Catholics walk out of mass as anti-gay marriage letter from Archbishop Nienstedt is read

Categories: GLBT, Religion
nienstedt marriage rect.jpg
Nienstedt's letter prompted some Catholics to put up "Vote No" yard signs.
-- DeLeSalle student, during anti-gay school assembly, holds up sign: "I love my moms"
-- Catholic school teacher forced to resign after disagreeing with church's gay marriage stance
-- Twin Cities Archbishop: Same-sex marriage ban not debatable

Minnesota's marriage amendment has caused a rift in the local Catholic Church.

As you'd expect, Archbishop John C. Nienstedt is a staunch, longtime opponent of same sex-marriage, but many parishioners are not. And increasingly, gay marriage-tolerant Catholics are speaking out, church hierarchy be damned.

The latest instance of insubordination took place last Sunday, when Catholics at churches across the metro walked out of mass as an anti-gay marriage letter penned by the Archbishop was read.

From MinnPost:
On Monday, Michael Bayly, the director of Catholics for Marriage Equality, noticed a spike in requests for the group's lawn signs, which read, "Another Catholic Voting No."

Some of the people who stopped by his south Minneapolis office to pick them up told him people had walked out of their churches during the reading. A parishioner at the nearby Church of the Annunciation said half a dozen left her service.
The tone of Archbishop Nienstedt's letter is actually more tolerant than some of the past things he's had to say about gays, such as a 2007 ascension which said those "who actively encourage or promote homosexual acts... formally cooperate in a grave evil, and... are guilty of mortal sin."

From Nienstedt's letter:
[S]ome ask, "Why is a constitutional amendment necessary?" Well, the fact of the matter is that politicians and activists are working right now in Minnesota to redefine the institution of marriage from one that bonds a man and a woman to any children born from their sexual union into another that licenses the romantic preferences of same-sex adults...

[T]he reality is that marriage is not ours to redefine, just as another human life is not ours to take. God is both the author of life and the author of marriage. It is this most fundamental understanding of the natural order that animates who we are as Catholics. It is why we fight so ardently to defend every human life, from conception to natural death. It is why we fight for the dignity of the human person and vigorously seek preferential options for the poor and disadvantaged. It is also why we fight to defend God's plan for marriage, because his providence is as clear for what marriage is as it is for the dignity of each human life...

Finally, and importantly, while no one has the right to redefine marriage for all of society, as Catholics we are committed to defending the dignity of all people, including those with same-sex attraction.

We know that some who are seeking to redefine marriage experience same-sex attractions. Our brothers and sisters living with same-sex attraction are beloved children of God who must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.

Every sign of unjust discrimination in this regard must be avoided. People with same-sex attractions, like others in society, are productive citizens, community servants, good friends and our beloved family members.

At the same time, however, it is important to know that the effort to ensure that the definition of marriage remains as between one man and one woman does not take away anyone's existing rights or legal protections. As Catholics, we believe that all people should be able to visit loved ones in the hospital, pass on their property to whomever they choose, and have access to employment, housing and the basic necessities of life. Saying "yes" to God's plan for marriage will not change any of this.
But for some, Nienstedt's newfound tone doesn't go far enough. Last month, Father Bob Pierson, an openly gay priest in Collegeville, told 200 Catholics in Edina they should vote with their conscience, not the Archbishop, if they don't support the same-sex marriage ban.

The Catholic hierarchy still holds a significant amount of sway, though -- Catholics for Marriage Equality claim the Archdiocese asked Pierson to stay silent about the issue after his Edina speech made news. Consistent with that claim, the father recently declined a MinnPost interview request.

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Ann Paipal Cerney
Ann Paipal Cerney

It's a Freedom of Religion Issue - Not a "gay" issue - Children will be taught as young as 2nd grade that being homosexual is okay - that is a violation of religious freedom. What's next? Will churches be forced to marry gay couples even though its against their church doctrine? How far will we let this go before we do stand up and say "NO"?

