Friday, March 6, 2009

Trusteeism Bill Introduced in Connecticut

Update: The Bill has been pulled, go here.

A Bill removing control of parishes from bishops has been introduced in the Connecticut General Assembly. Raised Bill 1098 has no stated sponsor, but according to staff at the Senate Judiciary Committee was a concept raised in the committee itself.

The bill establishes that Catholic churches in the state shall have a board of directors made up of 7 to 13 lay members elected by the congregation. The bishop or his designee shall be an ex-officio non-voting member.

All general administration and financial functions of the parish fall to the authority of the board including, establishing the budget, developing and implementing strategic plans and developing outreach plans and services to the community. Under the bill, the pastor would report to the board on all financial and administrative matters.

The bill says it leaves in tact the authority of the bishop or pastor "in matters pertaining exclusively to religious tenets and practices."

A public hearing has been set for March 11.

I'll post information on the bill's background and true sponsorship when I find it. It is an idea that's been floating around VOTF circles in Connecticut.