And, in the category of “unbelievable”: More religious liberty is under attack.
Wow, it seems lawmakers in CT have no understanding of the Constitution. Incredible. (Hat tip, Fr. Andrews)
What’s next? Really, if people are actually misled enough to even suggest such an action in the United States of America, what’s next?
Oh, and by the way, the CT legislature is Democrat-controlled. No surprises, there.
The [Democrat]-controlled Judiciary Committee has introduced Raised Bill 1098, a bill aimed specifically at the Catholic Church, which would remove the authority of the bishop and pastor over individual parishes and put a board of laymen in their place. Yes, we’re asking the same questions you are (Where does the legislature have the authority to do this? Isn’t this a blatant violation of the First Amendment?), but we assure you that this is not a hoax.
If the legislature can replace a bishop with a board of laymen in the Catholic Church, they can just as easily replace the governing lay structure of Congregationalist or Baptist churches with someone set up as a bishop. In fact, it was resistance to such government interference in the internal life of the church that gave birth to several of our most historic denominations. Thanks to this awful bill, our generation must now rise up to defend those hard-fought victories for religious liberty that were won for us by our ancestors.
And, isn’t it hilarious they’re singling out Catholics?
UPDATE: Due to a huge outcry, Connecticut cancels Catholic Church control. It seems the two lawmakers trying to pass this bill finally got around to reading the First Amendment. Says Ed Morrissey:
After many people wondered aloud how Lawlor and McDonald managed to graduate their high-school civics class, they finally admitted that their bill to strip Catholic bishops of authority over parishes had, well, overreached.
Archbishop Chaput didn’t mince words (one of the reasons I really admire this man):
“Bigoted legislators,” Chaput said in reference to Sen. McDonald and Rep. Lawlor, “including some who claim to be nominally or formerly ‘Catholic,’ are thankfully uncommon. Most lawmakers, whatever their convictions, sincerely seek to serve the common good.
“But prejudice against the Catholic Church has a long pedigree in the United States. And rarely has belligerence toward the Church been so perfectly and nakedly captured as in Connecticut’s pending Senate Bill 1098, which, in the words of Hartford’s Archbishop Henry Mansell, ‘directly attacks the Roman Catholic Church and our Faith.’”
“In effect, SB 1098 would give the state of Connecticut the power to forcibly reorganize the internal civil life of the Catholic community. This is bad public policy in every sense: imprudent; unjust; dismissive of First Amendment concerns, and contemptuous of the right of the Catholic Church to be who she is as a public entity,” the archbishop criticized.
Let this serve as a cautionary tale: Someone, somewhere, will try this again.