Skip to comments.Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport files civil lawsuit against State of Connecticut
Posted on 05/30/2009 9:45:17 PM PDT by jobim
May 30, 2009
Dear Friends in Christ:
It is with a great degree of shock and dismay that I must share with you a recent action that the State of Connecticut has initiated with respect to our Diocese.
As you will recall, following the surprise introduction of Bill 1098, which singled out Catholic parishes and would have forced them to reorganize contrary to Church law and the First Amendment, our Diocese responded in the most natural, spontaneous, and, frankly, American, of ways:
We alerted our membership in person and through our website;
We encouraged them to exercise their free speech by contacting their elected representatives; and
We organized a rally at the State Capitol.
As a result, we helped highlight the unconstitutional nature of this proposal such that the bill was withdrawn even before its first scheduled public hearing. It was an outstanding demonstration of democracy-inaction and a great civics lesson for our children. Our Founding Fathers would have been proud.
Last week, however, we were informed that, in the view of an examiner at the Connecticut Office of State Ethics, this was not a textbook case of citizen democracy and free speech it actually constituted lobbying! Accordingly, the examiner alleges that we failed to register as a lobbyist, a process that would subject the Diocese to intrusive oversight and regulation by the State. As such, the Diocese supposedly violated State law and is potentially subject to civil penalties.
Once again, we should be outraged. Lobbying? Exhortations from the pulpit, information posted to the world wide web, a rally in the middle of the day on the States most public piece of property? This cannot possibly be what our Legislature had in mind when it enacted lobbying laws to bring more transparency and oversight to a legislative process that has been corrupted by special interests and backroom deals.
Lets be clear: we violated no law. We acted in response to an outrageous proposal that was imminently pending review and threatened to impose dramatic and blatantly unconstitutional requirements on our Church. Unfortunately, this new action cannot be seen as anything other than an attempt to muzzle the Church and subject our right of free speech to government review and regulation. This government action tramples on the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion, and should shock the conscience of all citizens of the Constitution State.
We have now been left with no choice but to file a civil rights lawsuit in Federal Court against State of Connecticut officials seeking relief from this shocking government action. A copy of the lawsuit and more information is posted now on www.bridgeportdiocese.com. As your Bishop, I will take every measure possible to defend our faith and our Church from attempts to silence us and our individual parishes could be targeted next.
I invite you, if you wish to do so, to contact your State Legislator before the session ends this coming Wednesday to discuss why state lobbying laws, which are designed to protect the integrity of the legislative process and monitor and control backroom manipulation of that process, are now being used to stifle our freedoms of speech, religion, and assembly.
Most Reverend William E. Lori
Bishop of Bridgeport
...is apparenly not coming without a great, big fight, if it comes at all.
The Knights of Columbus in New Haven is a GREAT organization, however, the majority of its paid staff is LIBERAL and unionized.
This MIGHT wake up the K of C and the liberal Catholics as to why the “religious right” does NOT trust our government!
There are no words. Obama must go. It’s that simple.
Most of your congregation probably voted for these people, and regardless what happens with this particular issue, they’ll probably vote for them again, or whatever other liberals are up for election...and though it pains me somewhat to say this since I was raised Roman Catholic, you can go jump in a lake. You get no sympathy from me.
Godspeed Bishops Lori.
And let this be a lesson to other denominations who operate under a similar church structure (Diocese overseen by bishops)
They WILL come after your church too.
Yes, I've contemplated that, and guess what...they can still go "f" themselves. These are the same people that voted for the idiot that occupies the White House, and who is presently selling Israel down the river, and these are probably the same kind of...ahem...Christians...that think it's a-ok for a mother to kill her child. If and when I see them pull their collective heads out of their butts, then they'll get my support. Otherwise, it's the same old same old from these nitwits. If that sounds harsh, then, I don't know what to tell you, because quite frankly, I've had it up to here and I'm fed-up.
It affects we Prods too...slippery slope and all that
I like you wish Catholics voted like Pentecostals but their urban demographic and the latino bloc were/are the problem more than the dogma..man if 2/3rds of them listened to Ratzinger we’d beat Obama by 5% minimum
They don’t need my support to file a civil rights suit. Good luck to them. That’s all they’ll get from me.
Catholics are for me a focus of ambivalence like Jews sort of ...
I can’t figure them out although I have some in my family, it just never was for me but I admire some of their creed and traditions
I know a fair number of Catholics who left the faith, many are sorta of hostile like you.
I’m certainly not hostile to them except maybe liberation theology sorts...course there are good works Birkie Prods too..
I do believe we have found another gay in an important government position.
This is a direct assault on the liberty of the American peoples, and if it comes to pass will most certainly bode poorly for the lot of us.
Also, several practicing Roman Catholics, sans ass buried heads, happen to find this sight a respite from the adequate amount of Catholic bashing that occurs in many places. I am sure I would not be the only one who is a bit offended by your hope that the mother church of all Christendom would go F themselves.
I am not sure what has set your dislike for the Church, I assure you that the Church knows quite well its’ shortcomings, surely better than you do. Had the people who self describe as Roman Catholic followed the edict of the Holy Father, Mr. McCain would be in the White House today. As it is a significant majority of those who attend mass weekly didn't vote for Obama. It is those CINO and fallen Catholics who did.
This isn’t a Catholic issue - it’s a Constitutional issue. We all need to be on the same side on this fight.
I've never been openly hostile to the Catholic Church. This is the first time I've ever talked like that, and to be perfectly honest, I don't like doing it, but the time has come to draw a line in the sand.
Always remember Pastor Niemoller........
I didn't say anything about Rome, or the Vatican, and it doesn't really surprise me that they've more or less written off America, especially as a culture of death...and you know what, they're right. Most of them wouldn't know respect for God if he personally came down and smacked them upside the head. Granted, I have a lot to work on and could be a better Christian than I am, but I don't turn my back on God just to satisfy some idiotic sense of Liberal politically correct BS.
If what I said offends you personally, then I'm sorry, but I'm sick of the idiots in this country who reap what they sow, especially when they should know better.
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