Senator defends controversial Catholic financial bill

Stamford state Sen. Andrew McDonald cleared the air over the controversy surrounding the state putting forth a bill that would rework how the Catholic Church

NORWALK - Stamford state Sen. Andrew McDonald cleared the air over the controversy surrounding the state putting forth a bill that would rework how the Catholic Church handles its finances.

McDonald talked exclusively Friday with News 12 Connecticut's Tom Appleby.

McDonald is under fire as co-chair of the Legislature's judiciary committee for allowing a hearing over the bill that caused 5,000 people to rally in Hartford on Wednesday.

"I certainly think there were some missteps during this week," McDonald says. "I have acknowledged that, accepted responsibility for that and frankly have apologized for that."

The state senator says the legislation was a proposal by victims of fraud and embezzlement at the hands of the Catholic Church, and who are also devout Catholics, McDonald says.

"These individuals came forward with a proposal to modify existing law," he says. "I think most people think this was a new venture being explored by the government."

McDonald says it was never his intent to interfere with anyone's religious beliefs, and he doesn't blame the protesters for voicing their opposition.

"Frankly, my position is none of that should be in our statutes," he says.

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