of Illinois is nothing new.

We are living at a time when our political leaders, among others, are trying to force Christians to change their beliefs, that is, to engage in heresy or apostasy. Even though most of us will not need to shed our blood like Eleazar, we need to emulate his courage. Today, we have the freedom to stand up for our beliefs without being imprisoned or executed, but we may have to pay a price for doing so. Therefore, even today we need courage in order to stand up for our beliefs.

So how do we acquire the courage of Eleazar? Surely, such an excellent virtue must come from God, from a profound encounter with truth, goodness, beauty, and love. There is a sense of revolution in the air; it is all around us. But what we need is a spiritual revolution, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we will acquire superhuman courage. The first thing we need to do, then, is to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Moreover, an important way that we can stand up for our beliefs and our freedom is to participate in the political process. This is especially true since a bill similar to Illinois's civil unions law has also been proposed on the national level. It was introduced in the United States House of Representatives this past May by Rep. Fortney Stark (D - CA). It is called HR 1681, "Every Child Deserves a Family Act." Its passage would be devastating for children and the Catholic Church.

Next year is a major election year for Americans. We must not allow the secular state to force a homosexual agenda, or any of its immoral agendas, on our entire nation. We need to use this election to put capable and moral people into positions of power. We can do it if Christians and people of goodwill are united and courageous.

Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. However, he knows that God's grace operating throughout his life is the main reason he is a Catholic. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.