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Priest Blasts MN Archbishop's Anti-Gay DVD Plot, Likens It To Bullying

WeDoNotAgree-1 A Minnesota Catholic priest has hit out against his peers' to mail about 400,000 Catholics a DVD denouncing gay marriage.

Father Michael Tegeder published a letter over the weekend condemning the marriage-related action, which was authorized by Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt, and made clear that the real threats to marriage aren't gay or lesbian, but economic.

"In every serious study, poverty is the top reason for marital breakdowns," writes Tegeder in the missive, originally published in the Minnesota Star Tribune. "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 more biting edge comes in Tegeder's remarks about Nienstedt, whom he blasts for focusing too much on political, rather than spiritual, issues:


Since arriving in Minnesota as a bishop in 2001, Nienstedt has had the constitutional amendment as a priority. In 2006, he promoted postcards, which as archbishop he has upgraded to DVDs. I do not believe any of our other bishops would have been on such a crusade.

...

Just recently the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, the main author of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and friend of the pope, publicly stated that the church needs to look differently at committed same-sex relationships. His fellow Austrian bishops concurred. These are thinking, serious church leaders. They listen.


And, just to make sure the reader and Nienstedt both get the point, Tedeger concludes, "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."

Asked whether he fears being ousted for the letter, Tedeger said, “If he throws me out I can walk away from this with my head up … I love ministry." He also compared the Archbishop to a bully: “We have to call it for what it is – it’s bullying behavior. It’s not the work of Jesus Christ. It’s not the work of Jesus Christ."

Read the entire letter, AFTER THE JUMP...
I have watched the DVD sent out by the Minnesota Catholic bishops in favor of a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

The premise of the DVD is that same-sex couples and their committed relationships are a grave threat to marriage. To be clear, these bishops hold that sacramental Catholic marriage is in essence different from what is considered marriage by society. Nevertheless, the bishops claim they have a concern for marriage in the overall society.

What are the real threats to marriage? The Sept. 29 story “Economy is Hitting Hearts and Wallets,” about the effects of our current economy on marriage, said that “being broke and unemployed is not conducive to matrimony, young Americans are finding. In 2009, the number of young adults (25-34) who have never tied the knot surpassed those who had married for the first time since data collection began more than a century ago.”

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.

Since arriving in Minnesota as a bishop in 2001, Nienstedt has had the constitutional amendment as a priority. In 2006, he promoted postcards, which as archbishop he has upgraded to DVDs. I do not believe any of our other bishops would have been on such a crusade. “Minnesota nice,” if not prudence, would have prevailed. Ask them privately.

Just recently the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, the main author of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and friend of the pope, publicly stated that the church needs to look differently at committed same-sex relationships. His fellow Austrian bishops concurred. These are thinking, serious church leaders. They listen.

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.

- Pastor Michael Tegeder
Church of St. Edward, Bloomington

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Comments

  1. How rare to see a Catholic with a conscience these days. Most of them are sitting in silence afraid to protest the horrors being perpetrated in the name of Jesus.

    Posted by: niles | Oct 6, 2010 10:43:45 AM


  2. He'll be defrocked soon.

    Posted by: jeffg166 | Oct 6, 2010 10:57:27 AM


  3. Refreshing to hear, but the nuns and priests who stand up for the right thing always seem to get punished.

    Posted by: bklynbryan | Oct 6, 2010 11:04:18 AM


  4. the church is always crying poverty give more money, but this bishop seems to have found a way to spend. why can't actually use it for good like feed people or educate children instead of using it to bully people. the people of minnesota don't seem very friendly first the clown running for governor now this jerk. minnesota doesn't seem like a place i would want to visit or do business with.

    Posted by: walter | Oct 6, 2010 11:35:33 AM


  5. The more i delve into this debate from the Catholic side, the more i despise that church.

    Bottom line is the Church believes that God does not love gays for loving each other. And does not want them(us) to form stable pair-bonds for life.

    That is simply not a God I can love, or believe in. That God has declared war on my nature and so i must make the most charitable conclusion i can about that God: which is to say either God does not exist, or the Catholic church is clueless about what God thinks of his gay sons.

    Posted by: Andrew K | Oct 6, 2010 12:05:14 PM


  6. The roman, judaic, islamist and prot cults should be taxed till they drop.

    Then we should secularize their schools to prevent rapes.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Oct 6, 2010 12:16:59 PM


  7. anybody have any idea how much 400,000 CD's cost..plus production on the CD of the BS LIES? lets Follow the money!!!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Oct 6, 2010 12:26:18 PM


  8. The fact that same sex couples do thrive, are beneficial, do raise children flies in the face of what the catholic church espouses.

    The church is loosing members and they have resorted to selling church property to stay in business.

    They fail to recognize they are their own worst enemy.

    Posted by: Fred | Oct 6, 2010 1:40:10 PM


  9. Please don't generalize Minnesota and Minnesotans by the actions of a Catholic archbishop, and the blind ambition of our lame-duck governor.

