Category Archives: Connecticut Dioceses

Newtown, CT Knights dedicated new space: Moritz Hall

Bp Lori blesses St Rose KofC meeting space.jpg

On Saturday August 16th Bishop Lori blessed the grounds of
the new Council 185 Meeting and Storage building which will be named Moritz

The Moritz Hall derives its name from PGK Len Moritz who has been a major
force assuring completion of this four year project.

The hot day was part of a
Saint Rose of Lima (Newtown, CT) hosted Fan the Fire Youth Rally. Over 600 teens from all
over the diocese spent the day participating in renewal, witness and
confession. The day ended with a sunset Mass celebrated by Bishop Lori,
Monsignor Robert Weiss and a host of concelebrants. Vivat Jesus!

ACLU sides with Bridgeport Diocese

Rarely does one see the ACLU agree with the Catholic Church never mind agree with a local Church prelate on constitutional matters. Here the officials of Diocese of Bridgeport can justifyably claim that they were correct in their reading of the First Amendment and stating that they’re not a lobbyist. The ACLU runs contrary to Carol Carson of the State of Connecticut Ethics Committee’s ascertion that the Diocese violated state law. The CT Post ran a story today (of course it was not on page one).

In its filed brief the ACLU stated: “The Supreme Court, keenly aware of the need to carve out a protected zone, for petitioning activity, that lobbying statutes cannot reach, has defined lobbying narrowly, as involving only ‘direct communications with members of the [legislature]’ or indirect communications occurring ‘through an artificially stimulated letter campaign.” The brief backs up my thinking that a clearer definition of what a lobbyist is and how a lobbyist works in congress is needed. The governor’s office or one of legislators ought to propose a revision of existing law so as not to bog down the good work of the State in the future. I wonder how money was spent on this foolish exercise!

Nevertheless, there remains a lot of work to do on the education front: What is the purpose of the Catholic Church, how does it engage in the public square and what is a believing Catholic’s response, how do people of good will mobilize to express regret with their lawmakers?

Connecticut Catholics might be…

… forced to keep quiet by the State if the current law on lobbying stands. States officials in the Ethics Office are applying an unjust law to the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport; if the Catholics today, other Christian groups, Jews and Muslims tomorrow. As Bishop Lori correctly states, the Diocese of Bridgeport is not a lobbyist but a church. And as a church is the bishops and priests are called upon to teach, govern and to sanctify. The SB 1098 and other state bills that seek to change the mission of the Church violates constitutional freedoms. This is a matter, therefore, of all people’s First Amendment rights, not just about the rights of Catholics to exercise their freedom to speak and assemble publicly. Efforts now must begin to work for the current rules for lobbyists to be changed and the ruling of the Ethics Office overturned. Civil and intelligent discourse please! The Fox News report is interesting because it reports the claim that the officials in the Ethics Office are objective. Hmmm, I don’t see the evidence of that in this case. So, I can’t say that I believe for one minute that the CT State Office of Ethics is content neutral, particularly when it comes to  the Roman Catholic Church in Connecticut, and more so when it comes to Bishop William Lori.  

Fox news reports

Connecticut State Ethics Office charges Diocese of Bridgeport violated law

Connecticut State Officials try to muzzle the Church! In a letter to the people of the Diocese of Bridgeport today, Bishop William Lori states that the gathering of people to protest Bill 1098 that would violate the First Amendment, was a violation of law. The State of Connecticut Ethics committee said this mobilizing of the people amounted to “lobbying” because the Diocese failed to register as a lobbyist (which would invite State regulation). Now the claim is that the Diocese is subject to penalties.
Exhorting the people, i.e., giving information to the people, encouraging the people to take part in democracy, forming the consciences of the people from the pulpit, web-based materials and rallying does not constitute lobbying.
Nutmegers need to contact the State legislator before the end of the legislative session this coming Wednesday.
The Diocese of Bridgeport is filing a civil rights lawsuit in Federal Court against the State of Connecticut seeking relief from government action on this ruling.
For more information see the Diocese of Bridgeport website.

The priest

Pope Benedict ordains priests2.jpg

Bishop William Lori ordained two men to the diaconate today; they’ll be ordained priests next year. Saturday, May 16, the Bishop  ordains six men to the priesthood. These are happy days for the diocese of Bridgeport. So, I was thinking about the priesthood and what it means. While there are vast amounts of literature on nature of the priesthood, I thought Saint John Vianney would be an appropriate sounding board for today.

priest is not a priest for himself; he does not give himself absolution; he
does not administer the Sacraments to himself. He is not for himself, he is for
you. After God, the priest is everything. Leave a parish twenty years without
priests; they will worship beasts. If the missionary Father and I were to go
away, you would say, “What can we do in this church? there is no Mass; Our Lord
is not longer there: we may as well pray at home.” When people wish to destroy
religion, they begin by attacking the priest, because where there is no longer
any priest there is no sacrifice, and where there is no longer any sacrifice
there is no religion.

John-Mary Vianney, The Little Catechism of the Cure of Ars

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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