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Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt Told Mother: Reject Your Gay Son or Burn in Hell

Nienstedt

Saint Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt, the guy who spearheaded a mass mailing in 2010 of 400,000 anti-gay DVDs, and created a special "marriage prayer" which he asked the state's Catholics to recite during Mass in an effort to create support for the anti-gay amendment on Minnesota's ballot in November, also told the mother of a gay son that she should reject him or risk burning in hell, according to a recently-surfaced letter.

NienstedtWrote Nienstedt:

I write to inform you that the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality,a s described in paragraphs 2357 and 2358 and 2359  of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is rooted in Scripture and based on the Natural Moral Law. It, therefore, shares in God’s revelation to us. Catholics are bound in conscience to believe this teaching. Those who do not cannot consider themselves to be Catholic and ought not to participate in the sacramental life of the Church.

Indeed, some might find this is a hard saying by many of Jesus’ teachings were likewise received as such. I urge you to reconsider the position that you expressed in your letter. Your eternal salvation may well depend upon a conversation of heart on this topic.

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Comments

  1. How can you have sympathy for a woman who chooses to be a Catholic?! She gets what she deserves. Lie down with dogs and you'll end up with fleas.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Oct 9, 2012 5:18:51 PM


  2. "likewise received as such"

    They teach that sort of writing in Pastoral Care 101.

    Posted by: Bingo | Oct 9, 2012 5:22:17 PM


  3. He's also wrong as a matter of theology.

    Catholics need to respect church teaching, however difficult that may be when it's presented by a tool like this, but no one can tell you what the natural law actually is. Each person is capable of discerning that for him/herself. That's why it's called the natural law.

    Posted by: Bingo | Oct 9, 2012 5:24:50 PM


  4. @Perry...the "burn in hell" part is the subtext. It's understood by his reference to
    "eternal salvation". Is there something about that you don't understand? Let me know...I'll clear it up for you.
    My dear old (almost dead...yeah!) catholic dad told me that I wouldn't be united with the rest of the family in the hereafter as a result of my sexuality...i.e. we're all going to heaven & your going to hell for all eternity. Bye bye pop...don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Oct 9, 2012 5:25:15 PM


  5. Archbishop John Nienstedt has classic gay face.

    Posted by: jason | Oct 9, 2012 5:56:12 PM


  6. There is a theme in the comment thread about why anyone would remain Catholic if he cares about teachings on sex and sexuality that are actually rational and compassionate. I wanted to offer some thoughts. Leaving a religion is very difficult. Like any relationship, it has incredible inertia. I was lucky to belong to parishes that were/are very gay supportive. Most of the Catholics I've known are genuinely good people. And so, as a gay man when I think about leaving and then don't, I admit to willful blindness about certain parts of the catechism and wishful thinking about the future.

    The best analogy, sadly, is an abusive relationship. Gay people like me (and their families) are abused by the Church, if not directly then by the simple knowledge of being not fully accepted. But we keep thinking of all the good experiences and our communities, and keep thinking that if we just work hard enough then things will get better. It's tough to admit that about myself, but I know it's true, and I'm fairly certain that's the mindset of many other gay Catholics and their families.

    So, when you engage those who are gay and Catholic (or whatever), just remember that most of us are born into and inculcated in our religions in a very powerful way. We know we are Catholic before we even know we are gay. It's powerful, and it's hard to just leave behind even in the face of an insurmountable contradiction it poses for our lives.

    Posted by: Stefan | Oct 9, 2012 6:01:02 PM


  7. @ STEFAN :
    There's nothing quite like self-respect to overcome the inertia of remaining inside the church.

    Your background, my background, is no reason to remain. You must know by now that the whole platitude "Love the sinner not the sin" was a fraud.
    We gays are inherently defective. That's straight out of the Pope's mouth. That is what they believe.
    And you are right; it has always been an abusive relationship.

    Please, let's leave with our dignity and our self respect intact.....we all owe that to ourselves and to each other.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 9, 2012 6:14:43 PM


  8. This is the same Nazi Catholic mentality that the Catholic Nazis had, who helped Hitler murder millions of Jews, homosexuals and other religious minorities in Hitlers Nazi Germany. Now they are doing it again, working to destroy children and families and minorities in the name of God. The New Catholic Inquisition has started to destroy anybody they do not like or agree with, the same as they did to the witches and others they claimed were bad. Truth is, it is the Catholics who are evil monsters making life hell for the people on earth. Your life in in danger if you fail to stop these religious mad men in the Catholic Church. Hitlers in drag with gold crosses.

    Posted by: Bob | Oct 9, 2012 6:49:55 PM


  9. @Yupp: "My point, JJ, is that you and Scumbag Towle better get off your superiority horses, you Protestant dickheads."

    Or...what...? You still haven't made a point. Here's an example: It really doesn't take a horse to sit above a moral scripture conceived by people who f*cked their children and sold them into slavery. When someone _aspires_ his whole life to _rise_ to this odious moral standard, I think that's pretty instructive about his character.

    That's a point.

