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Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport files civil lawsuit against State of Connecticut
Diocese of Bridgeport Newspaper ^ | May 30-31, 2009 | Bishop William E. Lori

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As a result, we helped highlight the unconstitutional nature of this proposal such that the bill was withdrawn even before its first scheduled public hearing.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 State’s 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.

Let’s 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.

Faithfully,
Most Reverend William E. Lori
Bishop of Bridgeport


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: bridgeport; catholic; civilsuit
The coming fascism in the Age of Obama.
1 posted on 05/30/2009 9:45:18 PM PDT by jobim
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To: jobim
The coming fascism in the Age of Obama.

...is apparenly not coming without a great, big fight, if it comes at all.

2 posted on 05/30/2009 9:47:45 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (the machines are breaking.)
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To: jobim

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!


3 posted on 05/30/2009 9:48:51 PM PDT by Kansas58
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To: jobim; ExTexasRedhead

There are no words. Obama must go. It’s that simple.


4 posted on 05/30/2009 9:53:13 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote.)
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To: jobim

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.


5 posted on 05/30/2009 10:03:01 PM PDT by csense
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To: csense
No squishy liberal, you.

I have no specific dog in this hunt, as I live as far from Bridgeport as geographically possible and still be in the US. And yes, these are probably mostly Jenkins Catholics.

But the issue of Christians speaking in the public square, and being called a lobbying group, is a concern to us all, don't you think?
6 posted on 05/30/2009 10:12:13 PM PDT by jobim
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To: jobim

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.


7 posted on 05/30/2009 10:26:11 PM PDT by Scotswife
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To: jobim
But the issue of Christians speaking in the public square, and being called a lobbying group, is a concern to us all, don't you think?

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.

8 posted on 05/30/2009 10:37:12 PM PDT by csense
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To: csense

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

SBC here


9 posted on 05/30/2009 10:38:57 PM PDT by wardaddy (Obama .....you are not my friend. You are an enemy of this nation and my culture and traditions)
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To: wardaddy

They don’t need my support to file a civil rights suit. Good luck to them. That’s all they’ll get from me.


10 posted on 05/30/2009 10:48:14 PM PDT by csense
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To: csense

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..


11 posted on 05/30/2009 10:59:58 PM PDT by wardaddy (Obama .....you are not my friend. You are an enemy of this nation and my culture and traditions)
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To: jobim

I do believe we have found another gay in an important government position.


12 posted on 05/30/2009 11:02:23 PM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: csense
Sorry to hear your disdain fore the faith of your youth. Quite a shame it is. However, this has less to do with the Catholic Church than with the free exorcise of religion.

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.

13 posted on 05/30/2009 11:04:56 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town
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To: jobim

This isn’t a Catholic issue - it’s a Constitutional issue. We all need to be on the same side on this fight.


14 posted on 05/30/2009 11:21:30 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: wardaddy
I never really left, I just drifted away. What I don't like is the Liberalism that has swept through Catholicism, and I definitely don't like how the Church (big C) handled the Priest pedophile problem, especially here in Boston. It was disgraceful. I read the Bible on my own, at home now.

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.

15 posted on 05/30/2009 11:28:47 PM PDT by csense
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To: PAR35

Ditto.

Always remember Pastor Niemoller........


16 posted on 05/30/2009 11:32:24 PM PDT by Nextrush (Sarah Palin is the new Ronald Reagan, I hope.)
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To: lastchance
My initial reaction: a pencil pusher in Ethics just may be an unethical homosexual. Let's subpoena him and see if he has this particular conflict of interest.
17 posted on 05/30/2009 11:40:34 PM PDT by Lauren BaRecall (Sotomayor is no "Sonia from the block.")
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To: Salvation; NYer; Coleus; firebrand; ELS; Petronski

Catholic ping


18 posted on 05/30/2009 11:51:07 PM PDT by nutmeg (DemocRATs: The party of tax cheats and other assorted crooks)
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To: RaceBannon; scoopscandal; 2Trievers; LoneGOPinCT; Rodney King; sorrisi; MrSparkys; monafelice; ...

ping (Connecticut)


19 posted on 05/30/2009 11:51:52 PM PDT by nutmeg (DemocRATs: The party of tax cheats and other assorted crooks)
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To: Jim from C-Town
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 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.

