Archbishop Niensted Promotes Bigotry In Minnesota

Don't Blame Christ for Homophobia

The Archbishop of Minneapolis/St. Paul John Nienstedt has declared
war on the gay Community of Minnesota, and hopes to interrupt the march towards
equality by promoting bigotry masked as religious faith.

It comes as no surprise that he would turn his sights on the
progressive part of the Archdiocese and whip up a divisive frenzy around a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in

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.” He also directed each pastor within the Archdiocese to “appoint a captain or co-chairs to lead a special parish ad hoc committee to spearhead this effort…” We understand that these are not the words of a kind, generous, accepting and open minded individual. Rather they are the words of man fixated on homosexuality, with a political ax to grind.

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.” So far those bishops have been silent.

“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.”

Mr. Adkins like Archbishop Nienstedt is long on accusations
nowhere does tell us what those consequences are other than their need to
discriminate. The Archbishop is using the issues of gay marriage and the “guise of free speech” to begin an outdated argument.

Contrary to what the Archbishop is saying no priest in his church would be forced to conduct a same sex ceremony should Gay Marriage at some future date be allowed in

Above and beyond all this Archbishop Nienstedt appears not to have any concern about the unity of the Archdiocese in his drive to stigmatize the Gay Marriage as threat to
society. He is naïve if he thinks that Catholics will buckle under his
political direction in this.

If anything has damaged marriage in our society one only has to look to Divorce. Perhaps this where the Archbishop should put his energies rather than trying impose a interpretation of marriage that is not grounded today’s reality, by making gay people scapegoats.

The Rainbow Sash Movement believes that Archbishop Nienstedt is playing to our worst angels of  bigotry in order to get this state constitutional amendment passed. We pray
that reasonable voices in the Archdiocese will be raised to oppose this abuse of authority.

Bill O’Connor
Rainbow Sash Movement


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