A Minnesota priest asks people not to fight FOCA and to thwart the US bishops effort

In the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, His Excellency Most Rev. John Nienstedt, the Archbishop, has spoken very firmly about the need to defend the right to life and the urgent need to resist FOCA.

FOCA would remove all restrictions to abortion and would make the position of Catholic physicians and health-care givers very difficult.

This is what Archbp. Nienstedt wrote – and said – about FOCA.

A least one of the priests openly opposes the Archbishop’s position about FOCA.

Here is what Fr. Michael Tegeder, pastor of St. Edward’s in Bloomington, MN, offered to the world in the Minneapolis Star/Tribune, arguably one the worst newspapers in the United States.

My emphases and comments.

Michael Tegeder: Church plans for mass mailing on abortion bill are ill-advised


December 22, 2008

When I signed up 35 years ago to be a priest, little did I realize that postcards would be an essential tool of ministry in the Catholic Church. It began a few years ago, when the Catholic bishops of Minnesota, led by then-Bishop John Nienstedt, pushed a postcard campaign in all Minnesota Catholic parishes that promoted a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to one man and one woman. Preprinted postcards were to be signed and sent to legislators.

We never got a report from the bishops on what was accomplished. To someone who did not see this as necessary, it seemed a waste of time and money. It also generated some unnecessary ill will.  [Since it is clear that the institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman is under attack in the public square, it seems Fr. Tegeder is not interested in defending marriage described in the traditional Christian way.]

Now the bishops of the United States are conducting a national postcard campaign to oppose the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). [Don’t be distracted.  Tegeder is not really interested in the use of postcards.  He is taking a position against what the postcard campaigns are all about.  He was against defending marriage as between one man and one woman.  Let’s see what else he is against.] This is to take place in all Catholic parishes the weekend of Jan. 24-25, which happens to be during the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and just a few days after the historic inauguration of the first African-American president, Barack Obama. This should indeed be a time to focus on what unites us.   [So… his position is that voicing opposition to FOCA will interfere with Christian Unity?  His position is that we shouldn’t voice opposition to FOCA because the man who promised to sign it is going to be inaugurated?]

Our nation and new president will be challenged by ongoing wars, an economy in severe recession, ballooning deficits, high unemployment and an environment and health care system in crisis. Yet at this very moment the Catholic bishops have declared that they have this more pressing need[Yes… because if you cannot say that a human being has the right to be born, then no other rights can be defended.  What is going on here is that Tegeder has fallen into the "we shouldn’t be single issue Catholics" crowd.  The the "seamless garment" approach is still rending the Church.]

A national postcard campaign against FOCA is a huge undertaking. In the letter from our archdiocese to me as pastor, I was told, "Our Archdiocese is responsible for securing a point person in each parish who will be responsible for the January 2009 massive postcard campaign materials in your parish." Actually, they intend for the pastors to do this. Postcards are to be sent to our representatives in Congress.

Obviously church leaders have every right to promote their concerns in the public arena. [Ehem… so long as their concerns are in keeping with the teachings of the Church.]  But FOCA is a phantom threat. [FOCA is a "phantom threat"?] It is meant to limit legislation by Congress on abortion. It will not be passed. [?!?]  Why would Congress pass a law to limit its own power? One well-placed Catholic commentator stated, "FOCA has as much chance of passage as the [now 0-15] Detroit Lions have of winning the next Super Bowl."  [Okay folks… how many things are wrong with this paragraph?]

A Catholic journalist, David Gibson, has a good perspective for Catholics concerned about abortion: "The problem of course is that these straw men and red herrings divert us all from the hard work to be done on this issue both within the church and in the public square. Opposition to FOCA should be part of that, to keep pressure on and pols honest. But using a phantom FOCA as a single-issue means of demonizing one’s political opponents does no good to one’s cause, or the wider society." 

We can do many positive things. Indeed, Obama has stated that he wants to reduce the number of abortions. We should work with him on doing this.

