Regulating How Churches Govern Themselves

The Connecticut legislature, for the moment at least, throws in the towel on trying to restructure Roman Catholicism:

State legislators have tabled for the rest of the session a controversial bill that would have mandated changes in the corporate structure of parishes and institutions affiliated with the Catholic Church…

The proposed bill raised by the Judiciary Committee would have required Catholic parishes and other organizations to restructure much of the existing corporate management structure, replacing a system dominated by clergy and church hierarchical officials with boards of directors made up of lay members of their respective congregations. The changes, sought by members of several state parishes that have been rocked by financial scandal in recent years, would have shifted responsibility for financial and administrative management to the boards of directors and away from parish and diocesan officials, who they charge have been inattentive to their calls for reform.

Such a restructuring, if it passed constitutional muster (and that’s as dependent upon the idea of the judge as much as anything else,) could be applied to any centrally governed church, such as the Episcopal Church or–note this, Pentecostal friends–the Church of God.

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