20 posted on 05/31/2009 12:05:38 AM PDT by csense
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To: csense

I hate the liberalism in the Catholic Church, too, but I stayed. Sometimes, those who left because of the liberalism are a greater suffering to me than the liberals themselves.


21 posted on 05/31/2009 12:29:51 AM PDT by Lauren BaRecall (Sotomayor is no "Sonia from the block.")
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To: csense

... yes ... they deserve what they got; however, this is a marvelous teaching moment. For once the left got caught red handed for everyone to see who they really are, basically Jack Booted Anti-Religion Obamist Communist Thugs. And this one is hard for propogandists like Mathews and Olberman to spin. Ultimately stuff like this has got to feed a conservative backlash! So get ready to ride the wave!


22 posted on 05/31/2009 12:34:06 AM PDT by teppe (... for my God ... for my Family ... for my Country)
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To: Lauren BaRecall
I hate the liberalism in the Catholic Church, too, but I stayed. Sometimes, those who left because of the liberalism are a greater suffering to me than the liberals themselves.

If that's a hint that I should get my butt back to Church, then you're right, I should...but if I hear one hint that Genesis is just a story, and that Adam and Eve weren't real people, or that they were apes....then I'm outa there for good....

23 posted on 05/31/2009 12:51:18 AM PDT by csense
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To: teppe
Ultimately stuff like this has got to feed a conservative backlash! So get ready to ride the wave!

One can only hope...

24 posted on 05/31/2009 12:57:24 AM PDT by csense
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Look, I don't mean to be rude, and I apologize if I've offended any practicing Catholics here. I still have respect for the Church.

I just don't like what's happening to my country.

25 posted on 05/31/2009 1:34:39 AM PDT by csense
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To: jobim

This is also no better time than I can think of for ALL churches to not sign on to government faith based programs. The ones signed on to such should get out NOW! That will be the next tool used for control.


26 posted on 05/31/2009 1:36:24 AM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgement? Which one say ye?)
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To: Jim from C-Town

“If it comes to pass....”

It should be the signal for massive demonstrations,protests,to defend FREEDOM and its cultural roots....
There should come a time to WAKE UP and stop going silently forward and downward


27 posted on 05/31/2009 1:59:06 AM PDT by Ulysse
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To: jobim

I’m very impressed that the bishop is taking firm steps to fight back. The interesting thing is that dictators will often back off if challenged, particularly if it happens fairly early in their reign. I think Bp Lori may at least buy us some time.

I was disappointed by all the anti-Catholic comments on this thread and I can’t imagine what provoked them, since there’s certainly nothing to criticize in Bp Lori’s actions.


28 posted on 05/31/2009 2:38:31 AM PDT by livius
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To: All

More of the beginnings of Persecution.

The arrogance of the government is unbelievable. They are basically stating that “hey, you defended yourself”


29 posted on 05/31/2009 3:56:43 AM PDT by rbmillerjr ("We Are All Socialists Now"........not me, not now, not ever)
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To: livius

“I was disappointed by all the anti-Catholic comments”

I don’t think it wa Lori’s actions that were being criticized. I believe it was the CINO’s that are being criticized and their “hold” on the church in the US for the most part. The liberal in them along with hispanic Cinos who put obama and his ilk in office are now whining about the consequences. Not unlike the Jews whom God had to keep slapping upside the head in the Old Testament for blatently disregarding him.


30 posted on 05/31/2009 4:27:12 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: freeangel

Yes, but instead of worrying about CINOs (who weren’t the point of this article anyway), maybe we should get behind a bishop who’s really doing something.

All churches have bad members; the Catholic Church may have more, technically, because Protestants who don’t go to church will simply stop referring to themselves as Methodists, Baptists, or whatever, while Catholics who don’t go to church continue to refer to themselves as Catholics. So it looks even worse than it is.

But the point is that the doctrine and the Faith are still there, regardless of the weakness of the members, and the Catholic Church is still the only institution that is at least trying to fight back against Obama’s policies.

It annoys me when instead of supporting attempts to stand up and fight back, non-Catholics (who aren’t doing anything themselves) come pouring out of the woodwork to scream about real or imagined past failings by Catholics, CINO or not.


31 posted on 05/31/2009 5:14:55 AM PDT by livius
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To: jobim; devolve; Alamo-Girl; onyx; ALOHA RONNIE; SpookBrat; Republican Wildcat; Howlin; ...

Here is “The coming fascism in the Age of Obama” ping!

Pinging to my General Interest AND Texas lists here!

