The Connecticut legislature introduced Raised Bill 1098 which takes aim directly at the Catholic Church -and no other church. The bill would remove the authority of the bishop and pastor over individual parishes and put a board of laymen in their place.
This is not a slippery slope argument. This is the thud at the bottom of the slope, folks.
This is nothing short of a government takeover of the local Church. I guess when they talk about separation of church and state they really just mean that the Church doesn’t get to comment on the state or else they get taken over. I suspect that this move is mainly due to the outspokenness of the church on issues such as same sex marriage and abortionl.
If you live anywhere near Connecticut please attend the meeting at the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building located at 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford.
According to the Family Institute of Connecticut you can testify at the public meeting:
Please testify at the public hearing on RB 1098 THIS WEDNESDAY, March 11th. The Judiciary Committee will hold the hearing at 12:00 P. M. in Room 2C of the LOB. Please submit 45 copies of written testimony to Committee staff at least two hours prior to the start of the hearing in Room 2500 of the LOB. Testimony submitted after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing.. Sign-up for the hearing will begin at 10: 00 A. M. in Room 2500 of the LOB. Sign-up will conclude 30 minutes before the start of the hearing. Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes of testimony.
The Diocese of Bridgeport released this strong statement:
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.
The Knights of Columbus has this to say:
Bill 1098 is clearly unconstitutional. For more than 200 years, federal courts have consistently held that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution bars the government from interfering in the internal affairs of churches. This legislation not only violates that fundamental principle, but also would single out the Catholic Church for discriminatory treatment applied to no other religious organization.
I’m hoping Mike From Connecticut may be able to attend. But he’s certainly on top of the story. Mike didn’t have a lot of optimism for the bill’s defeat but thinks the fight is a must:
Given that the state legislature here in CT has successfully rammed gay marriage, embryonic stem cell research and most recently Plan B contraception down the throats of Catholic opposition (though I think Plan B was an instance of the CT Catholic Conference caving unnecessarily) I’m afraid this will pass, despite our vocal disagreement. The legislators who support this measure may feel secure in their seats, as CT continues to become more liberal and hostile to the moral authority of the Church and I wonder where we might go from here?
I will reserve such reflections until, God forbid, they are needed. It is necessary now to oppose this legislation and I pray that we will succeed.
You can also call or write the committee co-chairmen, State Sen. Andrew McDonald (800-842-1420 or McDonald@senatedems.ct.gov), and State Rep. Michael Lawlor (800-842-8267 or MLawlor99@juno.com.
This is the most outrageous thing to happen since…well this morning when Obama started using your money to support the killing of embryos. I’m serious in that the outrages are coming so often and so fast that we can sometimes almost be numbed into complacency. But this is a fight we can do something about.
Please don’t be complacent. Fight this fight.