MN Archbishop Politicizes Prayer To Fight Gay Marriage


Next year Minnesotans will decide on whether to approve a constitutional amendment codifying the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, and in effort to promote the ban Archbishop John Nienstedt today released a prayer for the cause of mobilizing fellow Catholics to “defend” the so-called divine “plan for marriage.”

Verbatim from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis website, the prayer reads:

Heavenly Father,

Through the powerful intercession of the Holy Family, grant to this local Church the many graces we need to foster, strengthen, and support faith-filled, holy marriages and holy families.

May the vocation of married life, a true calling to share in your own divine and creative life, be recognized by all believers as a source of blessing and joy, and a revelation of your own divine goodness.

Grant to us all the gift of courage to proclaim and defend your plan for marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman in a lifelong, exclusive relationship of loving trust, compassion, and generosity, open to the conception of children.

We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

In case we were to be in any doubt this prayer should be a motivational one, it is prefaced by a statement from the Archbishop, the first paragraph of which reads:

The current struggle to defend and define marriage within our civil constitution demands a three-fold approach. We must educate our fellow citizens on the meaning and good of marriage. We must actively and resolutely promote widespread participation among our fellow believers in the support of a marriage amendment. And most importantly, we must pray and offer sacrifice for the success of all endeavors that seek to protect and promote marriage.

This continues for another few paragraphs but the general gist is this is not merely an Archbishop addressing an article of faith, but by Nienstedt’s own admission — “We must actively and resolutely promote widespread participation among our fellow believers in the support of a marriage amendment” —  it is a call for political action that is wholly unpalatable and deeply questionable.

It behooves us to recall that Minnesota already has a statutory ban on same-sex marriage. The urgency of the Archbishop’s position is, then, quite overblown.

It is not, however, that surprising. Earlier this year the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis issued a call to appoint special committees to “spearhead” a local level effort in support of the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

To be sure it is entirely reasonable that those representing a religion should be allowed a voice, but for a religious leader to mobilize believers into codifying discrimination into a civil constitution on grounds of that faith alone shows us a will to control wider society that is profoundly troubling.

Related Reading:

School District Mulling Change to Sexual Orientation Policy

MN Independence Party Against Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

MN Gay Marriage Ban Statistical Underdog?

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Xerones.


CV M5 years ago

Don't pray for my soul Thanks but no thanks

Rhonda B.
Rhonda B.5 years ago

It is sometimes unfortunate that losing one's non-profit number for politicking has to involve only endorsement of candidates because the Catholic church could readily be nullified.

We need to remember that priests are not independent operators. Catholicism is a totally connectional church and a priest who goes against what the pope says endangers his job. He could choose not to say anything at all, a much wiser choice, but the central office has been on a rampage lately against American nuns who do not openly support conservative theology but focus on human rights instead. Getting the priests would not be far behind. The parish church is not really a church in itself but part of the great octopus of Catholicism and controlled from Rome. The most effective way to combat conservatism in the Catholic church, as with most churches, is for Christians to withhold the tithes and offerings, donating them instead to an organization that supports human rights or, even better, to a Christian glbt organization or church.

BMutiny TCorporationsAreE

I.] The Catholic Church, {and ANY Church that mixes religion and politics], should LOSE its tax-exempt status; as should ANY AND ALL Catholic businesses. Unfair competition!

II.] Everyone with the least iota of Common Sense should IMMEDIATELY stop giving even one red cent to the Church, ever again; should LEAVE the Vatican Catholic Church {and renounce their Baptism, so the Church can no longer falsely claim you as a member}; and should band with others, take over now-empty church buildings perhaps, and form your OWN worship groups, without the interference and embarrassment and uselessness of the Vatican Catholic dinosaur hierarchy.

People in many areas of the country and in Europe are doing JUST THAT.
The Vatican Church is going DOWN! it can't happen a moment too soon, for Humanity's sake.

Janice F.
Janice Forester6 years ago

I dont think that same sex marriage is a threat to humanity but I think that many religions are !

Gila H.
Gila Golder6 years ago

"There is a bigger problem here than one Archbishops. And that is there is not a religion on this planet whose leaders don't want to dominate us all. Everyone of one them states you must believe as we do or you will go to hell or have some other bad thing happen to you. You must do as my religion says or we will deny you books, rewrite history, condemn your way of life and try without limits to deny you your civil and human rights."

Marilyn L., you are very much mistaken. Judaism is not a proselytizing religion and rabbis have never encouraged conversion or attempted to coerce non-Jews to adopt Jewish practices. We don't believe that non-Jews will go to hell or be struck by lightning, etc. for not observing our commandments.

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson6 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Well seeing as Minnesota is conservative GOP/tea-party, bible thumping, Michele Bachmann territory this comes as no surprise. It's also no surprise that the clergy and others use religion to justify their hatred and deominzing of others they disagree with and feel are inferior or some type of national or societal threat. This just highlights the need for separation of church and state. The two cannot and will not coexist peacefully.

Like the saying goes, "Spiritual people inspire me, religious people frighten me."

Keisha H.
Keisha N H6 years ago

Amen Jennifer M.

Joan S.
Joan S6 years ago

God please protect me from your followers

Nicole B.
Nicole Bergeron6 years ago

If the Church doesn't want Gays to marry let them be married by Courthouses, they will find a way to marry, so just let them.