In the Christmas spirit, [HUH? This is just snide.] may I offer this suggestion to my fellow Catholics: With your Christmas offering, include a note saying that we do not need to send FOCA postcards[Look what he just did.  He publicly, in the local secular newpaper, asked people to defy the bishops of the USA in their attempt to fight FOCA.  He asked people to thwart the local Archbishop’s initiative.] During this season of goodwill, let us offer our new president some and hold back on the confrontation. And to the bishops: Your Graces, remember grace.

Michael Tegeder is a priest in Bloomington.

This is an example of contumacy offered to the person of the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, in my opinion. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. ioannes says:

    Fr. Tegeder wrote in a previous letter to his parish in March, asking people, to sign a petition to “In the future with the new episcopal regime we will have changes. We could continue to have communal penance services without the words of absolution but trusting in the words of the Lord that his merciful presence is there when we gather in his name. At this time I would also like to send in a petition along with any of your own personal comments to our bishops. To serve is to listen.

    Perhaps we should send a petition to Archbishop Nienstedt asking for the removal of a disobenent priest. As a parent I would not tolerate such insolence from one of my children. Since he also wrote a couple months back decrying the fact that HCMC was without a Chaplain perhaps that is just the place for him.

  2. Edward C. says:

    I really hate to say that on one point I do agree with him…. blegh saying that almost made me gag! Personally I really think that FOCA will not be passed in congress, it will never make it to Obama’s desk for his signature. BUT I think it most important to tell Obama that we will not stand for his blatant support for the murder of hundreds of thousands of unborn children. I find it appalling that amongst his messages of hope and change he also has a clear and unapologetic message of pro abortion, pro “choice”, pro death.

    Just because I think it won’t pass doesn’t mean I think Obama doesn’t need to see how many people he insulted by supporting this. And where does Tegeder get the idea that it will be detrimental to Christian unity??? If anything this issue is the ONE THING we as Christians can unite around: Protection of life, giving a voice to the unborn.

  3. Aelric says:

    “When I signed up 35 years ago to be a priest,”

    About says it all.

  4. TNCath says:

    I don’t think FOCA will ever pass either, however, this is not the point. Fr. Tegeder’s comments are completely inappropriate. Perhaps Archbishop Neinstedt will be considering a new assignment for Fr. Tegeder in the near future where he can do less damage.

  5. John Polhamus says:

    Perhaps his being “signed up” means that he was never validly ordained in the first place – always a possibility given the state of things in the 1970’s! Let us pray that that is the case. This is vile. There are at least a couple of Bishops in the country at present who would not stand for this insubordination. Anathema sit.

  6. more than trivia says:

    Will all dioceses be doing this?

  7. This terrible legislation will be stopped because of the avalanche of public opposition prolifers will generate–through efforts like these postcards. On the other hand, were prolifers to take the advice of Father Tegeder, then it would be much more likely to pass. I am very disappointed in Father Tegeder, particularly for seems poor reasoning: Catholics and Christians have a duty to be prophetic, speaking out at all times, not being cowed or awed by secular power; we wish the new president well, but we’re not going be silenced in our prophetic role! After all, we are privileged to have this God-given right and duty protected by our Constitution! It makes me shake my head.

  8. This is why we need more authentically Catholic men to begin taking the call to the priesthood seriously, so that heterodox and heretical priests do not ever represent this Church in any meaningful way. I hope the bishop is severe in his handling of this priest who is a disgrace to the office.

  9. Ray from MN says:

    Fr. Z: What’s wrong with this paragraph?

    1. “FOCA is a phantom threat?” The President of the United States (to be) has promised to Planned Parenthood that the FOCA Act is the first thing he will sign. That’s real enough for me.

    2. “It is meant to limit legislation by Congress on abortion.” Wrong. It is meant to abolish every state law and local ordinance that restricts the “right” to abortion. [Whether that is constitutional is another question. Whether states will fight such legislation is a second question].

    3. “It will not be passed.” Fortune telling is a sin.

