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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Separation of Church and State

It's really not shocking that in the state of Connecticut the Legislature is proposing a bill that imposes the state's control over the finances of Catholic parishes. This is a bill that SINGLES OUT the "Roman Catholic Church".  

It's not shocking at all. Because we live in opposite-world, here in America, where "Separation of Church and State", a clause which is cited as being a part of our Constitution but ISN'T THERE actually means that the Church can't speak up in defense of life or marriage, but apparently DOES mean that the State can insert itself into our own hierarchy and affairs. 

This bill is VERY dangerous; it separates the parishes from the bishop. It takes the authority away from the Pastor and puts it in the hands of state-approved "trustees".  Sound familiar?

China, anyone?  Anyone?  Connecticut will be the first state to enter into full-fledged communism, and their first victim, as usual, is the Catholic Church.  Why?  Because the Church is a threat to the regime.  How?  Because the Church stands for Truth, morality, and TRANSCENDS any earthly government.  Because we are Catholic first and American second and as a sovereign entity we are NOT subject to earthly authority and CANNOT be controlled by any government.  

Canonically, [According to Canon Law, the internal legal system of the Church] the Pastor is the person with executive authority in the parish;  he is required to LISTEN to his parish council, but is under no obligation to follow what they recommend;  the Pastor has the authority of the Church, under his Bishop.  

The State is trying to change this;  and wants to place the financial affairs of the Church into the hands of the laity, completely contrary to Canon Law and Divine Law.   Mind you...the State has NO RIGHT to enter into the Church's affairs!  

Here is the wording of the First Amendment which allegedly gives us "freedom of religion", one of the main premises upon which this country was formed: 

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Here's what shocks me...that NO ONE is picking up this story!  I read it yesterday, and have YET to see  it on other blogs even by this evening!  (with the exception of one)  It seems this story is remaining with news sources, but is not being picked up by the larger Catholic public...where it NEEDS to be!  

People...if this law passes in Connecticut, it will be introduced into other states.  Your diocese could be next. Maybe similar bills are already in the works in your own state.  

If you are not Catholic...beware!  They'll come after you next, and my prediction is that it'll be our Evangelical brothers and sisters, who are as outspoken in defense of human life and the sanctity of marriage as we are.  

For more information, visit the web page of the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT, take a look at the video as the Bishop explains what is at stake.  You can also read a summary below the video. 

You can read the chilling and Communist China-like language of the proposed bill here

My fellow Americans, our religious freedoms are at stake.  Under the First Amendment, the Government does NOT have the right to infringe upon the financial affairs of ANY religion.  However, we have a legal system which is based upon interpretation, a mix of positive law and social contract.  Basically, that means that the law can be interpreted at the whim of our dominant Judicial wing and the set precedent reigns supreme.  Our laws are not read according to the letter of the law, but according to a faulty philosophy which renders the original language powerless. 

We don't all have the right to vote in Connecticut, but we DO have the ability to pray.  I don't care about your religious affiliation; what I care about is that although we are being targeted, it won't end with us.  If this bill passes, the government will take control over every church community possible...just like China.  Oh, sure, they'll "allow" a Catholic Church to exist, and "tolerate" us, but only if we preach what they approve. 

If we are truly faithful, we'll be underground, and we'll officially be criminals.  

My friends...pray.  Watch what happens in that state, and be prepared for it to happen in your own. 

This proposed bill is an OUTRAGEOUS violation of our First Amendment protections and we CANNOT allow it to pass!  Voters in Connecticut, contact your legislators and judiciary committee members.  DEMAND that this bill be shut down!

ALL of us need to be certain that a new precident is NOT set! 

Even those of you who do not follow a particular religion must recognize the outright and objective violation of our civil rights.  PLEASE make your displeasure known to your elected representatives! 

UPDATE! 3/10/09 ======>> The Anti-Catholic bill has been PULLED!

