I keep thinking of Cecilia Paul. She was one of the foster mothers who poured her heart out to vulnerable children in Philadelphia. She died over the course of the court case that was decided today by the Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling against the City of Philadelphia. Philadelphia severed its contract with Catholic Social Services because of Catholic Church teaching on marriage – a position that most Democrats had relatively a half second ago.
Chief Justice Roberts writes today:
CSS seeks only an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else. The refusal of Philadelphia to contract with CSS for the provision of foster care services unless it agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents cannot survive strict scrutiny, and violates the First Amendment.
This is not a case about gay rights, as much commentary going into Pride month has put it. This is a case about children and foster families. Philadelphia’s move was an attack on religious liberty and pluralism. It was a move that did not have the best interest of children and families in mind. And I’m convinced Cecilia Paul died of a broken heart because she could not love as she was accustomed to, knowing the need.
Adults have some fundamental differences these days. We’re not going to come to agreements anytime soon. But can we agree that children should not suffer more than they already are? Let Catholic Social Services serve according to conscience and let there be other choices. We need to learn to live together again, and with the best interest of suffering children as a priority.
You can read the 110-page ruling here.
Congratulations to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on another win. We are blessed to have them. Get to know more about the case, and foster care here.
And God bless Sharonelle Fulton, the plaintiff. Some may have Black Lives Matter signs up on their lawns. She lives it by saving black children’s lives.
Cecilia Paul, rest in peace. I have wondered if she’s a patron from Heaven for the vulnerable children in Philadelphia now.