Oaf For A Day! Fr. Michael Tegeder revisited

The StarTribune, liberal paper of my native place, has – again – published something by one of the dumbest priests I know of in the larger public’s eye.

He actually suggests to Archbp. Nienstedt that he step down!

As a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, I would ask our archbishop, John Nienstedt, to prayerfully consider [splitting infinitives] stepping down from his office. It would be healing for our state and our church and would show some magnanimity on his part. His misguided crusade to change our Constitution, spending more than a million dollars and, more importantly, much goodwill, has been rejected. Elections have consequences.


It is pretty clear that Tegeder is trying to get himself made into a kind of martyr for his cause (namely… himself).

It is time to grant his wish. If he wants to write about consequences, let his contumacious behavior have consequences.  It is his time his head is placed on a canonical spike.

May I suggest saying the St. Michael Prayer for Archbp. Nienstedt and perhaps a few of a maledictory psalms for the other guy?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. jessicahoff says:

    Shouldn’t this guy have better things to do

    [Perhaps he should have a lot less to do.]

  2. benedetta says:

    “It would be healing for our state…” The secular state, being “healed”, as priority.

  3. jhayes says:

    The Star Tribune has an earlier article on Fr. Tegeder:

    “Not long ago, Tegeder was pastor of St. Edward’s Church, a large, wealthy Bloomington congregation, a plum job befitting a priest of 34 years. But there, he also publicly disagreed with the hierarchy.

    So now he pastors at two poor, demanding inner-city churches, Gichitwaa Kateri and St. Francis Cabrini. On Sundays, he does a 9 a.m. mass, then bikes 5 miles for a 10:30 mass. His duties include tending to addicts and the destitute and burying suicide and murder victims — sometimes literally.

    When one poor family couldn’t afford a burial, Tegeder drove the wooden casket to the reservation and helped lower it into the ground, then jumped in to nail it shut.

    “That is Mike at his best,” said Ed Flahavan, a former priest who admires Tegeder’s courage. “What has stood out is his love for people on the margins.”

    Flahavan believes that moving Tegeder to Gichitwaa Kateri “solved Nienstedt’s problems. It’s a difficult spot to fill.”

    Which may explain why Tegeder hasn’t been removed, despite several warnings. “I work hard and they know it,” Tegeder said. “I put out a lot of fires.”

    One parishioner who followed Tegeder from Bloomington to his new church is John Judd. “I’m a believer,” said Judd. “He talks like Christ did. He stands for his beliefs, and he comes armed with the facts.”

    If Gichitwaa Kateri is Tegeder’s gulag, he has embraced it. Tegeder showed me the Indian lodge built of branches, where a bearskin guards the Eucharist. “This is a beautiful ministry,” he said, smiling broadly”.


  4. It’s great that Fr. Tedeger performs corporal works of mercy. But what good is that if he is teaching his flock contempt for a successor of the Apostles?

  5. Katheryn says:

    It seems like he used corporal works of mercy to “stick it” to the hierarchy. It all seems so smug.

  6. Phillip says:

    Katheryn, what leads you to believe that?

    I would be the last to defend his contempt for the just authority he promised to obey, but he just seems to me like a very misguided priest with good intentions. There’s hope for his soul still. I’ll pray for him, and his archbishop, and I would warmly encourage everyone to do the same.

  7. Hidden One says:

    I’m with Phillip. Who’s to say that I am not a greater sinner before God?

  8. Katheryn says:

    I think one thing that comes across as smug is the audacity he has to ask the archbishop to resign. Where does he get off doing that?
    Secondly, with the article that jhayes posted, the quotes about putting out fires, filling holes, etc do not lead me to believe that his intentions for hiscorporal works of mercy are done out of pure love.
    Thirdly, having met him, he seemed smug to me.
    That being said, I do not doubt that people have been blessed by these works, motivation aside.
    All of our priests need prayers, no doubt.

  9. acardnal says:

    From the Star Tribune article above: ” . . . Tegeder showed me the Indian lodge built of branches, where a bearskin guards the Eucharist.”

    Wow. How can a bearskin protect anything? The bear is dead. This is fuzzy-headed thinking by one of Tegeder’s parishioners for sure. Seems like more and better catechesis is needed at that parish to say the least.