Ann Paipal Cerney
Ann Paipal Cerney

It's a Freedom of Religion Issue - Not a "gay" issue - Children will be taught as young as 2nd grade that being homosexual is okay - that is a violation of religious freedom. What's next? Will churches be forced to marry gay couples even though its against their church doctrine? How far will we let this go before we do stand up and say "NO"?

Dennis Dyce
Dennis Dyce

Why did I think we lived in a country where church and state were separated? Why? .....Because churches get a tax break to stay out of politics. May the archbishop would like to have the church's income and properties taxed like regular people/businesses..... Stepping over the line has consequences. Tax churches who preach politics from the pulpit!

Brenna Munoz
Brenna Munoz

The vote no sign is in support of same sex marriage. I believe there is an error.

swmnguy topcommenter

The issue at stake involves Civil Marriage, which is a secular institution.  Not Religious Marriage, which is obviously governed by churches.  Some churches will marry same-sex couples.  Some churches won't marry people who have been divorced, or who are not members of that church.


Archbishop Nienstedt and the rest are attempting to impose their religious beliefs on the entire population.  That's unconstitutional, and wrong, not to mention downright rude.  I don't tell Catholics what they can and can't do as Catholics.  Also, since the 14th Amendment was adopted, it's illegal to create a class of people for the purpose of denying them rights granted to others.  You can't deny freedom to black people, and you can't deny marriage to gay people.  That's based on the underlying principles of our entire system of law.


Archbishop Nienstedt and the rest know very well that their attempts are unconstitutional.  That's why they have to resort to Constitutional Amendments to impose their beliefs on civil, secular society.  They also know they have to act quickly, because the younger generation supports gay marriage, and the older generation that opposes it is dying out and changing their minds as they see their gay children and grandchildren being oppressed.  Barry Goldwater himself came to his senses late in life and openly repented of the harm he had caused others, when he realized his own grandson was gay.


Good for the Catholics who walked out.

MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Facts on the Republican Catholic Bishops:


Pope Benedict XVI:   He covered up the molestation of 200 deaf orphans in Wisconsin.


Cardinal Timothy Dolan(Republican National Convention speaker):   Paid cash to pedophiles and rapist priests so they could escape justice.  He called these payments "act(s) of charity."  


Father Benedict Groeschel:  Recently said that oftentimes children are the seducers of pedophiles.  Called Jerry Sandusky that "poor guy".  Will not be punished or reprimanded by the Pope or the Catholic Church.


Nuns on a bus:  While leading a nationwide tour to highlight child poverty in the United States the pope condemned them for not focusing on anti-gay marriage efforts and threatened to throw them out of the church. 


The Catholic Church is currently run by a bunch of old virgins who will do whatever it takes to make gay people miserable while making it easy for children to be molested.   

Elisabeth Hunt
Elisabeth Hunt

Thank you, Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ, for showing Christ's love to my family by standing up to prejudice.

Kim Maciej
Kim Maciej

A union recognized by the government doesn't need to be recognized by a church. Each religion can make their own rules to follow, but don't try and bully the rest of the state into your beliefs. I'm a Catholic VOTING NO!!!!

Nathan David Teegarden
Nathan David Teegarden

I'd respect Pierson more if he had the guts to ignore the instruction to remain silent, and kept speaking out.

Greg Overall
Greg Overall

It would not surprise me at all to find out that Nienstedt is gay and it causes him all kinds of inner turmoil. Those that protest the most often are this way.



 THAT IS A BUNCH OF CRAP AND LIES!! Wonder who the haters really are?? Cite your "facts" please. Fr Benedict is a  living saint and shame on you for quoting him as saying such trash. If we aren't suppose to limit the freedom to marry. Why not pedophiles? Polygamists or parents who want to marry their children? What about 2 brothers or 2 sisters? They can't marry. Why aren't you fighting for their right too? How about a person and their pet? Pets don't have the freedom to marry. Maybe you should be fighting for their rights too?

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