    4. “Why would Congress pass a law to limit its own power?” Only the Constitution can limit Congress’s power unwillingly. Other laws promoted by Planned Parenthood would repeal the Hyde Amendment banning the use of federal funds to finance abortions, the ban on partial birth abortions, banning abortions in military and other government hospitals and other federal restrictions on abortions.

    An Obama controlled Congress, funded in great part by the for-profit organization, Planned Parenthood, and its allies desire a world, like Russia, where abortions at will are the virtual law of the land. Cheaper than birth control pills.

  10. ioannes says:

    This terrible legislation will be stopped because of the avalanche of public opposition prolifers will generate—through efforts like these postcards.

    As many people have said, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Even the pro-death camp is in on this charade. What possible motive do they have for making public statements that they don’t think FOCA will pass?

  11. Lydia Brown says:

    “With your Christmas offering, include a note saying that we do not need to send FOCA postcards.”

    So… he wants to substitute a note-writing campaign for a postcard-writing campaign?!

  12. Philothea says:

    Can. 1373. A person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against the Apostolic See or an ordinary because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry or PROVOKES SUBJECTS TO DISOBEY THEM is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties. (emphasis added)

  13. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Sadly, most bishops do nothing about grave public scandal committed by their pastors. There are many examples in the Boston area, where I live.

  14. The Cellarer says:

    A few ‘higlights from their ‘Leadership Manual’

    The spirit of Vatican II shapes us as persons and as a Catholic community.

    Groan, spirit of VII – N.B., I love VII, properly understood.

    Lay Presider in the Absence of a Priest on Sunday
    Is appointed by the pastor and specially trained to lead the rites for Sunday Celebrations
    in the absence of a Priest, which include liturgy of the Word, a homily, and distribution
    of Holy Communion, when possible.

    Lay person Homily…

    Masonic Home Communion and Mass
    Twice a month Catholic residents are invited to Mass in their chapel where they can
    worship together in community. On alternate weeks, the residents receive Communion
    individually in their rooms from Eucharistic ministers.

    How have Catholics ended up in a Masonic Home?!

    Tai Chi
    This group meets weekly to learn and practice several series of body movements that help
    bring one’s mind, body, emotions and spirit into balance. Other ways of increasing
    stamina and self-defense are also explored..

    I know it can be done, but it’s very difficult to find a teacher who does not teach using the chi being body energy approach.

  15. The Cellarer says:

    and from the newsletter 8 / 10 / 2008

    One solution is to find more married clergy from other denominations and get them to defect. Then again, maybe we should just ordain our own Catholic married men and women. It seems obvious.

  16. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I have collected files of several priests in the U.S. and Canada who have decided to oppose Church teaching and to oppose their own bishops in some cases when those bishops defended that teaching. In one case in the North-East U.S.A. (Massachusetts or Connecticut, I think), a priest invited a pro-abortion politician to be guest of [dis]honour at a parish function (patronal day, I think). The professor who loudly protested and organised oppostion was expelled from the parish. In another instance, a priest invited Al Sharpton to speak from the pulpit. I stopped collecting this information when the cases became too numerous to keep track of.

    More recently, a so-called Catholic hospital in Texas has been committing sterilisations and has refused to obey the Bishop when he told them to stop. At St. Michael Hospital in Toronto (and I am a Torontonian by upbringing, although I live in B.C. now), there is a rainbow flag in the lobby and they are openly promoting homerastic relationships, treating co-sodomites as if they were spouses. In two Catholic hospitals in California, they are trying to get around the ban on abortion by committing foeticide in a different way: premature delivery, resulting in the intentional death of the child. In Massachusetts, they now have Plan B by law, so that Catholic hospitals have to violate Catholic teaching in order to avoid closure. Recently, two workers at Catholic hospitals said that they would refuse to dispense ’emergency contraception’. Those asking for it were agents of Banned Parenthood, an organisation of murderers. The enemy is closing in.