Ping! Ping! Ping!


32 posted on 05/31/2009 7:43:51 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (2008: The year the Media died. --Sean Hannity, regarding Barack HUSSEIN ObaMao's treatment ...)
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To: jobim

and yet how many of those Catholics vote for Democrats without hesitation?

how many democrats in Conn. voted for Dodd?

how many decomcrat congressmen?

Sotomayer will find the priests guildy due their lack of laaaateeeno womanliness.


33 posted on 05/31/2009 7:55:57 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: PAR35

“This isn’t a Catholic issue-it’s a Constitutional issue.” The Catholic church is just the first they are going after because they represent the biggest religious threat to their power. Just like they went after GM and Chrysler, Bank of America and on and on. Evangelical Christians will be next. Tax issues, free speech, use of funds and more. Thanks MSM for bringing us this assault on the Constitution. Oh by the way, MSM, if the mugabe wannabe gets his way, you guys are toast as well.


34 posted on 05/31/2009 7:58:45 AM PDT by Texas resident (Texan by birth and by choice.)
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To: livius

“Catholics who don’t go to church continue to refer to themselves as Catholics”

I think you have it wrong. Case in point is my mother and she is NOT alone, goes to church every Sunday, but continues in a liberal mindset that votes in every proabortion, gay promoting, liberal democrat who is up for election. The Catholic church is only starting to fight back now and Lori has, at least for now, seen what havoc those kind of Catholics have wrought now that he has to fight back against the government being interjected into running the church.


35 posted on 05/31/2009 8:12:10 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: jobim
As a Catholic in the Bridgeport diocese of Connecticut, I know Bishop Lori and applaud his letter. Connecticut and the Federal Government at large apparently is tranforming into an enemy of all Americans and all religious persons.

Bishop Lori is young and energetic enough to see this to a favorable conclusion for American Catholics along with all the faithful in Christ.

The fact that he is a powerful and capable religious leader (never mind that he is Catholic) should be a clear shining political danger warning to all religious Americans, including Catholic bashers and anyone who read their Bibles.

Remove the speck from your own eyes before judging this spiritual man of Christ. Excerpt for the Catholic bashers:

In Luke 6:37, the Bible says, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

Nobody wants to be judged themselves, so you need to extend the same courtesy to others. As you view others with compassion instead of judgment, you are better able to help others and bring your life into better alignment with God's plans.

Let's unify in Christ + and the land of freedom that we have inherited from God.

36 posted on 05/31/2009 8:24:39 AM PDT by LurkedLongEnough
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To: freeangel

Oh, there are definitely church-going Catholics who are CINOs, too, and there are many, many priests who are CINOs (not to mention a few bishops). There are far too many of them.

But when they analyzed the statistics, the majority of those who voted for Obama did not go to Mass regularly (if at all) but still called themselves Catholics. Far too many church-going Catholics voted for him, too, of course, but that doesn’t change the fact that the official doctrine of the Church and the Faith is opposed to the things he is promoting. My point is that bad Catholics don’t change the fact that the Church’s doctrine is solid; some bishops are firm and aggressive about teaching their people, and some aren’t, and we’re seeing the effects of this now.

I think that’s why Obama is so eager to peel the Church away from the bishops (as if such a thing were possible). But even the ND stunt was aimed to imply that there was some other teaching authority in the Church, and that the bishops were irrelevant. Unfortunately, I think you’d find a lot of Catholics (just as during the times of Henry VIII) who are so poorly instructed that they’d just shrug and say they couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. And then it’s all over: the American Catholic Church gets set up with the treacherous participation of some of the negligent bishops, the bishops of the true Roman Catholic Church lose their churches and authority (and even end in jail), and Bambi has essentially installed himself as the new authority in the Church, just as Henry VIII did in England centuries ago.

A few bishops realize the stakes, fortunately, but whether there’s time enough to fight back or not, I don’t know. There was only one bishop who resisted Henry VIII (St. John Fisher, who got beheaded for it), but I hope we’ll have a better showing here!


37 posted on 05/31/2009 9:14:53 AM PDT by livius
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To: livius

“I hope we’ll have a better showing here.”

Well, my prayers as a former Catholic and now member of a fundamentalist and non denominational church are with you.


38 posted on 05/31/2009 11:20:52 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: MeekOneGOP

Thanks for the ping!


39 posted on 05/31/2009 11:54:34 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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