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Twin Cities’ Catholic Churches instructed to form anti-gay marriage committees

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS — John Nienstedt, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Minneapolis and St. Paul, has urged church priests to form committees to help pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

John Nienstedt

In a letter sent to parishes on Oct. 4, Nienstedt wrote, “It is imperative that we marshal our resources to educate the faithful about the church’s teachings on these matters, and to vigorously organize and support a grass-roots effort to get out the vote to support the passage of this amendment.”

The Archbishop’s letter also directs priests to “appoint a captain or co-chairs to lead a special parish ad hoc committee to spearhead this effort.”

The Catholic Church’s leadership have said that they are taking this “unique” and unusual step because they see the amendment as one of the most important issues the Catholics in Minnesota face in the next election cycle.

Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Catholic Church in Minnesota, said the state’s other bishops are expected to send out similar letters, “if they haven’t already done so.”

“We believe it [marriage] is a vital social institution, and it’s under attack in the courts, the Legislature and the culture,” Adkins said. “And it would have profound consequences if marriage is in fact redefined. That’s why we’re putting extraordinary resources toward making sure this marriage amendment gets passed.”

At least one pastor, Rev. Mike Tegeder of both St. Frances Cabrini and Gichitwaa Kateri churches in Minneapolis, called the effort “imprudent” and “divisive.”

Religion and politics expert John Green said he’s never heard of U.S. Catholic leaders encouraging clergy to form special committees at churches to mobilize Catholics to vote on particular issues.

The strategy mirrors a similar one used by conservative Christians in California to pass Proposition 8 and end marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Last year, Nienstedt mailed 800,000 Catholic households a DVD defending marriage as between one man and one woman.

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Filed under: Minnesota

35 more reader comments:

  1. What better way to distract people from pedophile priests!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 7:49pm
  2. If the church wants to engage in such flagrant politicking, then it needs to lose its tax-exempt status.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 7:56pm
  3. How selfish… they want the boys all to themselves… ugh

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 7:56pm
  4. Time to tax them!!! No more exemptions if they want to get involved in politics.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 7:57pm
  5. And this is why I’m atheist.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:01pm
  6. Don’t like Gay Marriage?? Then don’t have one. Problem solved.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:01pm
  7. This man is a leader of a hate movement against homosexuals and should be stopped. He is a member of the Roman Catholic Church and, as such, he should not hate. He should be removed from his office by the church. If it appears that these allegations of forming hate groups are even remotely true, he should be seized by local authorities and detained in a mental hospital for observation and confinement to assure that he will not endanger himself or others. We have seen how evil men caused the extermination of millions of God’s children because of their spread of hatred. Stop this Nienstedt.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:03pm
  8. Oh my Church which I do love so much…when will the human hierarchy who runs you begin learning to love and accept ALL OF HER MEMBERS? Your priests, bishops and cardinals are sinners just like me and everyone else; they need to stop the finger pointing and finish cleaning house NOW!!! One other thing: ANY PRIEST, BISHOP OR CARDINAL FOUND GUILTY OF PEDOPHILIA AND/OR COVERING IT ALL UP SHOULD BE DEFROCKED, EXCOMMUNICATED AND JAILED FOR LIFE!! And that goes for Non-Catholic “churches” as well!!! >:-(

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:05pm
  9. He wants to preach hate but yet they molest children. Go figure…

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:09pm
  10. Look John, Preach how to cure the divorce rate among your heterosexual parishioners or the domestic violence & child abuse that occurs in your so called families,Leave us the fuck alone.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:13pm
  11. Ruth, I am gay and proud to be. I don’t think it is right that he wants to stop gay weddings but yet there is nothing to help the one they molest.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:16pm
  12. Well in all fairness, I must say, (and in no way do I condone any of the shit those pigs did and covered up) the percentage of pigs guilty in the entire world is 4%…but of course, and I agree with EVERYONE on this, that is 4% that should NEVER have been! Something needs to be done NOW. It’s pathetic! >:-( And everyone is right when they say “Ok, you want to get into the political arena? You’re ‘tax exempt status” is over now.” Watch how fast the hierarchy changes their minds.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:17pm
  13. Dear Imperial Catholic Church, You must really miss the era of the Inquisition. ‘Cause it was so much easier then… No “committees” were needed!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:22pm

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:28pm
  15. Goddamn pigs.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:31pm
  16. Churches should be taxed if they wanna get involved in politics!!!! If we are all “gods” children…why are we judged..hated..discriminated against?? These bible thumpers are pathetic if you CHOOSE to live by the book..maybe you should do it 100% instead of using it for your own ignorance!!! Hypocrisy is the state of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, ideals, thoughts, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have.[1] Hypocrisy involves the deception of others and is thus a kind of lie.[1]…this to me in the end of it all believe that this is 90% of people who believe in the bible!!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:33pm
  17. Talk about anti-catholic rhetoric! Contact me if you want non-judgmental catholicism

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:35pm
  18. tweedle dee & tweedle dum

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 9:00pm
  19. religion separates people just like stereotypes/faschism

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 9:13pm
  20. we are all better off knowing “christ love” is really love for ones self.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 9:13pm
  21. Tired of “christians” trying to force everyone else into their mold. Worrying about the abomination of same-sex marriage? Why aren’t they equally worried about the abomination of preventing partners from making medical decisions for their loved ones?

