Friday, October 8, 2010

Minnesota Bishops and DVDs against equality

In Minnesota, there's a possible constitutional amendment coming up banning marriage between same sex partners. The Catholic bishops are sending DVDs to their flock to endorse the amendment, which would also prevent civil unions.

One creative response is from an artist Lucinda Naylor who wants to take the DVDs and make an art piece. She lost her job over it (she worked for The Church) but her motivation is pretty compelling.
She said her anger with the church's actions on gay marriage dates to the spring when three friends with gay children protested Nienstedt's interpretation of the Catholic position on homosexuality.

She said the archbishop wrote back to all three, telling them that those who could not agree with "the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality ... ought not participate in the sacramental life of the church." The archbishop added that the mothers' "eternal salvation" could depend on their adopting the church's position on homosexuality.
So Mothers, reject your children. It's the Catholic way. The mind boggles.

Fortunately, as often the case in RC politics, the priests and the people have more sense. Many Catholics oppose the Bishops' assault on GLBT families. Remember that Catholic laiety are one of the strongest supporters of marriage equality in this county: 60% of Catholics find gay relationships morally acceptable. And a new poll shows that nationwide, 49% of Catholics favor equality and only 41% oppose.

And a Catholic priest wrote this letter to the Minneapolis paper (I expect he'll be stepping down soon....)
In every serious study, poverty is the top reason for marital breakdowns. It is very hard to make the case that a small percentage of the population who bond with members of their own sex and seek to live in a committed relationship could have anything but a positive effect on the general population's appreciation of stable, faithful, life-giving unions.

The very thoughtful letters to the editor about this subject reflect the fact that Catholics have very diverse opinions about this issue. The bishops themselves are not united on how to approach this new reality of gays and lesbians claiming a right to have their own families publicly recognized with corresponding rights and responsibilities....

The constitutional amendment being promoted by the archbishop does not allow even for civil unions, and it would limit current rights enjoyed by our gay and lesbian citizens. We as Catholics can have our own beliefs about marriage. But we must recognize that people of other faiths and of no faith have conscientious beliefs as well.

Most scandalous is that Archbishop Nienstedt has compromised his office with the use of anonymous money to fund this effort. The constitutional amendment is a very political issue. The impression is given that political funding is at work here.
More on this brave priest here.

The Roman Catholic church is entitled to opposed marriage between gays and lesbians on doctrinal reasons, of course. But don't forget the blatant hypocrisy of a church that does not try to prevent civil divorce or remarriage between the divorced (also doctrinally forbidden). This hypocrisy proves that it is personal, not doctrinal. Telling a mother to abandon her gay child for salvation is more of the same. The bishops of the hierarchy hate gay people. I can think of no other reasoning.

For more about the scandalous attacks by the ROman Catholic hierarchy on GLBT civil rights, NOMexposed

H/T JCF, Madpriest, and slksfca


Daniel Weir said...

A side note: Fr. Tegeder is 62. It has been my experience that priests of his generation are more likely to be liberal than younger priests.

JCF said...

Well, there's also many more of them!

[In contrast to JP2's/B16's tiny number of pure "Hammer of Orthodoxy" cadre. When the elderly liberals die, they aren't being replaced by younger conservatives. They aren't being replaced, PERIOD.]

Elizabeth said...

This is an outrageous violation of the separation of church and state. The Archdiocese should lose its tax exempt status immediately.

However, my real concern is for the LGBT communities and their families. Telling parents to abandon their children or their salvation is spiritual abuse and the Archdiocese should be called on it. It is up to all of us to be aware of the spiritual abuse in our communities and speak up.

IT said...

Actually it is perfectly legal, Elizabeth, as long asthey aren't campaigning for a person.

Whether it's "right" is another issue.