Mark Ritchie uninvited to speak at Catholic church... or is he? [UPDATE]

mark ritchie rect.jpg
Ritchie is persona non grata to Minnesota's Catholic leadership.
-- Mark Ritchie's amendment title: "Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples"
-- DeLeSalle student, during anti-gay school assembly, holds up sign: "I love my moms"

:: ORIGINAL POST, August 1, 10:20 a.m. ::

St. Joan of Arc Church in south Minneapolis recently extended a speaking invitation to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Ritchie was due to deliver a talk called "A Spiritual Path for Democracy" on August 12.

But that invitation has been rescinded. Though St. Joan's has a reputation for hosting relatively liberal speakers -- feminist Gloria Steinem spoke there in 1978 -- it appears the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis won't tolerate one of its churches giving the pulpit to Minnesota's left-leaning election official.

Archdiocese spokesman Jim Accurso told the Pioneer Press that Ritchie's public opposition to both the voter ID and same-sex marriage ban amendments is "just not appropriate."

"The invitation to him is in the process of being withdrawn," Accurso added. "He will not be speaking on the 12th."
What would Jesus think?

As we told you about in June, Ritchie wants the title of the marriage amendment to be "Limiting the status of marriage to opposite-sex couples." On the other hand, amendment proponents -- including, presumably, the Catholic church -- prefer "Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman." Yesterday, the state Supreme Court heard arguments from Ritchie and Republican lawmakers on either side of the issue, and a decision regarding which amendment title is more appropriate might be issued before August is through.

Catholics are the largest contributors to Minnesota for Marriage, the state's most prominent pro-amendment group. Financial reports published in late June revealed that $400,000 of the $588,000 Minnesota for Marriage raised came from the Minnesota Catholic Conference Defense Fund, with the Minnesota Family Council Marriage Protection fund kicking in $150,000, and the National Organization for Marriage contributing another $15,000.

We're going to try and follow up with Ritchie's reaction to the un-invitation either later today or tomorrow.

:: UPDATE, August 1, 1:25 p.m. ::

The Star Tribune reported over the noon hour that St. Joan's still thinks Ritchie's speech is on for August 12.

Dennis Heaney, communications director for the church, said the offer to the Secretary of State "has not been rescinded."

"We did talk to the archdiocese back and forth on the phone yesterday, and they didn't give us any order," Heaney said. "There was no instruction given from them at all. So right now, Mr. Ritchie is still on our schedule."

But archdiocese spokesman Accurso maintains that Ritchie's invitation has been rescinded.

"That's my understanding," he told the Strib.

We'll keep you posted.

My Voice Nation Help

One of these days the R.C. hierarchy is going to deliver "the straw that breaks the camel's back". 

So I, for one, am delghted ever time they flex their muscles and push their luck.   The bishops may think that less sophisticated Latinos are going to fill the pews that Anglos have been leaving.  But  how long will it take for young Latinos to follow their young Anglo peers?  And who will thei older generation of Latinos follow THEN, their own young people, or their Republican-loving "high priests"?


Hopefully someone will tell Ritchie definitively. And then maybe they can explain why the Catholic bishops shouldn't be seen as an arm of the Republican Party. I get how people derive opposition to marriage equality out of the bible, but now photo ID is a religious issue?

shadeaux14 topcommenter

The Catholic Church is the largest contributor to Minnesota for Marriage and the second largest contributor to NAMBLA.


Stick that in your Pope.

Chris Pederson
Chris Pederson

I went to counter protest the 'religious freedom' lala put on by the catholic bishops. Not only do they hate the idea of birth control they were also passing out buttons to thwart equal rights for all citizens and pro-voter ID laws..

City Pages Minneapolis
City Pages Minneapolis

Story has been updated with some new information -- it appears Ritchie might speak after all!


Churches need to have their tax exempt status revoked.

MicheleBachmann topcommenter

I don't get why anyone cares what an international pedophile ring thinks anyway.   The current Pope was personally involved in covering up the sexual abuse of deaf orphans.   Who is stupid enough to take advice from such an evil person?   If you give money to the Catholic Church you give money to hate gay people and protect pedophiles. 

Brett Verlyn Scriver
Brett Verlyn Scriver

This article contains an inaccuracy. Ritchie's title for the amendment is "Limiting the status of marriage to opposite-sex couples." Please correct this in the article.

MicheleBachmann topcommenter

 @CinBlueland Well only an idiot would think we don't need politicians or teachers.  When teachers get caught having sex with a student they are shunned and punished not protected and supported like the Catholic Church does to their pedophiles.


 @CinBlueland I feel the same way about my taxes going to support a certain greedy country whose name begins with the letter I, which gets foreign aid packages and weapons from us while Americans go hungry and homeless.  Yeah, Cin, I do know how you feel, but there isn't a damn thing I can do about it.

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