    The cases go on and on. What we are witnessing now is a frontal attack by the secular humanists on the Church herself. It will not be long before they are telling us what we can say and think and preach from our own pulpits. In fact, in Alberta, the Canadian Human Rights Commission has given a Baptist minister a “lifetime ban on delivering sermons” about sexual inversion and even sending people private e-mails on the subject. I am not sure if this means publishing these sermons or reading them from the pulpit. I find it hard to believe that they would dare insist on the latter, but then I am ‘out of touch’.

    Yes, we need to rally around our bishops–those among them who stand firm for Holy Church. The faith is under attack. We must rely on the bishops in the end (unless they capitulate) because they are the source of unity in the Church, under the Pope. It is logistically too difficult for laics to organise resistance, and this should be done only in the case of necessity (as during the Arian Schism).

    Does this mean that traditionalists will have to work with neo-conservatives, semi-traditionalists, and even that most repulsive group of all, charismoronics? Perhaps so.


  17. Gravitas says:

    Father, I’m sure you know everyone in the chancery there. What will happen to him for this blatant insubordination?

  18. EJ says:

    I’m really left speechless. Praying first for the soul of this priest, and for the souls of all of those who could go astray because of the Evil that he is cooperating with – I hope and pray that he will be removed before he can do more harm as he feigns to speak in the name of Christ and His Church. What disgusting treachery.

  19. New(ish) Catholic says:

    I was raised C of E, and left after they voted to allow women priests. I subsequently converted to Catholicism a couple of years ago. It seems to me, that at least in the USA, Catholics have one problem in common with the C of E … a lack of the type of courage which is needed to take a hard line about doctrine among the leadership of the Church. The Archbishop will very likely do nothing at all about the priest, and the Cardinal will very likely do nothing at all about the Archbishop.

    I only hope that the Catholic Church in America doesn’t end up in the same place as the C of E. Over a span of about 25 years I watched as the C of E rotted away little by little – I don’t think I could watch my new home go the same way.

  20. tertullian says:

    In his Urbi et Orbi Christmas message, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the risk “wherever the selfishness of individuals and groups prevails over the common good”.

    He further wrote “may the Light of Christmas shine forth and encourage all people to do their part in a spirit of authentic solidarity. If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart.”

    Selfishness isn’t only defined in a financial or material way.

  21. little gal says:

    The position of this priest is sad, but what is worse IMO is stating that they ( the bishops ) are united in fighting FOCA and then we hear this:

    “Laura Ingraham: Here is the problem, how many of the bishops voted for Obama.

    Raymond Arroyo: …The bishops I spoke to say that maybe half of their brother bishops if not more voted for Obama. Because they thought the symbol of Obama would overcome racism and be a great healer and unity.”

  22. David Deavel says:

    Fr. Tegeder was quoted in the St. Paul Pioneer-Press when then-Bishop Nienstedt was chosen to be the next Abp. of St. Paul-Mpls as saying that H.E. is a “spiritual bully.”

    This doesn’t surprise me.

  23. LCB says:

    I’d like to hear more about this postcard event. I’ve followed FOCA rather closely and had absolutely no idea this was happening.

  24. thetimman says:

    I wonder how our beloved Archbishop Burke would have responded?

  25. Matt says:

    How embarrassing!

  26. Phillip says:

    27 yrs of the New Springtime

  27. Tom Lanter says:

    Fr. Z;

    I can’t help but to think of Fr. Robert Altier and compare him to Fr. Michael Tegeder. 180 degrees apart.

  28. Steve McElroy says:

    The Diocese of Metuchen (NJ) has a page about this, with examples of the postcards: http://www.diometuchen.org/deptsministries/respect-for-life/foca-postcard-campaign/

  29. John says:

    Thank you for your incisive comments, Father. This priest is a disgrace and should be laicized immediately. BTW, Tom Lanter, whatever happened to Fr. Altier?

  30. Alan says:

    I couldnt even finish reading the article… I need to detox with some prayer.