The sad news is that it was advanced by Tom Gallagher, a contributor to left-wing unfaithful National "Catholic" Register, and by Voice of the Faithful. ALL of whom, including the 2 legislators, Rep. Michael Lawlor and Sen. Andrew McDonald, underestimated the average Catholic! Enjoy your walk of shame, folks!


Father Cory Sticha said...

This is so frustrating to hear about. I think the diocese is right to respond quickly to this threat, as this would completely throw out Canon Law and restructure Catholic churches in a similar fashion to Congregational churches. It's especially interesting that the bill makes the "Board of Directors" the authority in the parish, with the bishop as advisor and pastor as employee. Trusteeism rears its ugly head once again.

Adoro said...

It IS frustrating!

How can they possibly THINK that this isn't an infringement of our rights? What makes them think they can insinuate themselves into our affairs and make us change our internal laws?

Now we know what happened in's happening here. Fascists!

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Adoro, (not that persecution is ever fun), but maybe this is the kick start in the pants that all of us need to take our Faith seriously again? As you've said on this blog, I think the American Church REALLY takes for granted the situation that they have.

Mark said...

One could also compare this with the treatment of the Catholic Church in France after the French Revolution, and especially the "Civil Constitution of the Clergy" by which the State effectively nationalized and regulated the Church.

Adoro said...

Joe ~ the only problem is that people don't seem to KNOW about it! I gave a talk on the Mass last night and brought it up. And we DO take it for granted. I'm amazed at the lukewarmness of the vast majority of Catholics who aren't even REACTING to this! (Mostly because they don't know, and secondarily, because once they know they don't understand why it's a problem!)

Mark ~ Of course...everything old is new again...taking root in America. And to think we have been so self-righteous. Apparently we're going to go the way of old Europe and make the same mistakes they did. *sigh*

Not that any country is perfect, of course.

Lynne said...

"Apparently we're going to go the way of old Europe and make the same mistakes they did."

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

I'm with Joe. It's the kick in the pants we needed. Bring it on.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: Horrifying. Unfortunately, in the US, people think it will never happen. What did we see happen today? More death enacted into law.

Adoro said...

Cathy ~ That's exactly why they're doing this- to try to hobble the Church. To put a muzzle on her. To silence her. If they hold the purse strings, then suddenly the Church is no longer free to speak.

This administration is so anti-life it's horrifying. And as I understand it, the bill's authors are the most vocal proponents of gay "marriage" - clearly this bill is as vindictive as they can get.

Mrs Doyle said...

This is terrible Adoro!

I don't understand the in's and out's of the structure of each diocese in the States (ie whether the diocese needs to be registered as a 'corporation' or as a 'charity' etc..), but the main point seems to be to ensure that money's are not 'misappropriated'.

I mean, surely, after each financial year the board would have to have the books checked and audited by an outside firm? If everything is published, anything like this would be immediately picked up.

Everyone's right, this is just a smoke cover for larger issues to bring the church to heel and make you guys scared to speak out against anything.

I'm praying for you!

Adoro said...

Well, I don't know that an outside firm checks anything...why would they need to if the church is doing just fine? Most parishes have financial boards and the like, and the Pastor has the final say. And of course, they are linked to the diocese and bishop. I know our own parish owes a huge debt to the Archdiocese and has loans to pay back...obviously that has to be managed.

But in CT, the State is trying to make the Church accountable to THEM. And mind you...the state of CT can't even handle their OWN money, what are they doing try to manage the Church's, which HASN'T had any problems with "misappropriation", and if they's not the State's problem.

Argent said...

Adoro, Abp. Chaput's response gets to the heart of this bill:

If Catholics want Caesar telling them how they're allowed to live their civil life as a community, this is exactly the kind of legislation to make it happen.

The legislative coercion directed against the Catholic community in one state has implications for Catholics in every other state.

There are Catholics (in-name-only) who are for this bill and want a say in how the Church is run. Dig and you'll find VOTF here. There will be two Catholic profs tomorrow speaking for this bill. This leads to confusion for ordinary Catholics.

Hidden One said...

If only there wasn't another bill also opposing Church policy in CT now to replace that one.