Friday, June 05, 2009

Governments to Catholic Church: Shut up or else

Three years ago, the City of San Francisco (named after St Francis of Assisi, by the way) passed a resolution that officially condemned the teachings of the Catholic Faith, calling them "hateful", "callous" and "insulting" and urged Catholics to disobey the teachings of the church. Catholics, particularly Bill Donahue of the Catholic League, represented by the Thomas Moore Law Center took exception to this resolution naturally and sued saying it violated the First Amendment. The 9th Circuit Court heard the case and sided with San Francisco. The Catholic League is appealing. Can you imagine if any government officially condemned the religious teachings of say, oh, Islam? Yeah, me neither. In essence: shut up Catholics. You are officially second-class citizens.

Over in Connecticut, legislators thought it would be a good idea to take control of the Catholic Church's finances and structuring (Bill 1098). Catholics, including the Bishops, thought this was not such a good idea, and let their reps in the state gov't know it by protesting on the steps of the State Capitol. Well, the authorities over in the "Constitution State" (ha!) thought the Catholics got a little too uppity and are now saying the Diocese of Bridgeport violated lobbying laws, a.k.a shut up. So +Bishop William Lori is suing claiming Establishment Clause violations. You go Bish!

In New York, New York Asslemblywoman Margaret Markey made a not so veiled threat against the Bishop of Brooklyn by saying he should "walk very cautiously" lest the Church loses it's tax-exempt status. In other words: shut up. The Bishop had previously spoke against Markey's bill that targets Catholic schools and gives a free pass to public schools. +Bishop DiMarzio supports a bill introduced by Asslemblyman Vito Lopez which treats public and Catholic schools equally when dealing with accusations of abuse. (source: Catholic League).

So here we have 3 different governments, all interfering or directly attacking the Catholic Church which can be summed up in two words: shut up. When the government is telling you to shut up, that's when we need to speak out the most.

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