    Anyway, I gather from your vaguely threatening tone that you're in the middle of demonstrating what a treasure of upstanding moral fiber your church has minted. I'll let you continue. Even if you still can't make a point of your own, I'm pretty sure you'll make mine.

    Posted by: JJ | Oct 9, 2012 7:03:16 PM


  10. Stefan : Thanks for that. Interesting. To add to that (even though you might have not experienced this directly) there are parts of the world (NYC, Boston, many cities in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK) where religion is even more tied in with identity from the time we're born. In the gay community it's especially bad (where status-consciousness rules everything) and certain religions are considered superior to others and everyone is categorized. So...YES...changing religion is hard. (And, JackTwist, glad to see how much those on your island have broken away from it).

    Posted by: Yupp | Oct 9, 2012 7:04:08 PM


  11. Uhh...JJ...if you want me to start listing your Protestant historical horrors versus Catholic achievements I'll be glad to. (No European, or European-descended person, is superior or inferior because of his religion. I'll guarantee history proves it).

    Posted by: Yupp | Oct 9, 2012 7:07:06 PM


  12. I was raised as a Catholic and was excommunicated from the church in 1998 over my vocal protest with respect to the church's treatment of glbt's, women and those outside the catholic faith. That was okay, because I felt no desire to "remain in the sacrificial life of the church."

    Funny thing though, they still mail me and call soliciting for various tithing appeals despite my repeatedly telling them that I am no longer a Catholic.

    Posted by: acorlando | Oct 9, 2012 7:09:21 PM


  13. Acorlando : Even when you try to leave, the Catholic Church will still consider you Catholic (a lapsed one, but..) and the Gay will consider you Catholic (of inferior intellect).

    Posted by: Yupp | Oct 9, 2012 7:14:24 PM


  14. @AJ: It's clear enough from the Archbishop's letter what he meant. No, what I see as misleading in the title to this post is "Reject Your Gay Son". The Archbishop doesn't say that nor imply it. The citations he gives from the Catechism do not say this either. Of course I suppose one could argue that this is a matter of perspective, in that not accepting that your gay son is say in an intimate relationship with another man is tantamount to rejecting them. I guess each person will have to make up their minds on that one.

    @JackFknTwist: That's how you deal with it, but not everyone who is raised Catholic. I myself choose not to donate a penny to the Church and admittedly rarely go to Mass, but on occasion still do. The Church is more than the Pope and hierarchy. In fact, I still hold to some degree to the sentiments expressed by Evangelical convert Thomas Howard, who would undoubtedly object very strongly to these words being used in this particular case but tough IMO:

    "Rome's opulence, her political machinations down through the centuries, her tyrannies and hauteur and self-assertiveness, not to mention the Dionysian romp in the Vatican in the Renaissance, what with Borgia popes and catamites and so forth: all of that is bad - very bad. The Catholic Church knows that. Dante, of course, had half of the popes head down in fiery pits in hell. Chaucer, contemporary with the Lollard Wyclif, but himself a loyal Catholic, is merciless - scathing even - in his portraiture of filthy and cynical clergy. St. Thomas More and Erasmus, contemporary with Luther and Calvin, were at least as vitriolic in their condemnation of Roman evils as were the Reformers . . . [But] Israel was not less Israel when she was being wicked . . . The Church is in the same position in its identity as people of God. We have Judas Iscariot, as it were, and Ananias and Sapphira, and other unsavory types amongst us, but we have no warrant to set up shop outside the camp, so to speak . . . Evangelicals, in their just horror at rampant evils in Catholic history, . . . unwittingly place themselves somewhat with the Donatists of the fourth century, who wanted to hive off because of certain evils which they felt were widespread in the Church. Augustine and others held the view that you can't go that far. You can't set up shop independently of the lineage of bishops . . . As far as the ancient, orthodox Church was concerned, nobody could split off . . . The problems of the Roman Catholic Church (sin, worldliness, ignorance) are, precisely, the problems of the Church. St. Paul never got out of Corinth before he had all of the above problems. Multiply that small company of Christians by 2000 years and hundreds of millions, and you have what the Catholic Church has to cope with. Furthermore, remember that the poor Catholics aren't the only ones who have to cope. Anyone who has ever tried to start himself a church has run slap into it all, with a vengeance . . . Worldliness, second-generation apathy, ossification, infidelity, loss of vision, loss of zeal, loss of discipline, jiggery-pokery, heresy - it's all there."

    Somewhat contradictory perhaps, despite Howard's words here I have a more favorable opinion of Protestantism in general but remain largely a Catholic in heart.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Oct 9, 2012 7:15:33 PM


  15. Perry EVERY Catholic knows that when you do not have eternal salvation - you are punished with burning in Hell.

    They do not mince words with that. In fact if you read the letter --- you can better understand they also believe that about Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, G.W. Bush, and every Protestant in America.

    Posted by: rjp3 | Oct 9, 2012 7:18:29 PM


  16. Caliban -- the Catholics are mystical people who believe in Godly Magic that can only flow through God to his Pope then to the Pope's Priest -- they have GOD GIVEN MAGIC that blesses -- and without that magic from GOD you burn in hell. Period.

