Catholic bishops speak out against financial bill

BRIDGEPORT - Catholic bishops are speaking out Monday against a bill that they say will take away a church's control over its finances.

The bill is expected to create a board of directors to oversee individual parish finances.

Sen. Andrew McDonald (D-Stamford) says that the bill was introduced in the wake of a financial scandal that hurt a church in Darien two years ago.

"We ourselves are questioning certain aspects of their proposal and even the constitutionality of the current law," Sen. McDonald says. "Despite what has been portrayed, we have not endorsed nor are advocating for this proposal."

A Judiciary Committee public hearing will be held on Wednesday in Hartford, and Bishop William Lori is calling for all Catholics to attend.

"The state doesn't have the right to tell the church how to function," Bishop Lori says. "If they want to advance that opinion themselves, that's terrific. But you don't get the state to come and bully the church because you might be unhappy. As a matter of fact, they're wrong about what the church does financially."

Bishop Lori has also sent out a full page ad condemning the bill that he expects to reach Connecticut newsstands on Tuesday.

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