  31. TO ALL: After nosing around the internet a little bit, I find that you can contact this priest by email at:


    Maybe you’d like to write this priest

    Church of St. Edward
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

  32. I am calling for a postcard/letter writing campaign to Father Tegeder, CHARITABLY, informing him, in a RESPECTFUL manner, that he is misinformed.

    My post, with info on how to contact Father Tegeder is: here

    A few local bloggers of the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis have already told me they would join me in writing Father a letter.

    I’m not trying to drum up readership for my blog but I am, shamelessly, taking advantage of the fact that Father Zuhlsdorf has a much larger readership than I do!

    Thanks for posting about this issue, Father.

  33. A Random Friar says:

    If you wish to write to him, that sounds fine, and if you pray for him, excellent! Pray for all priests, good and not-so-good! Just be careful how you do it (pray or write). As far as I can see, he has not committed any kind of heresy, but as others pointed out in the canon, and by the letter presented to the press, he has caused public scandal and incited the faithful against the ordinary and all proper religious authority. Try to stick to what is known when you do fraternal correction.

    I say this not only for his sake (for hasty or false accusations and undue ire on our part will drive him away), but for our sake as well.

  34. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    As long as people are writing letters, shouldn’t they send a copy of the letter to Father Tegeder along to the archbishop as well?

  35. A Random Friar says:

    To clarify: I am referring to the letter he made to the newspaper. I do not know what else he may or may not have written or done.

  36. Gere says:

    “To someone who did not see this as necessary, it seemed a waste of time and money.”

    To someone who didn’t get this, it seemed ungotten.
    To someone who didn’t agree with this, it seemed wrong.
    To someone who didn’t understand this, it seemed incomprehensible.

    To someone who states the obvious, this seems, um….[fill in the blank]

    The anti-spam word seems very relevant: PRAY FOR PRIESTS!!!!!!!!! Pray for this man.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  37. Amelia says:

    I make it a point to NEVER read what less than Catholic priests have to say. Avoiding the near occasion to sin, you know. God’s mercy on him. Shame on him. Unless he speaks with Catholic obedience, he has nothing to say to me.

  38. Malta says:

    I was brought up by a deist and luke warm (but wonderfully religious) mom. I was also an atheist for a spell.

    My wife was Catholic and I became one.

    I became disinchanted with the Church when I learned the Msgr at the basilica I attended mass was gay, and even more so when I learned our bishop is gay. I have a very good friend who is gay, and so I don’t judge gays, but homosexuality was so prevalent in my diocese that I felt ostacised despite many in our community who reached out to families

    And then I learned about SSPX: Big families, low to no divorce or contaception or abortion; true to the pope as they can, but believing in the current papacy.

    I have only been to two SSPX masses in my life, but I think they may be the future of the Church.

    I think a lot about this: Where there is love, there must the church be. My grandmother is tended by the little sisters: that is love, for young women to take care of old, dying women

    It is also true that example is the only–the only–way to influence people. And so, and this is a true story, my grandmother, born and raised an ardent Protestant in New Hampshire, became a Catholic at 83 years–God works in mysterious ways!

  39. Brian says:

    Fr. Michael Tegeder argues that in the midst of “ongoing wars, an economy in severe recession, ballooning deficits, high unemployment and an environment and health care system in crisis” that it is small-minded to focus on such matters as marriage and the slaughter of innocents.

    According to our Lord, “Amongst those that are born of women, there is not a greater prophet that John the Baptist.” (Luke 7:28)

    I wonder what correction Fr. Tegeder would have given to this greatest prophet, who in the midst of the Roman occupation of Jerusalem, was bound in prison and beheaded for focusing on such matters as Herod marrying his brother Phillip’s wife, Herodias?

    Perhaps he would charge that John the Baptist “generated some unnecessary ill will.”

