For now, this bill has been withdrawn – see this email:
Thank you for your recent email, and for your interest in the proposed bill 1098. As you know, the Judiciary Committee withdrew the bill, and it will not be considered. I opposed the bill. We welcome those who have written to us and who have come to the Capitol to express their views. We join them, and you, in standing for and celebrating religious freedoms and the separation of Church and State as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Christopher G. Donovan
Speaker of the House
Connecticut is considering an outrageous bill to force the reorganization of Catholic parishes and divorce them from the control of the Bishop.
Catholics across the State of Connecticut mobilize
to fight the irrational, unlawful, and bigoted
Proposed 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.
We urge you to call and e-mail the Judiciary Committee and Sen. McDonald and Rep. Lawlor:
Capitol phone: 860-240-0530
Clerk E-mail: Sarah.Kolb@cga.ct.gov
Senator Andrew McDonald:
Capitol phone: 860-240-8600; Home phone: (203) 348-7439
Representative Michael Lawlor:
Capitol phone: 860-240-0001; 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.
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!