    So leaving the church and joining another religion has the same end result as being a murderer ... you go to hell. Period.


    That is how they get and keep them.

    Posted by: rjp3 | Oct 9, 2012 7:20:55 PM


  17. Regarding rjp3's comment, "That is how they get and keep them," it really was never how they got and kept them. Once established, they got them by encouraging the production of babies (hence the historically large Catholic families), and they kept them not by threats of a mystical Hell, but a real-world demonstration of what it would be like, otherwise known as being burned alive at the stake.

    With burning at the stake now out of fashion, not to mention illegal for some time, their new members consist of children born into Catholic families and some converts (and some of those, possibly a significant number of those, converted to keep a spouse happy). To keep them, they have to reply on family pressure, but that is becoming less and less effective as people have become much more mobile.

    An Archdiocese of Washington web page has some info on it ( http://blog.adw.org/2011/08/number-of-converts-to-catholicism-continuing-to-decline-you-know-what-to-do/ ) - apparently the number of new converts is dropping. So is the number of infants due to declining birth rates.

    If you read the web page just cited, it will go on about what went wrong - no surprise as they are worried about the numbers - but regardless, they are seeing a decline and don't know what to do about it, and it is the data about the decline that is the interesting part of it.

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 9, 2012 8:58:47 PM


  18. Regarding rjp3's comment, "That is how they get and keep them," it really was never how they got and kept them. Once established, they got them by encouraging the production of babies (hence the historically large Catholic families), and they kept them not by threats of a mystical Hell, but a real-world demonstration of what it would be like, otherwise known as being burned alive at the stake.

    With burning at the stake now out of fashion, not to mention illegal for some time, their new members consist of children born into Catholic families and some converts (and some of those, possibly a significant number of those, converted to keep a spouse happy). To keep them, they have to reply on family pressure, but that is becoming less and less effective as people have become much more mobile.

    An Archdiocese of Washington web page has some info on it ( http://blog.adw.org/2011/08/number-of-converts-to-catholicism-continuing-to-decline-you-know-what-to-do/ ) - apparently the number of new converts is dropping. So is the number of infants due to declining birth rates.

    If you read the web page just cited, it will go on about what went wrong - no surprise as they are worried about the numbers - but regardless, they are seeing a decline and don't know what to do about it, and it is the data about the decline that is the interesting part of it.

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 9, 2012 8:58:48 PM


  19. His head. My club. Splat.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Oct 9, 2012 10:06:22 PM


  20. Good news on tonight's news: Twenty percent of Americans now select "none" when asked about which religion they follow.

    Posted by: i could go on, but I won't | Oct 9, 2012 10:13:32 PM


  21. Again with the extremist Fox news type headline. "reject your son or burn in hell". The bigoted bishop doesn't suggest the woman "reject" her son and says her salvation "may well" depend on her following Catholic doctrine. Headlines like this do a disservice to the truth.

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 9, 2012 10:41:13 PM


  22. Hey, it's not like her son is a child-molester.

    Oh, what, maybe that's the problem.

    Posted by: Steveinde | Oct 9, 2012 11:13:16 PM


  23. @Mikeflower: "The Catholic church makes it very difficult for someone to request voluntary excommunication". WHAT??? If a person doesn't want to be a Catholic anymore, they just leave/quit. I did and so have millions and millions of others. Hopefully they don't become Evangelicals/Fundamentalist Protestants or Mormmons or Muslims et al. They are even crazier.

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 10, 2012 12:23:25 AM


  24. It seems the Archbishop hasn't read those paragraphs of the Catechism recently. It never says to reject a gay person, actually, paragraph 2358 includes: "They [homosexual persons] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."

    Hmmmmmm....

    (Of course the other paragraphs say that homosexual ACTS are "intrinsically disordered" and not to be approved AND that homosexual persons are called to chastity...yeah, like that's fair...)

    Posted by: YankeeFan | Oct 10, 2012 12:45:01 AM


  25. His "views" from many centuries ago has now been officially debunked by my straight hero CHRIS KLUWE:

    " "Well, once again, Chris Kluwe isn't standing for this nonsense.

    Tell me, Archbishop, Pope, what purpose does the Church serve attempting to influence the affairs of a secular state? The federal benefits under law currently denied gay couples certainly fall under the realm of Caesar, don’t they? No one is forcing the Catholic Church to marry gay couples if that is not the Church’s wish. You can keep the sanctity of Catholic marriage solely between heterosexual couples if you feel that is what’s required (again though, I caution you on the dangers of presumed infallibility). All we are asking is for you to extend the open hand of tolerance instead of the closed fist of fear and hate.

    As American citizens, we respect the right for everyone to practice whichever religion they so choose, including the right to not practice one at all. Haven’t we learned enough from the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the Talibans of the world? What does it benefit the Church to attempt to influence secular policy in this country, especially when that influence is to deny basic human rights to others? Will you now assume Caesar’s throne, grasping the transitory ephemera of worldly power and control, while forsaking the eternal kingdom of Heaven?"

    Posted by: FunMe | Oct 10, 2012 2:19:47 AM


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