  40. Gramps says:

    Priest attends nuns being made priests by a bunch of whacko women and he rightly is excommunicated rather crisply. Never challenge priests or bishops in this area. However, what do you want to bet this priest has long held positions that are in direct conflict with church teaching and lead many sheep astray and even with this very public attack, gets a pass.

    I think we need to spend as much time going after bishops who are in conflict as we do politicians who are in conflict. Biships may not have votes in the Senate, but they should have a lot more authority in teaching Catholic teaching and use it with that authority. I for one am puzzled that we have not seen disident bishops and priests sent out of the Church over the past 40 years. If that happened, I suspect more of the flock might actually listen.

  41. The position of this priest is sad, but what is worse IMO is stating that they ( the bishops ) are united in fighting FOCA and then we hear this:

    “Laura Ingraham: Here is the problem, how many of the bishops voted for Obama.

    Raymond Arroyo: …The bishops I spoke to say that maybe half of their brother bishops if not more voted for Obama. Because they thought the symbol of Obama would overcome racism and be a great healer and unity.”

    My goodness…….I did not know Raymond said that.

  42. David says:

    “This should indeed be a time to focus on what unites us.”

    Such rhetoric usually indicates new age occultism and modernism.

  43. Former Altar Boy says:

    Insubordination and bad example like this will continue until bishops learn what the working end of that shepherd’s crook is used for.

  44. Bob says:

    “TO ALL: After nosing around the internet a little bit, I find that you can contact this priest by email at:


    Maybe you’d like to write this priest.”


  45. Well, he just got my email.

    Perhaps retirement to a life of monastic penance and sacrifice would be appropriate comeuppance for this…and maybe he can be joined by Father Pfelger too!

  46. PNP, OP says:

    Oh, I think someone needs a time-out…maybe an assignment as pastor of St. Bubba of WalMart’s Catholic Community & Bait Shop? Fr. Philip, OP

  47. rosie says:

    What he needs is a good spanking.

  48. So basicly instead of fighting FOCA we should fight our own Bishops, hmm it seems the spirit of Judas is alive and well. The Church, in her mercy should send this priest of to a monastery to spend the rest of his life in penance in the hope that he can make reparation for this before God calls on him to face judgement.

  49. Mark says:

    This priest is actively undermining the stand of the US Bishops on some of the most important issues facing us. His public “in your face” disobedience is a scandal well beyond his local surroundings, and it seems to me that his Bishop needs to consider this fact.

    The 6000 plus parish under the control of this priest may be better served by a priest whose heart is with the Bishops and the Church.

  50. RBrown says:

    Together (and after actually reading the book), both are right to some extent. O’Malley plainly admits that there is virtually no nothing in the documents to support the discontinuity thesis, but he also, correctly, I think, points out that the style and tone of the documents seems in complete discontinuity with earlier ways ecclesiatical language and attitudes.

    I haven’t read the O’Malley book, but I mostly agreed with an article he wrote some years ago on Presbyterorum Ordinis and the priesthood of religious institutes.

    I think it’s obvious that certain strains of discontinuity can be found in the texts of Vat II. Some easy examples are the references to the Eucharist as meal in Gaudium et Spes, the suppression of the Hour or Prime (SC 90d) as well as the weekly cycle of Psalms without any regard for those following the Rule of Benedict (SC 91), and the recommendation of common office for all priests (SC 99) without any regard for the Jesuits or those Jesuit-like institute. And there is the head scratching SC 101, which first insists on Latin office for clerics, then follows with two exceptions which, if implemented (which they were) would result in 99% of all clerics saying the Office in the vernacular.

    In all seriousness, both sides have facts no their sides. Recovery from this sad result will probably take centuries.
    Comment by Fr. Augustine Thompson O.P.

    More than 35 years ago the priest who gave me instruction said that it would take 100 years to get these problems out of the Church. At the time I thought he was being overly pessimistic. Now I wonder whether he was being overly optimistic.

    IMHO, the big problem now is that there are a lot of priests who were in formation in the 1970’s and don’t have a clue.

