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The push by the Catholic Church to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota is not sitting well with every Catholic in the state. This comes after the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced that they wanted an ad hoc committee in every Catholic church in the state to push the amendment.
One lay Catholic who works for the church in an affiliated organization did not want to be identified because she could lose her job, but she told the Minnesota Independent that the campaign supporting the marriage amendment was “offensive, divisive and against the image of Christ we see in the Gospels.”
That source stated as well “But honestly after the sex abuse scandal and the cover-ups made by the hierarchy, nothing they do shocks me anymore. After watching the Catholic Church use funds to pay for their lawyers, pay off victims and now shove through this amendment, I’ve decided to withhold my tithe from the church. I do not want to provide them more money to defend themselves or lobby against me and those I love. Instead, I will give that money directly to services in Minnesota that provide food and housing for the poorest among us.”
The move by Archbishop John Nienstedt is actually out of touch with the laity in the Catholic Church. A survey of Catholics released on Monday that showed only 35% of Catholics oppose same-sex marriage.
The Rainbow Sash Movement, which is a national group working to protest the Church’s policies on LGBT people, called what Nienstedt is doing an abuse of authority. Bill O’Connor, spokesman of the RSM stated “Above and beyond all this, Archbishop Nienstedt appears not to have any concern about the unity of the Archdiocese in his drive to stigmatize the gay marriage as threat to society. He is naive if he thinks that Catholics will buckle under his political direction in this. If anything has damaged marriage in our society, one only has to look to divorce. Perhaps this where the Archbishop should put his energies rather than trying impose an interpretation of marriage that is not grounded [in] today’s reality, by making gay people scapegoats.”
The Minnesota Independent wrote:
Scott Alessi, writing for U.S. Catholic, which is published by a Roman-Catholic community of priests and brothers called the Claretian Missionaries, said Niensted’s decision was “unusual.”
“Nienstedt has made clear that for priests in his archdiocese, fighting to ensure that the state defines marriage in the same way as the church is today’s top priority,” Alessi wrote.
Alessi wondered if anti-gay marriage amendment was the most appropriate use of resources: ”If an archbishop can call upon all his pastors to form grassroots committees, appoint parish leaders, and organize a large-scale effort, is this the issue on which to do it? What if every parish developed an unemployment committee dedicated to helping out of work people in the parish community find jobs?”