    I am an out gay resident of Minnesota, and this is a pretty good place to live. Perhaps it is worth noting that I moved here from San Francisco seven years ago. Minnesotans, generally speaking, are a pretty accepting lot. This state has had a civil rights law that protects LGBT people (yes, "T" too) since 1993. Adoption by same-sex couples is a non-issue. Our three largest cities have domestic partnership ordinances. And, while marriage between same-sex partners is prohibited by statute, we do not have a constitutional amendment banning gay- marriage. More broadly speaking, this is the state from which Walter Mondale, Humbert Humphry, and Eugene McCarthy made their political careers. Our Democratic party senators are left (Al Franken) and center-left (Amy Klobuchar).

    Sadly, there’s no explaining Michelle Bachman, except to say that she embarrasses most of us too and she hails from a very a gerry-mandered district. We have conservatives here, but historically we’ve had a very moderate political climate. It’s only been since the administration of Tim Pawlenty from 2002 that things have gotten bristly.

    The Catholic Church is tightly directed from the Vatican, and I don’t think it’s accurate or fair to describe any actions taken by an archbishop as representing the sentiments of Minnesota.

    Please visit Minnesota, and do business here. We need you.

    Posted by: Chris in MN | Oct 6, 2010 2:08:59 PM


  10. Yeah, but it's cold.

    In all seriousness tho, thanks for that rational run-down of Minnesota's general political leanings. Thanks also to Pastor Tegeder. It's not for me to say - but if he's defrocked over this, it will be the best thing that's ever happened in the direction of his life. A necessary course correction for a spiritual man is to leave the Catholic Church far, far behind.

    Posted by: Zlick | Oct 6, 2010 2:21:40 PM


  11. God bless and keep you well, Father Michael. Lord, if there were only more priests with the cojones to stand up to the tyranny of the Church.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Oct 6, 2010 2:36:38 PM


  12. Father Michael, coming soon to an Episcopal pulpit near you...

    Posted by: BobN | Oct 6, 2010 4:42:24 PM


  13. It takes the Catholic Church decades to defrock the child rapists in their midsts. But it will probably take just a week to see this guy kicked out. Bet on it.

    Posted by: B-rod | Oct 6, 2010 5:13:07 PM


  14. The Catholic church seems to be in a mad race to prove it hates gay people more than the Mormons.

    I think the Catholic church is going to win, despite all of the Mormon money....

    (ah, the immorality of it all! from a church!!!)

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Oct 6, 2010 5:47:51 PM


  15. Props to this guy!

    Posted by: Vann | Oct 6, 2010 6:28:18 PM


  16. Fr. Tegeder is brave. He will also be admonished--at least--and punished for speaking out against the political activities of his "boss."

    Lots of priests rape children. The RC church is too quiet about that and far too nosiy about gay people.

    In due course they will be more irrelevant than they are now, and the Archbishop will have his place in history.

    Posted by: Sane Soul | Oct 7, 2010 4:41:52 PM


  17. Refreshing? A Catholic with a conscience? How about: Fr. Tegeder made a solemn and perpetual vow of obedience at his ordination to his bishop and his successors, and acknowledging the teaching authority, the Magisterium, of the Church. If he finds that he is no longer able to keep the vows he made before God and man, lacks the personal integrity necessary to maintain his position as pastor and priest, has abrogated the role of teacher that resides solely in the Bishops and Pope by virtue of their consecration as successors of the Apostles to himself, then yes, he needs to petition Rome and Archbishop Nienstedt to be released formally from the vows he made and leave the Church he has already left by his public acts, and find another church more to his liking. At least have the intellectual honesty to do that.

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 7, 2010 8:52:00 AM


  18. If the RC Church allows gays to do what is their (gays) natural right to live like everyother human on this planet, then who will the church have for a scape-goat? The main reason for most religions (Yes this includes those from the Jewish faith as well as the Muslim and many other smaller sects like Morman and KKK ect...) is for people who are scared of those that are different from them to gang together and force their blindness on those they find too different to thier liking. Just take a look at the RC Church in the past. In the name of Christ the church has spilt more blood and spread more fear and hate right from it's start in the Roman days. Look at how the Native Americans were treated when we stole their lands. 2000 years of hate will not go away in a few years. As long as we allow Christians and Muslims and other God fearing cults to run this world, then there will always be a need to have someone that they can put down to make themselves look superior.

    Posted by: rhbellows | Nov 16, 2010 8:59:25 AM


  19. The odious cliche of Christian churches and their minions of all religions is that "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." Wrong. God created Adam first--Eve came somewhat later. Is it then possibe to uphold that God and Adam were the first "gay" couple? When Eve came, bisexuality occurred. And how are the known facts of Jesus' life twisted to deny that he, too, was homosexual--a man who spent his life among males, who was utterly devoted to his mother, who never married? If Medieval and other artists are correct about his appearance (and there are ample reasons for believing those representations are hot accurate, that they are the artists' heated fantasies; e.g., Michaelangelo's erotic figures), then the fantastical Jesus is ... well, yes ... a hunk; with obliques that could come only from scores of ab crunches, pecs from dedicated bench presses, etc. Too, his loin cloth is pretty revealing. How many repressed clergy have been lured into rancid religions by that utterly sexy almost-naked image? The same image that Catholic nuns "marry." Homosexual currents run throughout all these legends and silly beliefs.

    Posted by: Glenn Walker | Nov 16, 2010 6:18:05 PM


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