Minnesota Bishops ask parishes to create grass-roots committees in defense of marriage

In my native place, Minnesota, the Catholic Bishops have banded together in a defense of true marriage against a redefinition of marriage to include something unnatural.  Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  They are working together to support passage of an amendment to the state constitution in favor of real marriage.

It seems to me that a great many problems are going to be created for the Church and for practicing Catholics over this issue and its ramifications.

In the Minnesota Independent we find this.

Taking a page from efforts in California, Archbishop John Nienstedt sent a letter to all the priests of the Archdiocese asking them to create in all the parishes committees with a “captain” to coordinate efforts in defense of marriage.

Archdiocese plans anti-gay marriage committees in every Minnesota Catholic church

By Andy Birkey
Monday, October 17, 2011 at 6:00 am

Archbishop John Nienstedt sent a letter to every priest in the state at the start of October urging them to put every Catholic church in Minnesota tow work passing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

“It is imperative that we marshal our resources to educate the faithful about the Church’s teachings on these matters, and to vigorously organize and support a grass roots effort to get out the vote to support the passage of the amendment,” the letter read. It went out on Oct. 4 to every priest in the state.

The archbishop said it wants priests in every parish to identify a “church captain” in order to create an “ad hoc committee” in every church in the state. The “church captain” is a component of the Schubert Flint strategy used in 2008?s divisive Proposition 8 battle in California.

The strategy mirrors a similar one used by conservative Christians in California to pass Proposition 8 and end marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Schubert Flint was a public affairs firm at the heart of California’s successful push by conservative Christians to repeal marriage rights for that state’s same-sex couples. In a post-mortem, the firm wrote about it’s use of church captains:

We built a campaign volunteer structure around both time-honored campaign grassroots tactics of organizing in churches, with a ground-up structure of church captains, precinct captains, zip code supervisors and area directors; and the latest Internet and web-based grassroots tools.

Schubert Flint has been active in Minnesota, in particular during the 2010 gubernatorial election when it created a series of ads attacking DFL and Independence Party candidates for their support of rights for same-sex couples.

According to Nienstedt’s letter, the church captains will be organized by the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Catholic church, which will in turn report to the Minnesota for Marriage coalition for statewide efforts. Minnesota for Marriage is made up of the Minnesota Family Council, MCC and the National Organization for Marriage.

“A major issues will be placed before the State of Minnesota in the November 2012 election. a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Nienstedt wrote. “The sanctity of marriage and vital role of the family is at stake. It is a firmly-held teaching of our church that a marriage is a union of a husband and a wife, and that they together are the ones suited to be a father and a mother.”

He added, “To define it otherwise is a detriment to the common good of society.”

Here’s the full letter from Nienstedt — Attached

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  1. MarkJ says:

    To see just how far we as a society have gone away from what God has handed down to us in His Church, everyone should read (or re-read) Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical “Casti Connubii” issued on December 31, 1930. It is an eye-opener to see what he warned about and what has now come to pass… and much worse! I would think this should be required reading as marriage preparation as well.

  2. homeschoolofthree says:

    I wish you had a ‘like’ button!

  3. kab63 says:

    Is the phrase “banning same-sex marriage” coming from the archdiocese or from this newspaper reporter? I believe the Church is always careful to emphasize the positive: “defining traditional marriage”, as is evident in the actual quote from the Archbishop’s letter. The wording of the news article indicates that a battle against the Church has begun.

  4. quovadis7 says:

    First, I will say that the Bishops of Minnesota deserve MAJOR kudos for actively promoting a strong defense of traditional marriage!

    However, one has to ask, why do they practically ignore the “elephant in the living room”?

    And, what is the “elephant in the living room”, you WDTPRS readers may ask? Namely, Artificial Birth Control (ABC).

    It is historically incontrovertible that ABC caused the first cracks in the stalwart Christian protection of traditional marriage, which began officially with the Anglican’s Lambeth Conference in 1930. The Anglicans officially initiated the downward spiral of marriage in western culture by allowing the separation of marital relations from the begetting of children. Despite official Catholic teaching which denounces ABC, only a very small minority of Catholics and Christians agree with her doctrine.

    If couples in traditional marriages can seemingly act with impunity by use of ABC – i.e. having it “sanctioned” or practically ignored by many/most Church leaders – then it was merely a matter of time before divorce, fornication, and same-sex unions would also become tolerated by society. And, with that tolerance of what is clearly sinful in the eyes of God, it is no wonder that the concept of traditional marriage would then come under attack.

    So, Bishops, PLEASE start addressing the “elephant in the living room” ! If you refuse to do that, you are trying to defend us from the Dragon with little more than a Swiss Army knife in your arsenal….

    Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

    Steve B
    Plano, TX

  5. THREEHEARTS says:

    Why are priests Justice of the peace. Drop this office and let the civil ceremony be practiced before the Catholic Sacramental Mass at another venue.

  6. Supertradmum says:


    That will not help, as I explained in another comment on another question, as in England priests are not jps, but may be forced to officiate over same-sex-couples “marriages” as a civil rights issue. This movement is a coercion against the Holy Catholic Church, and do not kid yourselves, it is very organized. There is big money behind the LGTB agenda and it is a movement in every Christian country in the world. As I have mentioned, when I recently came to Malta, I was shocked at the number of same-sex couples in Valletta. Today, I found out from a conservative, real Catholic with a Master’s Degree in Theology, that the erosion of Catholicity in Malta has been happening over the years to the point that the capital is now a same-sex mecca. Indeed, in one Catholic school here, a teacher revealed to her young children, not high-school, that she is a lesbian. So far, she has not been fired.

    That the bishops in Minnesota are ratcheting up the argument is a good sign, but a sign for us all to get organized against the backlash, and that means politically as well as theologically.

    Matthew 11:20-24

    Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

  7. FinishTheRace says:

    I too applaud the Minnesota bishops; however, Steve B is exactly right. The “elephant” is hardly spoken of outside of certain communities. Those who support contraception do not have a legitimate argument against those who favor homosexual acts. The use of contraception, like engaging in homosexual acts, removes the creative aspect of the marital act. Both are gravely sinful by removing God’s creative power out of the equation. Catechesis should be a multi-pronged approach when it comes to defending traditional marriage including teaching on contraception.

    A couple of quotes from Humanae Vitae seem appropriate here:

    “… if they care to reflect upon the consequences of methods of artificial birth control. Let them consider, firt of all, how wide and easy a road would thus be opened up towards conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality” (“they” refers to upright men in the document)

    Do ya think we have that “general lowering of morality” going on today? Just look around you.

    The bishops should not fear teaching the truth with all clarity. If contraception is not included in the discussion, a great opportunity to teach the People of God is missed. Per Humanae Vitae, the bishops’ charge in part is as follows:

    ” We turn Our mind to you, reverently and lovingly, beloved and venerable brothers in the episcopate, with whom We share more closely the care of the spiritual good of the People of God. For We invite all of you, We implore you, to give a lead to your priests who assist you in the sacred ministry, and to the faithful of your dioceses, and to devote yourselves with all zeal and without delay to safeguarding the holiness of marriage, in order to guide married life to its full human and Christian perfection. Consider this mission as one of your most urgent responsibilities at the present time.”

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