Skirmishers are circling in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. At issue is the legalization of unnatural, same-sex “marriage”.
Archbp. Nienstedt undertook with the help of lay people to send to Catholics in Minnesota 400K DVDs. The Archbishop is exercising his office as a successor of the Apostles, a pastor in the Catholic Church, to pass on and interpret the rule of Faith.
Another protest was launched against Archbp. Nienstedt by college students at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. No bastion of Catholic orthodoxy, there.
The STrib of Minneapolis and St,. Paul reports.
About 25 college students and community members at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minn., were denied communion by Twin Cities Roman Catholic Archbishop John C. Nienstedt because they were displaying rainbow buttons and sashes in protest of the church’s stand on gay relationships. [The students turned the moment of Holy Communion into a protest against not merely the particular minister of Communion – Archbp. Nienstedt – but against the Church’s teaching. The story says “stand”, using political terms. The Church has a teaching. If you do not accept the Church’s teaching about the immorality of homosexual acts… if you do not accept the Church’s teaching that marriage is only between one man and one woman… then you have no business receiving Holy Communion. When you approach the the minister of Communion (not just anyone, but the Metropolitan Archbishop) openly displaying a symbol that manifestly shows that you are protesting the Church’s teaching, you are openly showing that you should not be receiving Communion. Therefore, the minister of Communion, the Archbishop was obliged not to give them Communion. If Communion should not be received, and that is clear, then Communion should not be given. Students knew that. They did this to provoke the controversy.]
The conflict between the archbishop and the group, mostly students from the Catholic St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, [Women’s college associated with St. John’s] occurred during evening mass Sept. 26.
It came amid news that the state’s bishops were mailing 400,000 DVDs to Minnesota Catholics, spelling out church teachings on gay marriage.
The St. John’s action was coordinated by students, including members of People Representing the Sexual Minority (PRiSM), which represents gay and lesbian students and their friends and allies. That Sunday, according to those at the mass, about two dozen worshipers positioned themselves to receive communion from Nienstedt, who was saying his first student mass at the abbey. Some reached for [the arrogant little prigs] the communion wafer but were denied it. Rather, the archbishop raised his hand in blessing.
St. Benedict theology junior Elizabeth Gleich, PRiSM vice president, said, “We were making a statement during the eucharist, [Communion is not the time to make statements or demonstrations other than humility and “Amen.”] and many have disagreed with that. But when we have no other way of dialoguing with our church, no other way of telling him how we feel, how else to do it than in liturgy?” [I don’t believe they tried to “dialogue”, for one thing. And then, to what purpose? If they are “dialoguing” for the sake of understanding and accepting a hard teaching – to which they owe assent, by the way, as Catholics – fine! I cannot imagine that Archbp. Nienstedt or his reps would not have “dialogued”! That question should be put to the spokesman, “If they had come in this spirit, would the Archbishop have “dialogued”? But, no. Let’s not pretend that they were really interested. They want to protest.]
She said their complaint is with church hierarchy, not with the colleges. [This shows you how dishonest they were. They knew they were instrumentalizing the Lord in the Eucharist, and the whole community of Faith, for their own agenda.]
Another student, senior Andrew Grausam, said he sat behind the group. “It was sad to see the mass politicized like that,” Grausam said. “And even though I wholeheartedly disagree with the archbishop on this issue, I was hurt to see my worship become a place of demonstration.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which describes itself as the nation’s largest civil rights organization on behalf of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people, expressed outrage at Nienstedt’s actions. [Imagine my shock.]
“Jesus didn’t play politics with communion,” [Does that sound in any way intelligent to you?] Harry Knox, the HRC’s religion and faith program director, said Tuesday in a statement. “He offered his body and blood for everyone.” [And sooooo….?]
In the Twin Cities area, at least two efforts have gathered hundreds of DVDs from Catholics opposed to its message. Minneapolis artist Lucinda Naylor estimated Tuesday that she’d gathered about 600. A group called Return the DVD has received about 1,000 in its Burnsville post office box, and also has garnered about $5,000 in donations to help the poor, said organizer Bob Radecki.
The Catholic Spirit has an excellent piece about this incident. Take a look.
