Twin Cities archdiocese accuse Catholics for Marriage Equality of ‘confusing’ the public
As Catholics for Marriage Equality (CME) were hosting their first major event Thursday, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a statement slamming the group for confusing and misleading Catholics on the issue of marriage equality for same-sex couples.
A joint statement by the Archdiocese and the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC), the church’s public policy arm, condemned the equality group’s message:
A group calling itself “Catholics for Marriage Equality MN” seeks to confuse Catholics and the public about authentic Church teaching related to matters of marriage and sexuality. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Minnesota Catholic Conference wish to make it known that this group does not speak for the Catholic Church, is not an agent or entity of the Archdiocese, MCC, or the universal Church, and has no authority to determine what does and does not constitute Christian doctrine and morality. The Archdiocese asks that Catholics avoid associating themselves with this group, and not be deceived by its messages, which are in conflict with the fundamental teachings of the Church.
The Archdiocese also accused the group of trying to mislead Catholics:
“Catholics for Marriage Equality MN” attempts to convince Catholics that they can be in good standing with the Church and oppose Church teaching about human sexuality and marriage, which centers on the complementarity of the sexes and the mutual self-gift of loving spouses in marital union. The group also misleads people by proposing a false ecclesiology that undermines the legitimate authority of the bishops and the Magisterium as the authentic guardian, interpreter, and teacher of the faith handed to the apostles by Jesus Christ.
And the Church urged Catholics to show “loving support” to people “struggling with same-sex attraction.”
“The Catholic Church desires that all persons enjoy the same basic rights consistent with their human dignity,” the statement said.
Jason Adkins, in a separate statement from the Minnesota Catholic Conference, said that gay and lesbian people should not even engage in the full spectrum of romantic love and should instead remain abstinent.
“Homosexual persons are to be fully respected in their human dignity and encouraged to follow God’s plan with particular attention in the exercise of chastity,” Adkins said. “[C]alling for respect does not justify the legitimization of behavior that is not consistent with moral law.”
Adkins encouraged Catholics to vote for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
“The Catholic Church, in keeping with Catholic teaching, reason and natural law, and in concert with many other faiths, strongly supports maintaining the current, traditional definition of marriage by voting ‘yes’ for the amendment during the November 2012 election,” he said.
The Catholic Church has put millions of dollars towards Minnesota’s same-sex marriage ban.
Catholics for Marriage Equality consists of “Roman Catholics who advocate for civil marriage for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.”
“As Catholics we value compassion, justice, family, truth-telling and love, and we witness all of these qualities and values in the lives and relationships of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. In other words, we see the face of God in the love of same-sex couples and families,” according to the group’s website.
On Thursday evening, Catholics for Marriage Equality debuted a series of videos with Minnesota Catholics talking about their support for marriage equality and opposition to the anti-gay marriage amendment.
In a statement about the event, director Mary Kay Orman said the group’s hope is that people who watch the video will “prayerfully reflect” on the negative impact of the proposed same-sex marriage ban.
Pointing to recent polling, Michael Bayly, coordinator for the group, said the project reflects the views of a majority of the Catholic laity.
“In Catholicism, the hierarchy, theologians, and the wisdom of the laity are equally recognized as authentic sources of truth,” said Bayly. “A teaching cannot be considered authentic unless genuine dialogue among all three has taken place. When one considers what Catholic theologians and the Catholic people are thinking and saying about the issue of homosexuality and same-sex relationships, then, at the very least, we have to acknowledge the possibility that the Vatican’s teaching on this issue may not actually be the authentic Catholic teaching.”
Bayly said that gay Catholics get married for the same reason as anyone else: “to make a lifetime commitment of love and responsibility, and to celebrate that solemn promise in front of God and their families.”
“The defeat of the ‘marriage amendment’ won’t make gay marriage legal in Minnesota and no church will be required to change their views or practices, but its passage would be the only time that the constitution has been used to restrict and deny rights and not expand them,” Bayly said.