Saturday, March 07, 2009

State of Connecticut trying to take control of parishes?

Statement of the Diocese of Bridgeport Connecticut relative to proposed legislative bill # 1098/2009:

This past Thursday, March 5, the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut State Legislature, which is chaired by Sen. Andrew McDonald of Stamford and Rep. Michael Lawlor of East Haven, introduced a bill that directly attacks the Roman Catholic Church and our Faith.

This bill violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. It forces a radical reorganization of the legal, financial, and administrative structure of our parishes. This is contrary to the Apostolic nature of the Catholic Church because it disconnects parishes from their Pastors and their Bishop. Parishes would be run by boards from which Pastors and the Bishop would be effectively excluded.

This bill, moreover, is a thinly-veiled attempt to silence the Catholic Church on the important issues of the day, such as same-sex marriage.

The State has no right to interfere in the internal affairs and structure of the Catholic Church. This bill is directed only at the Catholic Church but could someday be forced on other denominations. The State has no business controlling religion.

The Pastors of our Diocese are doing an exemplary job of sound stewardship and financial accountability, in full cooperation with their parishioners.

For the State Legislature — which has not reversed a $1 billion deficit in this fiscal year — to try to manage the Catholic Church makes no sense. The Catholic Church not only lives within her means but stretches her resources to provide more social, charitable, and educational services than any other private institution in the State. This bill threatens those services at a time when the State is cutting services. The Catholic Church is needed now more than ever.
We reject this irrational, unlawful, and bigoted bill that jeopardizes the religious liberty of our Church.

8 comments:

Michael Cole said...

The persecution is intensifying. This is nothing less than a violent attempt by the State to take over the Church and control it from within. Catholics unite against this travesty!

Stewart said...

This comes at a time when Connecticut lawmakers are considering updating state law to conform with a court ruling that allows same-sex marriages. Opponents of gay marriage, and especially leaders within the Catholic Church, fear this effort will go too far to promote homosexuality.

This is a case of the State using force to squash those who oppose the radical homosexual agenda. The State wants to control the Church and silence her.

Anonymous said...

A pastor and a bishop have spoken on this matter, and the Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus in Connecticut are mobilizing for action against the proposed legislation:

Father Markey and Bishop Lori's Statements on Proposed Anti-Catholic Legislation in Connecticut

From: causa nostrae laetitiae: Working to promote the Culture of Life in America
March 7, 2009
http://causa-nostrae-laetitiae.blogspot.com/2009/03/bishope-loris-statement-on-anti.html

Normally, I could feel condident that such a power grab would be reveresed in the Supreme Court, but in today's political climate, I am not so sure. This is unbelievable.

1. Father Markey's statement:

Dear Members of the Gospel of Life Society,

Just when you thought it could not get any worse up in Hartford, it has happened.
Yesterday, Connecticut Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut State Legislature introduced bill #1098/2009 that directly attacks the Roman Catholic Church .Should it pass, the bishop and pastors will be deprived of any administrative, financial and legal power over their parishes.
The Bishop is asking for statements to be read at all the Masses this weekend, and to organize a rally in Hartford on Wednesday. Each parish is to send 5 representatives. I will be leading a group from St. Mary Church in Norwalk. Most likely there will be diocesan buses.
We are asked to contact our legislators, and especially the Judiciary Committee list. Now is the time to act! Stay tuned.

In Christ,
Fr. Greg J. Markey
St. Mary Church,
Norwalk, CT

2. Bishop Lori's statement:

Diocesan Statement on Proposed Legislative Bill # 1098 / 2009

This past Thursday, the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut State Legislature, which is chaired by Sen. Andrew McDonald of Stamford and Rep. Michael Lawlor of East Haven, introduced a bill that directly attacks the Roman Catholic Church and our Faith.
This bill violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. It forces a radical reorganization of the legal, financial, and administrative structure of our parishes. This is contrary to the Apostolic nature of the Catholic Church because it disconnects parishes from their Pastors and their Bishop. Parishes would be run by boards from which Pastors and the Bishop would be effectively excluded.
This bill, moreover, is a thinly-veiled attempt to silence the Catholic Church on the important issues of the day, such as same-sex marriage.
The State has no right to interfere in the internal affairs and structure of the Catholic Church. This bill is directed only at the Catholic Church but could someday be forced on other denominations. The State has no business controlling religion.
The Pastors of our Diocese are doing an exemplary job of sound stewardship and financial accountability, in full cooperation with their parishioners.
For the State Legislature - which has not reversed a $1 billion deficit in this fiscal year - to try to manage the Catholic Church makes no sense. The Catholic Church not only lives within her means but stretches her resources to provide more social, charitable, and educational services than any other private institution in the State. This bill threatens those services at a time when the State is cutting services. The Catholic Church is needed now more than ever.
We reject this irrational, unlawful, and bigoted bill that jeopardizes the religious liberty of our Church.
I urge you to call and e-mail Sen. McDonald and Rep. Lawlor – contact information is available after Mass. I also ask you to come to Hartford this Wednesday, March 11, to be present at the public hearing. Details on bus transportation will be available on Monday in the parish office.
It is up to us to stop this unbridled abuse of governmental power.
It is time for us to defend our First Amendment rights.
It is time for us to defend our Church!

Most Reverend William E. Lori


There is more discussion of ths matter at http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/03/connecticut-state-legislature-introduced-bill-10982009/#comments

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Thanks for that information anonymous. Unbelievable is the best word to sum up this truly despicable attempt to usurp the Church's authority.

ShrewsburyCatholic said...

It's beginning. Expect things to gain momentum within the next year or so. To the catacombs. The winds of persecution are growing stronger.

ShrewsburyCatholic said...

David Wilkerson, who wrote The Cross and the Switchblade, the Christian classic, is an important Protestant man of God. He has issued this prophesy:

http://davidwilkersontoday.
blogspot.com/2009/03/urgent-message.html

B.T. said...

This is the first I've heard of this. Why isn't this being discussed on the news? Is there a news blackout on this for some reason? The audacity of these politicians.

Anonymous said...

The Bible Clearly says that Government Will Destroy Religion...
If this is the start?...
But it is clear that it will happen, and soon.

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