A faith-based child-placing agency in South Carolina has reconsidered its policy against working with Catholics.
Aimee Maddonna sued Miracle Hill Ministries, an evangelical Protestant organization, in February for declining to work with her because, as she put it, she’s “not the right kind of Christian.” Greenville, S.C.–based Miracle Hill only worked with fellow Protestants in its homeless shelters, thrift stores, and drug-recovery programs, and it referred prospective Catholic foster parents to other child-placing agencies.
A Miracle Hill policy in effect at the time Maddonna applied required a foster parent to be an active member of a Protestant congregation and “a born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as expressed by a personal testimony and Christian conduct.” On July 5, the ministry adopted a policy that acknowledged its broadly shared Christian beliefs with Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions. Miracle Hill continues to affirm the Biblical view of marriage as between one man and one woman.
Reid Lehman, Miracle Hill’s president and CEO, told the National Catholic Register the ministry has no dispute with Catholics in the area of caring for the needy.
“Our calling as an organization is not primarily to evaluate and emphasize differences between various branches of Christianity or between branches within Protestantism,” he said. “Miracle Hill’s spiritual identity is first and foremost that of brothers and sisters in Christ working together to minister to the needy in Christ’s name.”
A change in policy doesn’t end it for Maddonna, however. The mother of three, who is married to a man, maintains that she still cannot sign Miracle Hill’s statement of faith because she disagrees with its policy of not placing children with same-sex couples. —S.W.