Just posted online, a new batch of Signs of the Times stories. (We'll be posting new SOT items every week over the summer.) The first item concerns adoption services in the Catholic diocese of Rockford, Ill:
The Diocese of Rockford has announced that its Catholic Charities offices will no longer offer state-funded adoptions and foster-care services after the new Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act took effect June 1. Because the law did not include an exemption allowing religious organizations to refer adoptions or foster-care arrangements involving same-sex or unmarried cohabitating couples to other agencies, "the Diocese of Rockford is forced to permanently discontinue all state-funded adoption and foster-care operations as of June 1," said Penny Wiegert, diocesan director of communications, at a May 26 news conference.
Catholic Charities activities not funded by the state—including private adoptions, school counseling, private family and marriage counseling, outreach and emergency services, immigration and refugee services and crisis pregnancy counseling—will not be affected. There has been no word from the other five dioceses about whether they would similarly discontinue state-funded adoption and foster-care services.