Monthly Archives: June 2013

DOMA Decision: Catholic, Episcopal Leaders In State Disagree

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Gay rights activists outside the U.S. Supreme Court building after Wednesday’s ruling. (AGP/Getty Images)

The bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut on Thursday praised the U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, a day after the Roman Catholic archbishop of Hartford lamented it.

In a written statement Thursday, the Episcopal bishops said, in part:

We give thanks for the recognition of state and federal law enacted by the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act.  In Connecticut that means that all married couples will have the same status before the law.  This is a move forward for equal justice for all and the civil rights of gay and lesbian people. We give thanks for the marriages of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and the voice of General Convention offering rites of blessing for their love. Continue reading

Former Bishop Of Trumbull Church Gets Nearly 4 Years For Fraud

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A former bishop of the Bridgeport Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Trumbull received a prison sentence of 46 months, followed by three years’ supervised released, on Thursday for defrauding members of his congregation and others, federal officials says.

The former bishop, Julius C. Blackwelder, 59, formerly of Stratford, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven. In February, Blackwelder pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. Continue reading

Post-Newtown Guide Advises Houses Of Worship To Prepare For Disaster

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The White House this month released a guideWhiteHouseGuide to help religious leaders prepare for the prospect of a mass shooting, among other possible disasters, at churches, temples, synagogues and other houses of worship.

The 32-page booklet — “Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship” — addresses all sorts of natural, technological and human threats. But a third of the document, part of President Obama’s response to the Newtown massacre, focuses narrowly on one specific threat: active-shooter situations.

Find the full story here.

AP: Pope Signals He’s Monitoring Legion Reform

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Pope Francis leads the weekly audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Wednesday.

Pope Francis seems to be taking a hard line with the Legion of Christ, The Associated Press reports:

Pope Francis is signaling the reform process of the troubled Legion of Christ religious order will stretch beyond next year’s target date amid continued reservations about whether it has truly changed its ways following revelations its founder was a pedophile.

The religious organization, which had its U.S. headquarters in Connecticut, and accusations against its now-disgraced founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, were the subjects of groundbreaking reporting by former Courant religion writer Gerald Renner and New Orleans-based investigative reporter Jason Berry.





Catholics Begin 2-Week ‘Fortnight For Freedom’ Friday

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FortnightLogoRoman Catholic parishes in Connecticut will mark the U.S. church’s Fortnight for Freedom campaign beginning Friday.

The campaign, now in its second year, is a project of the United States Conference of Bishops in Washington, D.C., and is being spearheaded by former Bridgeport Bishop William Lori, now archbishop in Baltimore. The conference lists 14 ways individual parishes might participate.

The Archdiocese of Hartford said the campaign begins on the feast day of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, “two martyrs who gave their lives for faith and religion,” and ends on the Fourth of July. Maria Zone, spokeswoman for the Hartford Archdiocese, listed some of the parish observances scheduled:

  • St. Mary Church in Branford, praying the rosary weekdays at 7:30 a.m.
  • St. Margaret Church in Madison, prayers for religious freedom weekdays after the 7:45 a.m. Mass Continue reading