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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Connecticut uses lobbying laws to muzzle priests

"Who will rid us of this meddlesome priest?"

That's the question Connecticut's political class seems to be asking about Bridgeport bishop William Lori, who has led the push for conscience protection in gay marriage laws and against a state effort to dictate Church finances. Now the Office of State Ethics seems to be rising to the occasion, as my Examiner column reports:
The home page for the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., included a note last week exhorting Catholics to tell Gov. Jodi Rell, R, to repeal the death penalty. By the standards of Connecticut government officials, this was an illegal act of influence peddling in violation of the state’s lobbying laws.

As the Constitution State fights to exert more control over the Catholic Church there, lobbying laws are the state’s latest weapon. Top officials at the Office of State Ethics have, according to sworn affidavits filed by the local bishop, informed the diocese that it violated state ethics laws and engaged in unauthorized lobbying by holding a statehouse rally and using its Web site to call on citizens to take action.
You can read the whole thing here.

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