  51. Therese says:

    Keep your letter to Fr. Tegeder short and sweet:

    “Dear Father, you are seriously mistaken in your efforts to convince Catholics not to oppose FOCA–who in 1973 believed that 50 million children would be murdered for the sake of giving women the right to a “safe” abortion? Sincerely…”

    After all, he’ll have a lot of them to read. ;-)

  52. Geo F. says:

    Can. 1364 §1. Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 194, §1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication

  53. Ann says:

    My pastor has not heard anything about this postcard campaign. He would be totally supportive of it. He has been preaching and posting information about FOCA and (why is this left out of the bishops’ efforts? – Obama can effect it much more easily than FOCA, without Congress) the Mexico City Policy.

    Our Archdiocese has no information on its website about FOCA or the postcards, nor does the so-called “Respect Life Office” (a parish priest with no staff and no budget) webpage. This is the “progressive” Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, so not a surprise.

  54. Geo F. says:

    Good advice Amelia
    I make it a point to NEVER read what less than Catholic priests have to say. Avoiding the near occasion to sin, you know. God’s mercy on him. Shame on him. Unless he speaks with Catholic obedience, he has nothing to say to me.

    I would like to retract my posting of Can.1364 (I took my lead from Philothea’s posting of Can.1373). Too often I have an “off with their head” attitude in church affairs, being a married layman I am not going to make the office of pope or local ordinary any time soon. Massachusetts Catholicmakes a good pointin thatSadly, most bishops do nothing about grave public scandal committed by their pastors. Abortion, infanticide and the culture of death is always a hot button topic with me. It’s good to find out that these abominations are going on, but for me it is better to pray for these poor misguided souls than to put myself in the position of judge, jury and Vatican penal authority.

  55. Karen Linsmayer says:

    Unfortunately, this priest has a lot of company in the Mpls./St. Paul Archdiocese. His criticism of Archbishop John Nienstedt, before he stepped foot in the Archdiocese apparently didn’t warrant a kick in the pants. At that time, I sent a letter to the editor suggesting Fr. Tegeder dust off his resume because he might need it. I was full of hope when Archbishop Nienstedt came to this Archdiocese. Some of us fail to understand why Fr. Altier is still stuck away in a nursing home, while priests ordained one year are getting their own parishes. The people at the nursing home are getting excellent spiritual care, that is a fact. Also, the suggestion that Fr. Tegeder be assigned to HCMC (Hennepin County Medical Center) would be a disaster. Would he be the priest you want to see when you are fighting for your life. He needs to go!

  56. New(ish) Catholic says:

    Malta – what is SSPX, please?

  57. Has anyone who has written to Father Tegeder received a response?

  58. Ave Maria says:

    The archdiocese of Denver is planning to go all out for the FOCA postcard campaign. Our small parish Respect Life committee has been speaking of it and there will be publicity coming from the Archdiocese and we will be sure our parish is well informed.

  59. andrew says:

    Anyone know how we can support this postcard campaign financially?

  60. Hidden One says:

    New(ish) Catholic, your answer can be found at http:/ /www.c atho lic.co m/this rock/ 2003/ 0304 fea 2.asp less all of those spaces.

  61. A Random Friar says:

    Andrew: One easy way is to buy rolls and rolls of postcard stamps (27 cents) and pass them along to your parish, or send a check that is earmarked toward the Postcard Campaign to your parish (if it’s doing something) or to the local Respect Life office of your diocese, or the USCCB’s.

    For our bishops’ efforts, see: http://www.usccb.org/prolife/

  62. RD says:

    the priest is right…people that go to his church should write little notes in the collection basket because it is not an offer to God it is just a suggestion “that can’t we just all get along”…though there will be less of us all to write those notes and of those left that attend that church only notes should be left in the basket…no preprinted paper with pictures and numbers or bank drafts or coins or promissary notes

  63. ssoldie says:

    RD Comment; “that can’t we just all get along,” moronic comment.

