Monday, March 09, 2009

SB 1098 - the Roman Catholic Church bill

Here is the text of Senate Bill 1098:

AN ACT MODIFYING CORPORATE LAWS RELATING TO CERTAIN RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS.

Though I can understand why some parishioners are frustrated and angry, this bill strikes me as wrong.

Tim White

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the state is prepared to seize control of the finances of the Catholic Church in CT then Lutherans, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Baptist's, fundamentalist and Jews can't be far from their grasp either. Clearly seperation only matters when it comes to government and your liberty and your money.

I read in the Republican American 3-9-09 that the state is also proposing a system where 501c3non-profits including your churches and some hospitals may have to pay their "fair" share of taxes to the town that provides services where they receive some direct benefit.

This will not end until the folks stand up and say enough is enough. People have to begin to understand that government has one great need and another big advantage...a huge appetite supported by a passive and disinterested electorate. Maybe outraguos power grabs like the one proposed by Lawler and MacDonald, created for no other purpose than to feed or sustain the growth of their brand of governance, will awaken the giant that is us.

Tim Slocum

redtown said...

Senate Bill 1098 is a direct attack on the First Amendment. It threatens both freedom of religion and separation of church and state, plus it targets the Catholic Church specifically, and no other church.

In a few cases, parishioners’ contributions have been abused. It would be appropriate for the state to require regular audits and other financial checks and balances.

But this Lawlor-McDonald legislation would broadly strip all church management authority from bishops and pastors, and force the church to organize its internal affairs according to a state-imposed model.

As a Catholic, I've long thought that laity should have a stronger role in Church governance. However, that demand has to come from the church pews, not be imposed by politicians.

This is dangerous legislation that ultimately threatens all churches and the First Amendment. Contact your state senator and representative on Monday and tell them to oppose SB 1098.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to sparation of Church and State?
Only when it's convenient for the state I guess.

Lawlor and McDonald, the 2 chairs of the Judiciary Committee, are nothing but angry men. They are mad at the Catholic Church for their stance on gay marriage, and since they are both openly gay, they feel this is a way to get back at them.
Cannon Law has been around for 2000 years. Our 1st Ammendmant rights are being violated.
I think they will find out how strong the Catholic Chuch is when thousands show up on Wednesday.

Cheshire should remember Lawlor as the one who pushed to get prisoners early parole back in 2004. We all know what happened 3 years later.
This man is insane and should be stopped!
How East Haven could keep voting for him is a mystery.

Anonymous said...

The hearing on SB 1098 is Wednesday, March 11. Everyone call your state legislators *this week* to kill this monster.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this looks like payback against the Catholic hierarchy for their opposing gay marriage.

Lawlor and McDonald forget that most Catholics in the pews support gay marriage or civil unions (according to surveys).

Their proposal is no different than in communist countries where "people's committees" control the budgets and management of churches.

Audits YES;
state takeover NO.
1st Amendment YES;
communist China NO.

Anonymous said...

One problem with liberals is that they tend to be situational, and not recognize the double-edged sword of their positions.

By the same rationale of state intervention in church affairs, the Utah legislature could mandate the reverse -- that all congregational church boards dissolve and turn over church management to bishops and presbyters.

Thank God for the 1st amendment!

Anonymous said...

Never has a bill brought more outcry then this one.
Now Lawlor and McDonald are backing down based on what they are saying is due to the fact that the person who asked them to look into it asked them not to pursue it until Blumenthal checks the constitutionality of it.
Aren't these guys lawyers? I'm not and I can tell it is unconstitutional.
These are just another of the many clowns we have running our state government.
I love it when they say that this constituent brought this to there attention and they have an obligation to listen. Yeah, sure...and I bet they listen to all of their constituents.
What a joke we have in Hartford.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a good bill and it doesn't have anything to do with the state taking control of any church. It is designed to allow the parishioners to have control of their church finances, so that they don't have some church offical far away deciding to sell the church that they built and maintained with their own money. People should have a complete accounting of all finances and power of where the money goes.
I think the state has the right to protect the members of any nonprofit from abuse.

