Connecticut: “Keep Your State Out of Our Church!”
Democrats declare holy war against the Catholic Church
The CT Judiciary Committee has introduced Raised Bill 1098, a bill aimed specifically at the Catholic Church, which would remove the authority of the bishop and pastor over individual parishes and put a board of laymen in their place. The Catholic Church and it’s members have staunchly stood for marriage in a state where the issue is a hot political item. Now, in open defiance of the religious freedom this country was founded on, politicians supporting the destruction of marriage want to take outright control of Catholic churches in Connecticut.
One line of the proposed bill states clearly the intent of the state to take control of the Catholic church:
“The corporation shall have a board of directors consisting of not less than seven nor more than thirteen lay members. The archbishop or bishop of the diocese or his designee shall serve as an ex-officio member of the board of directors without the right to vote.”
So, take away the control of the church from it’s leaders, appoint a committee instead of the Bishop, and make it so the bishop doesn’t even have a VOTE in the committee. That sounds like tyranny doesn’t it? Hello…. old England anyone?
“We reject this irrational, unlawful, and bigoted bill that jeopardizes the religious liberty of our Church.” —The Diocese of Bridgeport
This is a complete outrage. These lawmakers have shown a complete lack of respect and understanding for basic freedoms. Heads need to roll over this. The state has no business taking control of churches.
The General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a bill that’s so blatantly unconstitutional. It targets the Catholic Church explicitly and exclusively, and attempts to use the civil law to alter Church governance, particularly to divest the bishop of authority.” Tom Hoopes calls it the “Miter-box Bill”, because bishops should just box their miters if it passes.
Personally, the link between marriage and this hostile takeover is the epitome of what we argued here in California during the proposition 8 marriage debates. The same people so anxious to claim a loss of rights are perfectly willing to trample the rights of others. This isn’t about gay marriage, it’s about control and ideas.
“Bishop Lori is correct to say that the bill ‘is a thinly-veiled attempt to silence the Catholic Church on the important issues of the day, such as same-sex marriage,’ ” Donohue said. “Indeed, it is payback: this brutal act of revenge by Lawlor and McDonald, two champions of gay marriage, is designed to muzzle the voice of the Catholic Church.” —Bill Donohue
The open hostility here toward one religion ought to be chilling to us all. If they’d do this, out in the open, how bold must they be feeling?
See more from the Diocese of Bridgeport:
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.
Here’s what you can do:
We urge you to call and e-mail Sen. McDonald and Rep. Lawlor:
Senator Andrew McDonald:
Capitol phone: (800) 842-1420; Home phone: (203) 348-7439
Representative Michael Lawlor:
Capitol phone: (800) 842-8267; Home phone: (203) 469-9725
We 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. If you would like to attend, contact your Pastor.
For updates on the volatile situation in Connecticut, see http://front-porchanarchist.blogspot.com/