By Brody Levesque
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — As the battle heats up in Minnesota over a proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, there has been renewed outrage by statements expressed by Twin Cities Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt in a 2010 letter to one of his parishioners.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, which published Nienstedt’s letter last weekend as part of an article about the prelate’s aggressive efforts in support of the constitutional amendment, reported that the May 2010 letter was in response to a note from “a mother who pleaded for acceptance for her gay child.”
In the letter, Nienstedt wrote that Catholics are obligated to believe the Church’s official teachings on homosexuality, and that “those who do not… ought not to participate in the sacramental life of the Church,” and advised the mother that her “eternal salvation” could be in jeopardy:
I write to inform you that the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, as described in paragraphs 2357 and 2358 and 2359 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is rooted in Scripture and based on the Natural Moral Law. It, therefore, shares in God’s revelation to us.
Catholics are bound in conscience to believe this teaching. Those who do not cannot consider themselves to be Catholic and ought not to participate in the sacramental life of the Church. Indeed, some might find this is a hard saying by many of Jesus’ teachings were likewise received as such.
I urge you to reconsider the position that you expressed in your letter. Your eternal salvation may well depend upon a conversation of heart on this topic.
In a statement Tuesday, Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen called it “appalling that Archbishop Nienstedt chose to issue such an un-Christian response to a vulnerable member of his flock who came to him seeking help. The archbishop’s letter shows just how deeply held his anti-gay views are.”