Well, it seems as if President Obama isn’t the only one who wants to reshape our institutions in new and “progressive” ways. The Judiciary Committee of the CT General Assembly will hold a public hearing on March 11 at noon in Room 2C of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford concerning Raised S.B. number 1098.
Update: The hearing scheduled for March 11 concerning this bill has been canceled.
This bill would require Roman Catholic parishes to elect Boards of Directors from its lay community who will govern financial and budgetary matters, long-term capital improvement and outreach to the community among other responsibilities. The archbishop or bishop can send ex officio (non-voting) members and the pastor must report to the Board with respect to administrative or financial matters. In other words, the pastor works for the Board.
Of course, there is the obligatory – this act shall not affect the clergy’s power in matters exclusively to religious tenets or practices. Nice. I guess the Legislature believes that sticking financial bureaucracies between the clergy and its parishioners does not affect the Apostolic nature of the Catholic Church.
Also of particular interest is the final section that gives the Attorney General the authority to investigate a parish if “Any person having reason to believe that monetary contributions” are being misappropriated and not being used for the purposes given. I suppose the Attorney General will be able to read the minds of the parishioners to know why they were giving their hard earned income thereby knowing if the funds are being misappropriated relative to the purposes given. (But that’s probably why we have all of those multi-colored donation envelopes).
I suppose this is all part of the “change” that Obama voters were looking for and the Legislature is just following suit. After all Socialism abhors Religion, so let’s try to tear that apart shall we?
Update (by Steve): Morrissey over at Hot Air picked up on this topic this morning, as did Jack Fowler over at The Corner. More than 75 percent of Americans associate themselves as Christians, and Roman Catholics make up more than 20 percent of the population.
These groups are quite vocal. I have a hunch we’ll be hearing more about this subject not only in Connecticut, but nationwide during the next few days.
Update (by Jim): The hearing is set for Wednesday at the LOB at noon and Parishes across the state are sending bus loads of people to the hearing. Representative Lawlor told us yesterday that he’s not sponsoring the bill … he just wants to give it a hearing. Well it looks like that’s just what he will get … from a lot of folks.
Presumably this bill just sprung up from some concerned Catholics … and presumably this bill just suddenly got a hearing. I would presume that this bill has some backing in the legislature … or it would not be there. Don’t buy into the “it’s an orphan bill” bit. It’s got a Daddy.