A sensible diocesan speakers/awards policy

From newpaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis The Catholic Spirit with my emphases and comments:

New archdiocesan speaker policy to aid administrators
By The Catholic Spirit  
Thursday, 19 November 2009

The following new speaker policy was recommended to Archbishop John C. Nienstedt by the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council on Nov. 11 and approved by the archbishop that same day.

The following policy is offered to help pastors and administrators of any Catholic institution or organization in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as they consider inviting speakers and/or granting awards.

To be considered for invitation, the person should be in good standing [which probably means not excommunicated or under interdict] with the Roman Catholic Church. [Here we go! …] The speaker’s writings and previous public presentations must also be in harmony with the teaching and discipline of the church. A priest who left the ministerial priesthood without dispensation would not be eligible for consideration.

Those in irregular marriages or those living a lifestyle at variance with church teaching would also not be eligible.

Pastors/administrators should make a prudential judgment after appropriate research about the suitability of a speaker in light of the above criteria. If there are any questions needing clarification, they should feel free to confer with the archdiocesan Office of Commu­nica­tions.

For any archdiocesan-sponsored program, the moderator of the curia considers proposed speakers according to criteria listed above. If the speaker would also be addressing seminarians at St. John Vianney or the St. Paul Seminary, the seminary administration would need to grant concurrence.

[Here we go again…] Politicians and candidates for pub­lic office — regardless of their relationship with the Catholic Church — should never be invited to speak during or after the holy Eucharist. An appearance of a political candidate or incumbent government official on church property is at the discretion of the local pastor/administrator and only if consistent with the political activity guidelines issued by the United States Con­fe­rence of Catholic Bishops. [Can we assume that the politician may therefore not be pro-abortion?] Similarly, if a parish intends to host a candidate or other political forum, that must be done in keeping with the United States Conference of Cath­o­lic Bishops and Minnesota Cath­o­lic Con­ference guidelines. It should be clear that none of the candidates enjoy endorsement by the church.

With regard to granting of honorary awards, degrees, special recognition or commendation, the archdiocese abides by the 2004 policy of the United States Conference of Cath­olic Bishops that we should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms that might suggest support for their actions[Indeed!]


I wonder if there is any such stated policy in South Bend?

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  1. Amen!

    I hope that other dioceses choose to follow this example.

  2. Melody says:

    I know I’m playing devil’s advocate here, but the language seems too general. Speaking on what?
    If the administrator of a Catholic School invites a gay scientist to give a lecture, I can see no reason for objection, provided the speech remains on his academic subject.

  3. Randy says:

    It depends on how public he is about the fact that he is gay. Normally there is no reason why anyone involved should know. But if he has been active in gay politics then there may be a cause for scandal.

  4. capchoirgirl says:

    Whoa can I send this to the pastor of my former parish?
    One of the big reasons I left was that ALL the speakers–really, every single one–that has been at my parish since some new people took over has talked about “social justice”, the environment, etc., etc, with nary a word about anything else. When you do net searches on some of these folks, it’s scary.

  5. We have a similar policy in the Diocese of LaCrosse, WI. This has been followed an enforced as far as I know.
    Unfortunately, we have “retreat centers” under the auspices of religious communities that offer “reikie”, Yoga, enneagram and other such atrocities…pray that our next bishop will clean up the mess in this God-forsaken wilderness with all these women religious that offer all this pagan stuff!

  6. And for your information, log onto:
    Sorry for the bad news, dry heaves, spitting out beverages, etc.
    This is “real life”, folks; We gotta deal with these gals; they’re not going away, anytime soon, the life span being what it is.
    We received their recent newsletter with nary a word about our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church.
    And this is a pontifical religious community of women in good standing.
    Give me a break.
    When, oh when, is the hammer going to come down?
    I’m not asking for perfection, or from sins.
    But apostasy? I mean, really?

  7. P.McGrath says:

    In related news, here is another sensible new policy from Abp. Nienstedt.

    You can tell that it’s sensible because it’s ticking off the right people.

  8. EXCHIEF says:

    Good policy, but the best policy is only good if it is enforced. There are too many leaders in this world, including Priests, who selectively obey directives because they have no concept of what authority means. There needs to be consistent enforcement of this or it will prove meaningless.

  9. Jakub says:

    This policy will never be issued in Los Angeles…

  10. catholicmidwest says:

    Nazareth priest,
    You don’t like the “path of simply being?”
    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  11. catholicmidwest: LOL!
    If it was only the “path of simply being”!
    The courses offered at this “retreat center” are enough to conjure Satan out of hell.
    And I’m not kidding.
    It’s no wonder we undergo all the trials we do here in our little monastery in the same diocese.
    Jesus, mercy!

  12. Stephen Anthony Gregory says:

    I’m not sure if Ft. Wayne-South Bend has any such stated policy. I always wonder if it would matter to ND. Although Bishop Kevin Rhoads, to be installed soon, may well change things.

  13. Nan says:

    NP, I would expect those sorts of things in say, Mount Horeb.

  14. Central Valley says:

    We need enforcment like this in the diocese of fresno, Ca. In this diocese from time to time pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, street thug activist, who calls herself a catholic, Dolores Juerta is wheeled out from time to time to speak. Two years ago Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Bakersfield invited her to speak but parents got invovled and stopped it. What did th eparents hear from Bishop John Steinbock? NOTHING. They got caught and kept silent. We need strong bishops. 2010-2012 will be an almsot clean sweep in California for new bishops. Let us Pray, hard.

  15. Melody says:

    Amen to that “Central Valley” I live under Bp. Brown, a favorite of Cardinal Mahony, advocate of soft serve Catholicism, and a personal attitude that sets off my gaydar whenever I see him. I may be entirely wrong about that last, but that’s certainly how he comes off to people, and his policies to nothing to refute it.

