Bishop hails call to abandon state probe of church lobbying efforts
Published: July 1, 2009
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CNS) -- Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport praised the Connecticut attorney general June 30 for his opinion urging state ethics officials to stop investigating whether the diocese violated state lobbying laws with its efforts to rally Catholics against legislation that would have given laypeople financial control of their parishes. Bishop Lori called the opinion from Attorney General Richard Blumenthal "a truly significant announcement that stands not just with our state's Catholics but with all citizens of the state whose fundamental civil liberties were placed in jeopardy" by application of the lobbying laws in this case. Carol Carson, executive director of the Office of State Ethics, said the ethics advisory board would meet in closed session July 1 to discuss the diocese's case in light of Blumenthal's opinion. The controversy centered on whether the diocese violated laws governing lobbying groups by organizing a March 11 rally at the Connecticut Capitol in Hartford to oppose a bill that would have changed how parishes were governed in the state. The legislation had been withdrawn March 10, but the rally proceeded as scheduled.
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