Then …. contrast that to the editorial in US Catholic, … that should be catholic.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
By Bryan Cones
Best to wear black in the communion line, or at least keep your color pallette neutral. [Starts with a whine…] Archbishop John Nienstedt of the Twin Cities denied about 25 students of St. John’s University in Collegeville and the nearby St. Benedict’s College communion at a Mass at St. John’s Abbey for wearing rainbow buttons. The students were protesting Nienstedt’s DVD campaign promoting the church’s teaching on marriage (specifically same-sex marriage), according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. [No. they were protesting the Church’s teaching and they were protesting a man who made that teaching clear in the face of their immoral agenda. And they chose to do this at the time of Holy Communion. That’s what happened.]
Archdiocesan spokesman Dennis McGrath on the action: “For years you cannot receive communion if you wear the rainbow sash, because it’s a political statement, a sign of protest. Going to the communion rail is the most sacred part of our faith, the eucharist. We don’t allow anybody to make political statements or any kind of protest.”
First off, who goes to a communion rail anymore. There isn’t one at St. John’s. But I digress. [Does he think that’s clever?] People, especially clergy, politicize the liturgy all the time in sermons and petitiions. And as a “protest,” this one was pretty mild: No yelling, sign-waving, chanting. Just participation in the liturgy while whering a rainbow button. [No. This wasn’t just “participation”. They weren’t just “there” and praying. They went to Communion wearing symbols demonstrating that they do not accept the Church’s teaching. And one of them tried to take Communion.]
I think one of the :”protesters” had a good point: “We were making a statement during the eucharist, and many have disagreed with that. [Indeed. She’s getting her money’s worth out of that education!] But when we have no other way of dialoguing with our church, no other way of telling him how we feel, how else to do it than in liturgy?” asked St. Benedict student Elizabeth Gleich–though I’m sure the archbishop would not entertain any disagreement on the matter. [So… he’s sure, and I am sure about the opposite. Which one of us is right, I wonder?]
[Now watch the writer go to the zoo…] I propose a thought experiment: Suppose the archbishop gave these baptized people what belongs to them by reason of their baptism [No. Holy Communion doesn’t “belong” to you by reason of baptism alone. There is – and it is hard to imagine why we should have to clarify this to someone writing for a Catholic publication – also the matter of accepting what the Church teaches, being in communion with the Church and with her duly appointed pastors.] (communion), even if they were wearing a button. [Which is an admission that that button was more than just a button. You know… I have a button on my coat right now: “Oremus pro Pontifice!”, in support of prayer for Pope Benedict. I suspect that the Archbishop would have given me Communion anyway. The button meant something.] Suppose further that they received it happily and went back to their seats. Suppose the bishop even invited them to chat after Mass. Would anyone believe that the archbishop had changed his mind? I doubt it. [Have you slid into the steel jaws of his logic yet?] In fact I doubt there would even be a news story about it to link to, at least not one that makes the archbishop look , as he most certainly does in this portrayal. He may have even appeared generous, open, loving, even though he worred that these members of his flock had it wrong. Whatever happened to a pastoral response? [I see. The Archbishop looked petty. It wasn’t that the student’s behaved like petulant brats who think they know better than the Church when it comes to faith and morals and then reveal their immaturity by making an issue of it at Communion. The image that comes to mind is that of a father standing over his child saying “No.” while the brats thrashes on the ground after having the gun taken away. The Archbishop’s denial of Holy Communion helped these children not compound their sin and the scandal they were causing by adding to it a sacrilegious Communion, which Paul describes as having pretty serious consequences. As for that “pastoral” response, I submit that the writer has not the slightest idea what “pastoral” really means. Clue: most of the time it means saying “NO.”]
[And not the writer will give us a lesson…] But unless the law has changed–and it hasn’t–there is no justification for withholding communion from a member of the body of Christ unless that person is a notorious public sinner whose communion would somehow cause grave scandal in the church. [When I was still a Lutheran, I was validly baptized. I was a member of Christ’s Body because of that baptism. I was not, however, Catholic. I did not accept the Catholic Church’s teachings. I did not obey her laws. I did not view the Church’s shepherds as my shepherds. When I became a Catholic, I publicly said I would do those things and I was admitted to Communion. Furthermore, what those students did caused grave scandal. It would have been a public sacrilege to receive. It was a scandal to try. And you can tell that they were trying to provoke this whole situation. Shame on them.] I hardly think a little rainbow button rises to such a threshhold, and it seems unlikely that anyone would be scandalized that college students – who still care enough to show up at church – disagree with their elders on a sexual matter. Like that’s never happened before.
The writer’s bottom line? We can do and believe anything it pleases us to believe without reference to the Church’s teachings or pastors who interpret that teaching. We can do anything we want, and who the hell cares?
Archbishop Nienstedt does.