  16. chironomo says:

    While this is an excellent plan, would it not make more sense to address the topic of the talks first? This would also include rooting out activities (yoga/ engram/etc…) at retreat centers, etc…

  17. Denis Crnkovic says:

    I suspect that Bishop Nienstedt will enforce his regulations. When he became bishop of New Ulm (Minn) he immediately began to clean up grave abuses in parishes, including requiring one pastor to apologize to his congregation and re-catechize them on the dogma of the Real Presence. The reaction from the ‘liberal’ faction of Catholics was predictable – they grumbled quite out loud about his ‘managerial style’ and were glad to see their Bishop “sent” to St. Paul (the city). I, on the other hand, was saddened, since his influence on the New Ulm diocese is now once removed. I do note thankfully, though, that he set wheels in motion that can not be stopped, the protests of the aging “labyrinth walkers” notwithstanding.

  18. kenoshacath says:

    Nazareth Priest

    I have written Archbishop Listecki about the Franciscan Spirituality Center regarding these programs and did not receive a response from him. They also offer drum-making classes and encourage the participants to develop a “relationship” with their drums.

    However, on the flip-side of the coin, they have Perpetual Adoration.

    Someone needs to clean house, but I don’t know who has authority to make those changes at the St. Rose Convent. Any thoughts?

  19. john 654 says:

    Are the Bishops only good at writing documents? I thought their job to teach and uphold the faith. The put some great words in that paper but it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when they do nothing actionable.

    Who’s still running Notre Dame these days? Oh thats right, its still Fr. Jenkins. Spare me the “policy” and just do something actionable.

    Actions speak louder than words and yet the Bishops continue with the words. Lord Help Us!

  20. Agnes says:

    NazarethPriest, prayers are with you. Pretty place when I visited and went to adoration, but the library made me heave. What gives? I would think such a long history of Perpetual Adoration would have a positive effect on belief and spirituality? I left scratching my head – huh???

    KUDOS to Mpls/St Paul for setting some guidelines for speakers! Amen and amen and amen! Boy did we need that one! I’ve been to too many a whacky talk… See? There is hope!

    Keep bishing, Neinstedt!

  21. Agnes says:

    john654, I am convinced that in this archdiocese, the words and the actions are beginning to be coupled. It is refreshment indeed.

  22. This policy is aimed at one parish in particular. I wonder if His Excellency isn’t giving them enough rope to hang themselves with? If they follow true to form, they will ignore this statement. Except now he’s got documentation to point to regarding any continued defiance.

  23. Nan: Mount Horeb may be bad; the center of wicca, the occult, and God knows what else; but we seem to have several motherhouses and retreat centers here that promote and offer the same (although in hidden guise).
    kenoshacath: I have no idea. Unless the new bishop can, with a LOT of spiritual help, deal with this horrible aberration of the Catholic faith, we’ll just have to wait it out. There seems to be an age-factor here; young Catholics, by and large, are not interested in this. And there have been numerous vocations from our Diocese to the Nashville Dominicans, Mother Angelica’s monastery of Poor Clares, the Franciscan Sisters of St. George the Martyr (who are involved with the Shrine of OL of Guadalupe and our Consecrated Life Office, Thank you Jesus!)…This is a very tough situation; these Sisters have been a very important part of this Diocese for many, many years and I think that dealing with this craziness is just too much for any one person to take on, bishop or not.
    That’s my very limited opinion, here.
    Agnes: I believe it is the holiness of many of the elderly Sisters. I mean, they are the hidden and forgotten aspect of all of this. They do the hours of Adoration and love the Church and our Lord…and they are marginalized beyond belief. I know this for a fact. They are the real heriones and dry martyrs of our day. May the Lord sustain and bless them!

  24. After some reflection, I believe I will offer this whole mess to the Presbyteral Council, of which I am a member, and find out what, exactly the priests and our apostolic administrator (the former Bishop) think on this…pray for me, please, all of you…it’s gonna be a “bumpy ride”..but what can they do to me? I’m a nobody monastic priest with little influence and authority…send me to the tundra of Alaska? THAT would be a vacation, as far as I’m concerned!!

  25. kenoshacath says:

    All for the greater honor and glory of GOD! Thank you Nazareth Priest! You remain in our prayers~

    Here are some useful articles:


    Then go down to Publications: Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy
    Committee on Doctrine United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, March 25, 2009

  26. kenoshacath: Thank you! And I mean it. I’ll let you know how it goes…meeting December 1st…better wear “bullet proof vest”!!

  27. Nan says:

    Cathy, are you talking about the other widely-known parish, the one that is neither St. Agnes nor in St. Paul?

    NP, praying.

    Agnes, do you remember that last year on this blog, Fr. shared a statement from a disgruntled member of the clergy, characterizing Abp. Neinstedt as a “liturgical bully”? If that’s what it takes to clear out the crap, I’m all for it. He says all he’s trying to do is what the church asks him to.

  28. kenoshacath: I downloaded your articles and will have them copied for our meeting. Thank you.
    I emailed our Moderator of the Curia to have this on the agenda…we’ll see how it goes.
    But thank you, thank you all, for your prayers. I hope this will reap abundant fruit for the Kingdom of God. These women religious may be very zealous, but very off the track…we just have to keep lovin’ Jesus, His Church, His Truth, and ultimately, all will be well (Julian of Norwich)…I pray it be so!

  29. kenoshacath says:

    Nazareth Priest: You will be in top form wearing the Armor of Truth!

    Father Hardon, Pray for Us!


  30. Melody says:

    Father Z, could you delete my last comment on this post? I regret saying it.

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