Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Guerilla Warfare Against God's Church

Ok, so check this out: a bill before the Connecticut state senate to cause the restructuring of Church finances, taking them out of the hands of the diocesan bishop and his pastors, and putting them in the hands of boards of laypeople. This blog post and news story from the National Catholic Register cover it.

Whatever you think of the idea, oughtn't we as Americans to be alarmed simply by the fact that it is a topic of legal debate in a state senate? Have these senators ever read the First Amendment to the United States Constitution? Now granted, the case is not technically one of establishment - that is, the making "official" of one religious denomination or another together with its structures, along with providing any sort of unfair advantage. In the US for at least 60 years, that has been read more broadly as meaning that neither a church nor the state will directly interfere in the internal affairs of the other. The churches may influence public opinion about morals, of course, and the state may do so as well. But the churches are not to politick for or against particular candidates, lobby about matters of governmental structuring, etc. And likewise, the state is not to decide on who holds what church office, or how the churches run themselves, or what they teach. That's the law of the land.

The Catholic laypeople supporting the bill and the senators sponsoring the bill clearly have ideological axes against the Church, and see this as a way of forcing change.

What a lot of people-in-the-pews, who love the Church, do not realize realize is that this sort of bill is debated all the time in state legislatures: bills that would require the Church to provide insurance for contraceptives or abortion; bills that would violate the seal of the confessional; bills that would force governance structures on the Church; and more. They usually don't get very far, because we still have rule of law and a constitution in our land, and a majority who remember these things, and judges who do as well.

But enemies of Christ's Church are there, gnawing at our ankles and swiping at our heels, straining to throw down the gates that hold them back.

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