When some of the opposition call for the state to stay completely out of any church matter, why aren't they also saying that the church should stop trying to influence government and have government impose their ideolgy on not only their members, but everyone else.

Why are religious groups trying to impose their rules and perceptions about gays, birth control, abortion, gender superiority, etc on everyone? They should stick to religion and preach to their members and leave the rest of us alone. I don't want to live under Moslem, Catholic, Religious Right or any other religion's rules other than those of the church I belong to.

redtown said...

> ”The church should stop trying to influence government and have government impose their ideology ... Why are religious groups trying to impose their rules and perceptions about gays, birth control, abortion, gender superiority, etc on everyone? They should stick to religion and preach to their members and leave the rest of us alone.

First, as Americans, churches and their members have the right to speak out on any issue they want. Second, liberals always applaud churches when they speak out for liberal causes (civil rights, anti-war, anti-death penalty), but cite “separation of church and state” when churches speak out against abortion and other liberal pet causes. Hypocrisy and situationalism.

> ”People should have a complete accounting of all finances and power (over) where the money goes … the state has the right to protect the members of any nonprofit from abuse.”

I agree to a point. As a Catholic who is greatly frustrated by the non-accountability, even arrogance, of some bishops, I’ve long supported greater power-sharing between clergy and laity. (I’m a member of the reform group, Voice of the Faithful).

Christ did not intend for the Church to become the centralized, theocratically-governed bureaucracy which Rome has become. This is evidenced by the early Church in Acts, and by use of the word Ecclesia (“assembly”) for “church” throughout the Gospels.

Still, it is not the role of the State to impose its model of a governing structure upon any church. Those changes have to come from within a church. If you don’t see the inherent dangers of politicians dictating how churches are to be governed, then you are na├»ve and shortsighted indeed.

As someone posted yesterday, by this same rationale, the Utah legislature could mandate that all congregational church boards dissolve and turn over church management to bishops and presbyters.

I do agree, however, that the state has the right to require regular audits and other financial checks for all 501c3 charities, including churches. Such basic measures will assure transparency with tax-exempt contributions, and don’t involve the State actually dictating to charities and churches how they are to be internally governed.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a good bill and it doesn't have anything to do with the state taking control of any church.
Who said it had anything to do with the state controlling the church? The state should not be telling the church how it should control the money they take in. Separation of Church and State is a 1st Ammendmant Right that we all have.
Why are religious groups trying to impose their rules and perceptions about gays, birth control, abortion, gender superiority, etc on everyone?
For the same reason every major company and charity in this country is trying to influence the government. They want their values followed.
You just don't get it.
Once the state starts making laws about the Catholic Church, it is taking way 2000 years of canon law that has been in place.
If people don't like how the Catholic Church is run, then can leave and join a church like the Congregationalists who allow only parishioners to control the money.
Who is to say that one of those "trusted" parishioners wouldn't take the money for themselves?
You have to understand that there are hundreds of churches in this state alone that are run very well by the pastors, the bishops and the lay appointed trustees. You will have a bad apple once in a while, just like we have a bad apple in our state and federal governments.
The real reason these 2 brought this bill up is to bash the Catholic Church. They didn't realize how strong it is.
I say, get out of the church if you don't like how it is run.

Anonymous said...

Here is a simple statement. The difference between money abused in the church and money abused by state government is simply this, You do not have a choice to give to the government.We pay for them with taxes. Therefore it is neccessary to audit government money, you do however have a choice to give to the church, so if they are abusing the money...Stop Giving.

Anonymous said...

The state does have the right to require audits and other accounting safeguards of charities in consideration of their tax exempt status.

Anonymous said...

The Church is not trying to impose their beliefs on the government, but keeping the government from restricting there beliefs.