Washington D.C., Apr 20, 2023 / 08:30 am
A Catholic charity that was denied legal recognition as a religious organization will have its case heard by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the charity’s lawyers announced.
Catholic Charities Bureau maintains that the state improperly removed its designation as a religious organization. Founded by the Catholic Diocese of Superior in 1917, the organization continues to be operated by the diocese, providing services to the poor, disabled, and elderly.
The charity filed a lawsuit after the state said it did not qualify to be considered as an organization “operated primarily for religious purposes.” This prevents the charity from using a Church-run unemployment system and forces it to contribute money to the state-run unemployment system instead.
Even though the charity is operated by the Diocese of Superior, the state refused to grant it this legal right because it does not consider the charity’s functions as primarily religious. An appellate court agreed with the state, ruling that its primary function is as a charity and its religious motivations are only incidental to its primary charitable functions.