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 9:36pm
  22. William, I completely understand your offer, but for many of us, catholicism has cost us at least our families (myself) and at most our very lives (one of my very good friends, when we were in 8th grade). It’s not “rhetoric.”

    I respect your choice to worship as you will, and respect you for the beneficial parts of your belief system that I assume you uphold. Unfortunately, many who blindly follow that path seem to wander, and use politics to advance their beliefs by imposing them upon others. Just as you (already have the right to) and want freedom of religion, so do others: it’s not “freedom of your religion,” it’s “freedom of religion,” i.e., all of them.

    For that reason, and that reason alone, there should be no catholic, lgbt or straight or anything else, criticizing anyone else for imposing religious beliefs upon others…unless you want to talk hypocrisy – in which case, I’ll refer to the beginning of this sentence.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 9:40pm
  23. clarification: there should be no criticism of imposing religious beliefs upon others while you’re guilty of doing so yourself.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 9:43pm
  24. they ban same sex marriages.. but sleep with little children…. hypocrites

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 10:02pm
  25. FOOOK YOU Anti gay marriage committees!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 10:35pm
  26. Why not befriend an antigay marriage christian. show him in the way you live as a friend that it couldnt possibly be a conscious choice to be gay and if theyre a real christian and follow love thy neighbor in time theyll ask which is the bigger sin to force you through law and violence to be promiscuous or accept that they should join you in asking GOD to bless your love with a long and happy marriage

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 10:46pm
  27. SO many Christians are so closed minded, they are parroting whatever is spewed by church hierarchy. Forgetting the very BASIC message that was Christ’s. “Love one another as you live Me.” There wasn’t tests of faith or conditions attached.
    I am not a Christian but The Buddhas message is EXACTLY the same. Love one another; UNCONDITIONALLY.

    We have to evolve from the ignorance that breeds hatred. The message of hatred against homosexuality is the Catholic Church’s invention and a recent one too. Many priests, brothers, and monks did more loving of one another in a very physical way in the past. The politics of the Catholic bishops funneled millions into California’s proposition 8 fight and litigation to keep donors name secret. Getting into politics goes far beyond the pulpit and becomes a political action fully taxable too. The American Church wants it’s money, land, etc. tax exempt and political action too. Can’t have both. But the money and wealth will be gone since the Church won’t police its members of abusers of both boys/men and girls/women that clergy went after.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 2:19am
  28. Those of us in NC should help out Minnesota as well. We may learn a few things in this common fight.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 3:46am
  29. Where are those Roman lions for these clowns…?
    It’s time for full civil and marriage equality rights NOW!

    Cheers, Joe Mustich, CT USA
    Officiant, Celebrant, Justice of the Peace,
    & Non-denominational Minister

    Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 5:46am
  30. LOL, good one…

    Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 5:46am
  31. The absolute massive amount of charitable activities the church does on a daily basis will probably allow it to keep its tax empt status

    Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 12:50pm
  32. I think that it is a conscious choice in some circumstances. To say there is no gay person who chose it sounds a little strange. I know I was for sexual reasons. I think its like 70-30.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 12:54pm
  33. The pigs in the Catholic cult really need to learn their place in society. They need to run their cult and stay out of politics and people’s lives. They need to be brought up on criminal charges for spreading hate, intolerance, and bigotry. The Catholic Church is one of the most immoral, greedy, hate-mongering institutions in recorded history. From its persecution of Jews and homosexuals, to the Inquisition, to its complicity in the Holocaust (including the fact that the present Pope is a former Nazi), to its complicity in pedophilia and denying the victims appropriate compensation, the Church has shown utter disregard for humanity, decency, morality, and the rule of law. I hope the sex abuse victims sue the Church into bankruptcy. And the Church attacks gays for being immoral? lol. Meanwhile, most of the pedophiles are heterosexual. Well if anyone would know anything about immorality, it’s the Catholic Church. The farther away other Churches get from the fanatical Catholic Church, the better off they’ll be. And why has Interpol not issued a warrant for the Pope’s arrest yet? And if the Church can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on hate campaigns and lawyers to fight victims, they can certainly start paying taxes. Why are the taxpayers underwriting government services for the Church? All countries around the world need to prosecute these degenerate priests and the Church hierarchy that covered the crimes up, expropriate all Church property, and tax the Church.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 6:24pm
  34. Good luck on forming those committees… most parishioners are fed up with volunteer work as it is, and fed up with ben16 too.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 8:51pm
  35. When the fuck do Pedophile Priests come in? Pedophiles, Pedophiles!

    Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 2:52pm