Faith leaders form coalition against Massachusetts’ financial disclosure bill
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Non-Catholic religious leaders in Massachusetts have sided with the Archdiocese of Boston against a state bill that would require religious denominations and congregations to publicly disclose their finances and real estate holdings.

Religious leaders said they understand why Catholic laypeople may be frustrated with archdiocesan leadership and want them to disclose their finances, but said people need to work within their own denomination and not look to the government to resolve their internal issues, reported the Boston Globe.

The religious leaders vowed to fight this bill in the Legislature and, if necessary, in the courts. The Episcopal Church, for example, said it would sue to overturn the law on constitutional grounds.

''There are nothing but good intentions behind this measure, and there is sympathy for the problems that people are trying to address. But the bill doesn't address the problems,” Andrew Tarsy, regional director of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, told the Globe.

“It brings the state inside religious communities in a way that is unprecedented in Massachusetts. It's good intentions and bad law, and they're glossing over really big issues," he was quoted as saying.

''If you listen to the debate, you see that a number of very distressed Roman Catholic laity, who are legislators, are inappropriately using the arm of government to deal with the internal concerns of one particular church," Rev. Diane Kessler, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches told the Globe.

''There is a real danger, that the courts have recognized over the years, in abusing power and intruding on the affairs of religious communities," she said. Her council is an umbrella organization of Protestant and Orthodox Christian churches.

The religious leaders have formed a coalition against the bill, which includes the state's four Catholic dioceses; the leaders of the mainline Protestant and Orthodox Christian churches; the Unitarian Universalist Association, the First Church of Christ, Scientist; the Islamic Council of New England; the Salvation Army; the Seventh Day Adventist Church; the Assemblies of God; several Jewish organizations, and Vision New England, which represents hundreds of independent evangelical churches.

The bill was endorsed by Senator Mary Walsh. It was approved by the Senate 33 to 4 in November. But Governor Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has threatened to veto the measure. Since then, support for the measure seems to be dwindling, reported the State House News Service.

Prior to the vote, Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston had unveiled a plan to begin annual disclosure of archdiocesan finances, starting this spring.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

Related News:


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 30, 2015

Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:26-34


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:26-34