Churches Avoid Promoting Political Parties in Conn.

July 24, 2004

Source: The Hartford Courant,1,2881682.story?coll=hc-headlines-local

On July 24, 2004 The Hartford Courant reported, "This week the Republican National Committee asked Roman Catholics who back President Bush to provide copies of their parish directories, to help register Catholics to vote. And earlier this month, the Bush-Cheney campaign wrote to volunteers asking them to provide their church membership directories to state GOP headquarters, to help mobilize support. The campaign's letter also called on volunteers to 'recruit 5 more people in your church to volunteer for the Bush-Cheney campaign.' So far, Connecticut churches seem to be steering clear of such requests... Marie T. Hilliard, executive director of the Connecticut Catholic Conference, said parish directories were created to enable church members to contact their dioceses for services - not for outside parties. The conference is the public policy office representing the state's Roman Catholic bishops. 'As a faith community, we are exceedingly careful that when we advocate for Catholic social teaching in the public policy arena, we do so without attempting to advance any political party or any political candidate,' Hilliard said."