March 9, 2009

Catholics angry over measure that would change church governance

The Roman Catholic Church is livid about a proposed bill that would change the governance structure of its parish churches.
The proposed bill "directly attacks the Roman Catholic Church and our faith," according to Archbishop Henry Mansell in Hartford.
He said it would force "a radical reorganization of the legal, financial and administrative structures of our parishes."
In Bristol on Sunday, and maybe all over the state, priests read a letter from Archbishop Henry Mansell calling for opposition to the move. Buses are set to roll to Hartford on Wednesday to bring a crowd to beat down Senate Bill 1098.
Here's an example of the angry opposition that's flared up.
Connecticut Local Politics has the story. So does The Connecticut Post and The New Haven Register. It's an important one.

Update at 11:40 a.m. --
State Republican Chairman Chris Healy just sent this:
Lawlor's Holy Way Against Catholics
HARTFORD - Legislation proposed by the Democratic chairmen of the Judiciary Committee is a brazen affront to the Roman Catholic Church and speaks to their desire to have the state dictate policy and procedure to people of faith, according to Republican State Party Chairman Chris Healy Monday.

"Democrats have crossed the line between church and state," said Healy. " Mike Lawlor and Andrew McDonald are now saying that the state knows best when it comes to being church member and ever citizen of Connecticut, no matter what faith, should be frightened by this legislation.

Committee bill 1098, which will be heard at a public hearing on Wednesday, would require that each Roman Catholic church's governing body be comprised of between seven and 13 lay people and that the Archdiocese would have an solely advisory role. These lay councils would have complete control over the operations of each church or organization.

"Many people throughout Connecticut, including those who are not of the Catholic faith should be very concerned at this power play by the Democrats," said Healy.
"There seems to be no limit to the arrogance of power by the Democrats. Now, with a $6 billion short fall, with people losing their jobs and homes, Rep. Lawlor wants to take over the Catholic Church over the management of a parish's money. How can anyone who has spent the state of Connecticut near bankruptcy now support fiscal control over religious institutions?"

Healy said many people might think the legislative proposal is a mistake or simply a result of a request from a legislator who is doing it as a request from the constituent.

"This bill is a committee bill and would only see the light of day with the support and blessing of its leadership," said Healy. "Now, it seems clear that Democratic Party in Connecticut believes the state of Connecticut should be deciding how are churches are run."

Update at 3 p.m. --

“It has been incorrectly characterized that this legislation originated from the two of us as an attack on the church and freedom of religion. That is not the truth, and the facts do not support such a claim.

“In reality, this bill was proposed and written by a group of faithful Catholic parishioners from Fairfield County who asked the Judiciary Committee to consider giving the subject a public hearing. Especially considering the fact that one of the large-scale embezzlements which gave rise to this proposal originated from a parish corporation in Darien, a town that Senator McDonald represents, we decided to give these parishioners a chance to present to the Judiciary Committee a case for their proposed revisions to existing corporate law.

“A lot of misinformation has been spread about this proposal, and we ourselves are still learning exactly what its impact would be. We are keeping an open mind to what these parishioners have to say about their church, and we respectfully ask that others give them the courtesy of listening to their proposed changes in the existing state law governing Roman Catholic corporations.

“We ourselves are questioning certain aspects of their proposal and even the constitutionality of the current law. Despite what has been portrayed, we have not endorsed nor are advocating for this proposal.”

The following link contains the current state laws governing religious corporations, which includes individual provisions relating to the Protestant Episcopal Church, Methodist Church, Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church in America, and the Roman Catholic Church:


Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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Anonymous said...

The democrat party can't run the state but they now want to run the Catholic church.

We should run ALL of them out of office!!

Anonymous said...

Replace the words Roman Catholic Church and insert the term "labor union". Does this bill see the light of day? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the poor Catholic Church is being picked on after 2,000 years of taking care of itself and its sheep(parishioners0. Let's not forget the Inquisition and more recently pedophile priests.

If there had been more lay oversight in the past, I doubt that the enabling Bishops would have just sent the offenders away for a few months of "guidance" and sent them back out there to another parish to abuse others. Why aren't the jails filled with the abusers and their "sheperds" for allowing it to go on for too long.

The Church gets no sympathy from me. I never understood, even when I was in a Catholic grammar school, why the Church got tax exemptions on property that was not part of its ministry, i.e. rental property. Church land, school land and hospitals ok, but not other financial investment property.

Anonymous said...


Great to live in Connecticut, isn't it?

Who is next: Elks, Legion, ?Unions, Neighborhood Village Associations?

Can we have a civilian oversight board of the legislature?

Anonymous said...

First Catholics are told they have to kill babies, now they're being told how to run their churches. Yes, Catholics are being picked on, and who will be the next victim? Remember what happened when Hitler started "picking on" people? We had better speak up! This is not supposed to happen in America!

Anonymous said...

The legislture could screw up a steel ball!!!

Anonymous said...

George Orwell Lives

Anonymous said...

Because of the separation of church and state, Christmas cannot be celebrated in public schools, but it's okay for the government to specify how Catholic churches are run? The separation only goes one way, I guess. Not good at all. I hope it doesn't pass, but just the fact that it's being brought up is scary enough. What country are we living in?

Anonymous said...

Where do our legislators stand on this?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what my frothing-at-the-mouth-Democrat pastor thinks of this?

Anonymous said...

Why just Catholic Churches? Why not Evangelical, Jewish Synagogues, etc.? Isn't this discrimination based on religious affiliation?

Who thinks up these crazy bills? Don't our legislators have anything better to do like trying to straighten out the financial mess our country is in (that they helped screw up) without diverting their attention to the Catholic Church?

Is this what pent up liberalism has in store for us over the next four years?

Anonymous said...

I can't stand people who lie about something because they don't like another's opinion. If you, 4:29, don't want or support an abortion, NO ONE is making you or any other Catholic have one. What don't you understand about that? Why must you insist that Catholics are told to kill babies. It just isn't so. Besides, babies Saint Thomas Aquinas said that a fetus isn't a human being until the time of quickening.

I am anti-abortion and pro-choice. Who am I to tell someone else that they have to believe what I do?

Ignorant zealots have often said that Hitler would have loved abortions, just think if his mother had one. He wouldn't have been able to do what he did, but, you can't rewrite history.

I think the Catholic Church should forgo the tax-exempt status and then no one would care what they do. The Church's hands are not entirely clean.

Christmas may not be celebrated in public schools, but Christians get it off. How many Jewish, Hindu, Islamic or other religions get their Holy-days off?

Anonymous said...

We don't have "separation of church and state" anymore, so get real. Christmas is celebrated in public schools, Bristol at least. Remember when when the Bristol city council voted last year to let a conservative Christian church put a living Nativity Scene on city property in front of City Hall?

Anonymous said...

What country are we living in?

March 9, 2009 5:55 PM


Welcome to Obamaland ... 0-(

Anonymous said...

These Democrats should be removed from office for opposing the Constitution.