05 October 2010

Priest Critical of Archbishop Nienstedt's Defence of Marriage DVD

Archbishop Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has come under fire for his stance on the same-sex marriage issue and because he dared promote the Church's teaching by sending out a DVD to all Catholic households in the Archdiocese.  One of  the more public critics is Fr. Michael Tegeder of St. Edwards parish in Bloomington, the usual dissident schill of the Star Tribune newspaper which published his letter to the editor last Saturday.  Showing his lack of concern for the scandal he causes he made sure to include his name, title and parish.  One thing I know for sure is that if I, as an employee of my agency, were to write a letter criticizing or condemning my superiors and signing my name, rank and employer, I would be out of a job come Monday morning.  I am free to write such things as a private citizen but signing it in my official capacity would earn me an immediate pink slip.  Hint hint to Archbishop Nienstedt.
So lets look at what Fr. T had to say,
Since arriving in Minnesota as a bishop in 2001, Nienstedt has had the constitutional amendment as a priority. In 2006, he promoted postcards, which as archbishop he has upgraded to DVDs.
This is important as many of the critics have suggested that the primary motivation for the Archbishop to send out this DVD is to influence the upcoming elections in Minnesota, even though it is completely non-political.  Even Fr. T joins in this chorus,
Most scandalous is that Archbishop Nienstedt has compromised his office with the use of anonymous money to fund this effort. The constitutional amendment is a very political issue. The impression is given that political funding is at work here.
Wait a minute, didn't Fr. T just say two paragraphs earlier that Archbishop Nienstedt has had the constitutional amendment as a priority since 2006.  But let's not confuse the good Father with facts when he is intent on obfuscating the issue.  So really, who is making this a political issue?

Next he brings in that not all Bishops are as black and white on the issue as Archbishop Nienstedt seems to be.
Just recently the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, the main author of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and friend of the pope, publicly stated that the church needs to look differently at committed same-sex relationships. His fellow Austrian bishops concurred. These are thinking, serious church leaders. They listen.
This is just downright funny.  See how he attempts to give credibility to the position of Cardinal Schonborn by stressing that he is the "main author of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church" and friend of the Pope.  Never mind that the good Cardinal has received a "dressing down" from the Pope for recently public statements he has made.  And the Austrian bishops are thinking, serious Church leaders because "they listen."
Now there are 23 Bishops in Austria.  How many in the rest of the world don't share their same opinion?  But really only the opinion of one Bishop, the Bishop of Rome and "friend of Cardinal Schonborn, is the one that matters.  And he has spoken very clearly on the matter of same-sex marriage.  In fact it is the same "opinion" expressed by Archbishop Nienstedt, even though he is not the "friend of the Pope."

And lastly we have this gem,
We as Catholics can have our own beliefs about marriage. But we must recognize that people of other faiths and of no faith have conscientious beliefs as well.
Now I am no scripture scholar but I do remember clearly this passage from Mark 16:15-18,
And he said to them: Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believes not shall he condemned.
You'll notice there is no nuancing here as to what Jesus said but Fr. Tegeder seems intent on ignoring this command.  Of course have different beliefs, that is why Jesus said, "go and preach the Gospel." ;  But for poor Fr. T what is most important is not Truth, but the virtue of "Minnesota Nice."
I do not believe any of our other bishops would have been on such a crusade. "Minnesota nice," if not prudence, would have prevailed.

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