  10. benedetta says:

    Am I missing something? In that Star Tribune article that JHayes posted, I don’t see what makes him so special. Many priests are doing the same. Should we give him an award, or look the other way in his rebellion against his bishop, just because he is doing what in the ordinary course of things any given priest is supposed to do anyway? How about the many who do all that and do not send an article to the paper like that one, who don’t get press like that and are not thanked for what they do. Besides it only sounds like he started in that ministry lately and because he was assigned to it. He apparently spent many many comfy years in a wealthy suburban parish.

  11. jhayes says:

    The bearskin was there long before Fr. Tegeder, according to this much older article:

    “Founded in 1975, Gichitwaa Kateri has added Indian elements to the Catholic ceremony for nearly two decades. A lodge made of willow, structured like a dome-shaped Ojibwe wigwam, contains a bundle that holds sacred things, including the Eucharist. Traditional Ojibwe medicines such as tobacco, cedar, sage and sweet grass are used as regular parts of the Sunday Eucharist. Drums and prayers and songs in Ojibwe and Lakota are also prominent.”


  12. benedetta says:

    Funny how so many suburban parishes are all wreckovated and beige, having purged of any ethnic or cultural reminders so that this native american parish sounds all exotic! LOL

  13. acardnal says:

    Even worse jhayes! “Traditional Ojibwe medicines such as tobacco, cedar, sage and sweet grass are used as regular parts of the Sunday Eucharist.”

    Fr. Tegeder is the pastor. He needs to make some changes with respect the the Blessed Sacrament and the placement of the Tabernacle, it appears. He needs to implement Redemptionis Sacramentum. I know, I know. . . .I suppose the “spirit of the great bear” is protecting the Blessed Sacrament. But animal spirits are not immortal. That is Catholic teaching, thus, one more reason why the need for catechesis at the parish. And then the argument arises from the liberals about “respecting the culture of the Native American Indians” I suppose. Yes, of course, and the Church should have respected the Aztecs’ culture by allowing them to continue sacrificing tens of thousands of people, including babies and children, to the gods, too, I suppose.

  14. iowapapist says:

    Father Tegeder expresses himself with thinly-veiled arrogance and faux piety. The following is a quote from an interview he gave to PBS regarding the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis DVD campaign on the issue of marriage and Catholic teaching:

    TEGEDER: “We have a lot of people who are in same-sex relationships in our communities, our Catholic communities, and the DVD campaign was very hurtful to them and to their families and friends and to many other Catholics.”

    He appears to be lacking the charity inherent in true fraternal correction. Very sad.

  15. benedetta says:

    I prefer traditional incense to be used…Beats tobacco hands down!

  16. jhayes says:

    Acarcdnal, according to the article, a new pastor (prior to Fr. Tegeder) questioned some practices and an auxiliary bishop took over saying Mass for a couple of weeks. The only change mentioned in the article is that they discontinued distributing the Eucharist under both forms using mustum instead of full-strength wine. I guess if the bishop wanted anything else changed he could have done it then.

  17. jhayes says:

    acardnal, sorry for the typo on your name.

  18. benedetta says:

    How bizarre for a priest to try to tell his own bishop to step down.

  19. majuscule says:

    I need a link to some maledictory psalms. I promise to use them wisely.

  20. acardnal says:

    No need to apologize for typos jhayes. It happens often in the blogosphere. But I appreciate it.

    Although we often disagree, I do want to thank you for providing links and citations in your comments. Yes, people have a right to their opinions, but it’s the evidence that supports them that gives them credence. Perhaps we can learn from one another. That’s what I enjoy about this blog, and there are several learned commentators on this blog!

  21. jhayes says:

    Perhaps we can learn from one another.

    That’s why I come here. Thanks for the invitation.

  22. KristinLA says:

    All that being said, I have to go with Psalm 109.

  23. Front Pew View says:

    After this election, I have completely had it with Fr. Tegeder and his ilk, who think that “tolerance” is the highest of the virtues. His public comments to the Archbishop are saying, in effect, “I wish you were dead,” much like when the prodigal son asked his father for his inheritance. It is long past time to dialogue with morons like Fr. Tegeder who struggle with basic issues like marriage, which are founded in reason, the natural law, and, perhaps most importantly, Catholic doctrine. Please, Your Excellency, defrock this idiot so that we can all move on.

