Saturday, March 7, 2009

VOTF Bridgeport and Connecticut Trusteeism Bill

Here's one of five proposals for "structural change in the Church" made by VOTF Bridgeport:
5. The Right of the Faithful to own Church Property. A parish corporation consisting of all registered parishioners, the bishop, and the pastor should be established. The officers and directors should be elected by the parishioners. The bishop and the pastor should serve ex officio. The corporation should have the authority to use, administer, and maintain parish property, to acquire new property, or to sell unneeded property.

Sound familiar?

And in case anyone didn't follow a link to VOTF Bridgeport's site from the first post anywhere on Connecticut's Raised Bill 1098, here's the subject of a conference they had last April:
David O’Brien, the keynoter, will speak on: “Who Owns Our Church? Trustees and Trusteeism in the American Church.” In the early nineteenth century boards of lay trustees owned parish churches and hired pastors. Conflicts between pastors and people, pastors and bishops eventually led the bishops to demand absolute ownership of parish churches. The battle over trustees was so intense that the term “trusteeism” has a decidedly negative connotation among bishops and clergy today. In the State of Connecticut, ownership is now vested in the parish corporation consisting of the bishop, the vicar-general, the pastor, and two lay trustees appointed by the clerical members.

Sounds like they read up on CT law.