Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone announced that “Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charleston, Inc.” will no longer operate as an independent corporation, and instead will function under the umbrella of the diocese.
The move comes in response to the Affordable Care Act, which does not recognize Catholic Charities as a church organization and would thus require them to follow federal guidelines in terms of healthcare coverage. This includes the contraceptive mandate, which is at the center of a continuing debate over health care and religious freedom.
“As a standalone corporation, Catholic Charities does not qualify for the religious exclusion,” the bishop wrote, but “as an operating unit of the Diocese of Charleston, the exclusion will apply.”
Caroline Weisberg, director of Catholic Ministries, said the social outreach will operate under the auspices of the diocese exactly as it did before the change.
“There’s no change whatsoever in services, or employees or anything,” she said.
For a list of available services, visit charitiessc.org/programs.
In other diocesan news, Bishop Guglielmone announced the creation of an Office of Real Estate, which will handle the purchase, sale, management and development of properties.
Elaine Fowler, formerly of the law firm Turner, Padget, Graham & Laney, was hired as director of Real Estate and Corporate Council. The new department also includes Amy Aviles as administrative assistant.
Building and Renovations and the Office of Research and Planning will now be a part of the real estate department.
Miscellany file photo