  24. aragonjohn7 says:

    @ Front pew view

    I doubt he is an idiot now
    But if he is Defrocked he probably will be : )

  25. Sissy says:

    Front Pew View said: “After this election, I have completely had it with Fr. Tegeder and his ilk, who think that “tolerance” is the highest of the virtues.”

    Amen. Too often, we are being asked to be “tolerant” of evil. That’s another word we need to reclaim.

    “Tolerance is the virtue of people who do not believe in anything” –G.K. Chesterton

    “There is no other subject on which the average mind is so much confused as the subject of tolerance and intolerance …tolerance applies only to persons, but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen

  26. disco says:

    It’s rather queer that a priest would suggest his own bishop should step down, wouldn’t you say?

  27. Random Friar says:

    Fr. was most likely ordained with the newer form, so I remind him of the bishop’s words:

    “Do you promise respect and obedience to me and my successors?”
    We must be men of our word, dear brother.

  28. Matt R says:

    Agreed with Front Pew View.
    Sissy, I chose the Chesterton quote for the senior yearbook. It’s gonna get quite the reaction :) Someone already said it sounds “Westboro Baptist-preachy.” Ha!
    Now, is publicly asking your archbishop to leave his see a canonical offense?

  29. Catholictothecore says:

    Some people get so carried away (read Fr. Corapi, Fr. Pavone and now Fr. Tegeder) in their ministry that they forget the vow they took at their ordination – respect and obey your bishop.

  30. Michelle F says:

    @ majuscule,

    Here’s your link: http://www.catholicapologetics.info/scripture/oldtestament/Psalms.htm

    Scroll down to the section entitled “The five major themes in the Psalms,” and then go down to subsection 4:

    “These Psalms as call down the curse and wrath of Almighty God upon the enemies of the Psalms. Among these Psalms are 34, 51, 53, 55, 57, 68, and 108.”

    This is cool! I didn’t know we had Maledictory Psalms (as a classification of Psalms)!

    The Psalm numbers seem to correspond to the Douay-Rheims version, so try adding 1 to the numbers for Protestant and New American Bible translations.

  31. David Collins says:

    Benedetta said, “I prefer traditional incense to be used…Beats tobacco hands down!” Well, cigarettes do smell awful, cigars are overpowering, but can we compromise on pipes?.

  32. pmullane says:

    Front Pew View says: “After this election, I have completely had it with Fr. Tegeder and his ilk”

    Yep, that pretty much my view of things as well. The storm is gathering for the Church in the west, and we need to prepare ourselves. We need to find a parish with an Orthodox priest, attend it, support it with our resources, and organise ourselves in it liturgically, intellectually and materially. Shake the dust from your feet as you leave the wishy washy parish where your not liked for being too traditional, too orthodox, too Catholic. Set up a traditional Mass, set up a traditional prayer group, start a catechism group, start a food and clothes bank or a soup kitchen or a group to visit the elderly or something. Those who attend and are faithful to these, THEY are the Church. The priest who allows and assists you to do these things is the Priest you need to be near. When the lights go out or the economy bursts or the Obama thought Police vans turn up, you will have a network of people who you know you can rely on for material and spiritual support. You will have the strength to overcome. If you stay in Wooly Liberal Parish with Catholics that have the commitment of a Joe Biden, then when the going gets tough and they have to choose Christ or the world then they will chose the world. This is the time to prepare. Get to know those who are willing to stand, get the networks in place, and when the storm comes you will not be washed away.

  33. PostCatholic says:

    I wonder what makes this priest think that if he were granted his wish, the replacement bishop wouldn’t be worse?

  34. frjim4321 says:

    I wonder what makes this priest think that if he were granted his wish, the replacement bishop wouldn’t be worse?

    Quite true, and what I often remind my colleagues here. There could be much worse there.

  35. OdeM says:

    @ pmullane
    Amen. Well said. The remnant must stick together.
    We do have choices.
    Either we are with John at the foot of the cross or we repent for denying and abandoning Christ and return to him unto death.
    The only other choice to follow Judas to his demise.
    Judas betrayed our Lord for 30 pieces of silver. Many Catholics (including obviously clergy) sold their baptismal promises for free phones and birth control, or to stay on Mommy and Daddy’s insurance until the age of 26, or because Obama promises to rob Peter to pay Paul.