  64. NY Priest says:

    Isn’t it ironic that this hypocrite wants Catholic citizens to promote “unity” by being silent on a matter of murder and yet he promotes dissension by publically criticizing his bishop on a matter of prudential judgment?
    This is what happens when consistency with orthodoxy yields to bureaucracy. For example, why is this priest a pastor? In one of his previous articles about his dislike of Nienstadt for refusing to allow general absolution he says he was appointed pastor in 1998. If they have 6 year terms in that archdiocese as in NY, that means he has one more year…unless he can be proved to be a heretic, etc.

  65. RooForLife says:

    National “Fight FOCA” Postcard Campaign to Congress

  66. Tyler says:

    Given the tenor of the comments on this site, I have little hope that its esteemed moderator, Fr. Z. , will allow my post on his august little blog. Still…

    I’ll steer clear of whether this is a debate about postcards or the sanctity of life. Instead, I’ll focus on what I know (and you clearly don’t) about the man you’re decrying in this thread.

    Fr. Mike is an intellectual heavyweight. He has a brilliant and inquisitive mind. He’s been my pastor and friend for more than a decade. When my mother died in 2003, it was he who came to her bedside. He baptized both my children. He has comforted and celebrated with my family. [I don’t believe have called into question his acts of pastoral solicitude during his years of priesthood. What is being called into question is his attitude toward the local ordinary and his position concerning FOCA.] He has led–with wisdom, responsibility, grace, candor and professionalism–a faith community of some 2,500 families. Those who take this to mean that he is too smart to be pastoral are mistaken. Those who believe that because being outspoken portends a lack of humility and obedience are obtuse.


    These are some of the things of which you accuse this good and wonderfully flawed man…whom none of you know beyond an op-ed and a 65-person rant on this obscure blog. [ o{]:¬) ]

    I find that ironic. And sort of hilarious.
    Incidentally…so does Father Mike.
    And, yeah, use that email address someone posted. He’d love to hear from you.

  67. jarhead462 says:


    Where do I start?

    Fr. Baptized your children….So? He can never be wrong?
    Intellectual Heavyweight….Your opinion.
    “whom none of you know beyond an op-ed and a 65-person rant on this obscure blog.”…….We are addressing what Fr. wrote. If he did not want it dissected, he should not have written it.
    and finally….OBSCURE BLOG? Don’t kid yourself.

    Semper Fi!

  68. Ina says:

    Tyler, I have been a member of St. Ed’s for more than 25 years. Fr. Mike Tegeder is a friendly man and has been very supportive of me in my many volunteer ventures in the parish. However, over the last few years I have become more and more alarmed by what he is doing. I walked out of his homily a few weeks ago when he was trying to convince the people in the pews that his form of community penance was okay even though the Archbishop no longer allows it. I was at a leadership training when Fr. Mike was arguing with the speaker about the qualities of Archbishop Nienstedt. Fr. Mike ended up shouting that Nienstadt “is not a good person!” Following the most recent letter to the editor, I emailed Fr. Mike and all of the people at St. Eds with whom I work in my volunteer capacities and said “enough is enough.” My husband and I am leaving the parish. Tyler, go visit a couple of other parishes in Bloomington and you will meet many former St. Ed’s parishioners who have recently fled. In my opinion, Fr. Mike is no longer rational. I pray for him as it seems that he is very angry and anti-Catholic. He is not brilliant and inquisitive – he is very closed-minded and arrogant. It is sad.

  69. Laura says:

    Tyler: as much as you like him and despited whichever positive traits he may have… encouraging people to disobey the Bishops and for that matter the Church’s (therefore Jesus’) teaching on abortion is just wrong. There is a heriarchy for a reason and he shouldn’t go contradicting his superiors, specially since so many souls need him to guide them

  70. john says:

    Maybe there will be an opening for Fr. Tegeder as a assitant chaplin in Hastings MN, nursing home. and Fr. Altier can be placed in a parish http://www.desertvoice.excerptsofinri.com/

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