Saint Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt, the same bishop who turned the Catholic Mass and that church’s holiest sacrament into a weapon with which to bludgeon LGBT people, does not want dissent within the clerical ranks when it comes to same-sex marriage.
In a dictatorial move, Nienstedt essentially told the priests of his diocese that when it came to the Minnesota Catholic church’s campaign to pass a constitutional marriage discrimination amendment, they had two choices: help out or shut up:
Writing for the American Independent, reporter Andy Birkey revealed that Nienstedt’s authoritarian remarks were delivered in a private speech to priests last October. Just to make sure his message reached every priest under his jurisdiction, the archbishop later sent the text of that speech to all priests who were unable to attend. (According to Birkey, Nienstedt’s remarks are only coming to light now because someone within the church leaked the speech to a group called the Progressive Catholic Voice, who released it to the media.) Birkey reports that in the same address, Nienstedt also spoke about sending teams consisting of “a priest and a married couple” into Catholic schools to discuss marriage discrimination with schoolchildren.
Minnesota Catholics: if you put money into the collection plate on Sundays, this is what you’re supporting. Yes, Nienstedt’s bigotry is out of step with the vast majority of American Catholics. Yes, the Catholic church provides important services to poor and disadvantaged people. But there are dozens, if not hundreds, of charitable organizations providing the same services as the Catholic church without the spiritual bullying. When you donate to your local parish instead of these other charities, though, you give tacit approval to Nienstedt’s reprehensible persecution of your LGBT family members, friends, neighbors, and congregants.
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