  36. Please, dear readers, do not ever use the word “defrock”?

    Defrock is a real word, with a precise meaning. It doesn’t EVER apply to a diocesan priest. It doesn’t refer to removing a priest from a parish or from ministry.

    Just… don’t use it. Please?

  37. benedetta says:

    frjim4321 and postcatholic, Really?? That’s awesome!!!

  38. Jeff says:

    I’m excited to see what Archbishop Neinstedt does when he catches wind of this (which I’m sure he probably has). I can’t imagine anyone having a good time when they publicly call out their boss.

  39. pmullane says:

    Thanks OdeM.

    Yes there is precedent for members of the Church abandoning the Lord, from the very night of the Churches instuitution. We should remember that when we have to deal with faithless ‘Catholics’ who choose darkness over light. Down through the ages members of the Church have had to do the same, some chose to abandon Christ so they didnt have to face death in the teeth of the lions, some to avoid the Guillotine, Some abandoned Christ to avoid the gas chambers, our generation are abandoning Christ so they get a free phone and a consequence free bunk up.

    PS given the substance of our conversation, I cant resist pointing out the irony of the two commenters that sandwich yours.

  40. girasol says:

    Just wrote an email to Fr. Tegeder asking him to prayerfully consider either fulfilling his ordination promises or stepping down from him pastorship. m.tegeder@cabrinimn.org
    Also just wrote to the Archdiocesis:
    Is canon law going to be applied in the case of Fr. M. Tegeder? If not, why? His dissent is repeated, grave and public.
    Thank you for your response.
    In Christo

  41. acricketchirps says:

    @Fr. Z. Please, dear readers, do not ever use the word “defrock”?

    I’m hoping for a whole Fr.Z. post about “defrock”.

  42. AvantiBev says:

    “His misguided crusade to change our Constitution, spending more than a million dollars and, more importantly, much goodwill, has been rejected. Elections have consequences.”

    Consequences? Yes indeed. So does ignoring or should I say TOLERATING 45+ years of no-fault divorce, shacking up, serial monogamy, anonymous hooking up, out-of-wedlock births, celeb Baby Daddies winked at, single moms hailed as heroines, and fatherlessness proclaimed no big deal. The people who vote for gay marriage or against defining marriage as one man/one woman are overwhelmingly straight (there are not enough gay/lesbian/transgendered voters to win it on their own). No, the voters are overwhelmingly straight people, often “Christian” or “Catholic” in name, who have gradually and completely embraced the new normal of the Sexual Revolution and devoured hungrily its fruits amidst the dictatorship of moral relativism.

    It is not for me to say how Catholic Minnesotans spend their millions dollars, but no matter how much you spend on replacing and locking that barn door, the horse was stolen years ago.

  43. Glen M says:

    Check out Fr Mike’s parish: http://www.cabrinimn.org/

    In charity and mindful not to bear false witness, I suspect there are many issues in this parish. I worry many souls are being lost. Since the primary purpose of the Church is to help get souls to Heaven, correction is most probably needed here.

    While I don’t want to criticize any bishop, given the state of things in such parishes today, are they negligent in their duty? Are their souls at risk due to a failure to act – to shepherd?

  44. Kenneth Hall says:

    Having used the term myself here recently, I ask your pardon.

    I’m still not sure why Fr. Tegeder should be concerned with healing the state before the Church, but perhaps it is merely unfortunate choice of word order. I have been sloppy (to say nothing of intemperate) in my day….

  45. Katheryn says:

    I loved your idea to email him! Keep us informed if he replies…

  46. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: lodge, bearskin and bundle —

    It’s obviously a tabernacle, with a ciborium inside, with some kind of veil on the ciborium.

    Whether it’s done well, ill, or in violation of church regs, would have to be determined by seeing it and by an expert.

  47. catholicmidwest says:

    Okay, I didn’t attach much significance to this topic until I saw a photo of Fr. Tegeder on the web. Nice Haircut. ROFLOLOLOLOLOL

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