View Full Version : Can Connecticut Forceably Order the Church to Reorganize? Is The Church a "Lobbyist".

06-06-2009, 01:30 AM
The Connecticut Office of State Ethics (OSE) is poised to investigate and penalize the Diocese of Bridgeport for having the temerity to exercise at least four of the five sections of the First Amendment (religion, speech, assembly, petition).

The story begins earlier this year when Connecticut State Senator Andrew McDonald proposed legislation (S. 1098) that would have forced the Catholic Church, contrary to the church’s doctrine, to relinquish control of parish finances (for those from congregationalist traditions who may not be aware of the organization of Catholic Churches, the Catholic Church, by doctrine, is very hierarchical, with Bishops responsible for...
Andrew J. McDonald is an American lawyer and politician from Connecticut. A Democrat, he is a member of the Connecticut State Senate representing the state's 27th district, covering Stamford and Darien.
In March 2009 McDonald and Judiciary committee co-chair Mike Lawlor proposed a bill (SB 1098) to regulate the management of Roman Catholic parishes in Connecticut.

The bill, by allowing parishoners to create a lay board to govern a parish, in which board all control over fiscal and administrative matters would be vested, effectively removes the Parish Priest and Bishop from their traditional positions of power.

The bill is specific to the Catholic Church and, as such, is viewed some as anti-Catholic and retaliation for Catholic opposition to same-sex marriage legislation.

The public hearing on this bill was cancelled when, according to Capital Police, 1,000 supporters entered the Capital to protest. Another 4,200 were present outside the building. Opponents charged the bill would violate the separation of church and state clause in the First Amendment It would also violate the "Supremacy clause," and the Fourteenth Amendment barring discriminatory legislation.