Catholic League president Bill Donohue addresses the state of free speech for Catholics in Connecticut:
Three months ago, two lawmakers from Connecticut sought a state takeover of the governing structure of the Catholic Church. This gambit, which we properly labeled a “fascist stunt,” lost. The reason it lost is because of the courageous reaction of Catholics, led by their bishops, and organizations like the Catholic League. Among the steps taken to thwart this unconstitutional abridgement of religious liberty was a rally at the state Capitol.
In retaliation, some state officials are now seeking to penalize the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, led by Bishop William E. Lori. They have accused the Bridgeport Diocese of breaking the state’s lobbying laws. On May 29, Bishop Lori filed suit seeking an injunction to stop the punitive measures from being implemented.
What is at stake is practically every liberty enshrined in the First Amendment: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, religious liberty and the provision guaranteeing separation of church and state. First the tyrants sought to take control of the Catholic Church, and now their lackeys are trying to muzzle the free speech of Catholics. Had this been reversed—had the bishops sought to take command of the legislative functions of the state of Connecticut and then proceeded to get a gag order placed on lawmakers—everyone who is now silent would be apoplectic.
Just last month, there was a rally in Hartford demanding universal health care. According to Courant.com, approximately 140 “clergy and religious folks marched to the state Capitol to ask to talk. They wore clerical collars, suit coats and hijabs, and chanted and carried signs that said, ‘Muslims for Health Care,’ and ‘Health Care for All.’” This rally occasioned no threats by state officials of any kind.