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Minnesota voters reject marriage amendment
November 7, 2012
THE REV. MICHAEL TEGEDER, Minneapolis – writes –
As a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, I would ask our archbishop, John Nienstedt, to prayerfully consider stepping down from his office. It would be healing for our state and our church and would show some magnanimity on his part. His misguided crusade to change our Constitution, spending more than a million dollars and, more importantly, much goodwill, has been rejected. Elections have consequences.
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Marriage amendment: There's no single 'Catholic view' on this vote – 10/20/12
A CRITIC WITHIN
Last fall, Nienstedt told priests and deacons that he expected them to support the marriage amendment and that "there ought not be open dissension on this issue."
He had more specific instructions for the Rev. Mike Tegeder, priest at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Minneapolis who's been a rare internal, public critic of the church on this issue.
"If you choose not to offer your resignation, but continue to act openly or speak publicly about your opposition to Church teaching, I will suspend your faculties to exercise ministry and remove you from your ministerial assignments," Nienstedt wrote to Tegeder in a letter last November.
Asked why the archbishop hasn't removed Tegeder, given the priest's continued public criticism, spokesman Jim Accurso said the archdiocese doesn't comment on personnel matters. More generally, Accurso said, "we are not aware of a single incident where the conduct of an employee regarding the marriage amendment has raised the issue of discipline." …
A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE
Seated at a St. Paul coffee shop last week, the Rev. Thomas Garvey opens a book containing the documents of Vatican II and points to a passage. "Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depths," the text reads.
"You read that, and you say 'Who is anybody to tell me how I ought to think?' " Garvey said. Photo
Garvey, 83, is retired but still serves in the archdiocese.
He was offended by Nienstedt's telling priests to fall in line on the marriage question.
It might be OK for the archbishop to require unanimity on a clear topic, Garvey says -- "Jesus Christ the son of God? OK, I'd buy in to that." But not an issue like same-sex marriage, where people's life experiences lead them to different places of conscience.
Garvey's own conscience on the matter was formed over more than five decades in ministry.
He saw a film years ago in which a young lesbian was sobbing over the isolation she felt in her own family. "Watching her mourn her treatment said to me pretty clearly we got the wrong position on this," he said.
Working with gay and lesbian parishioners solidified his view that they were no different from any other church members and deserved the right to be united with someone of the same sex under law, if not as part of a Catholic sacrament.
He and two other retired priests wrote a public letter to that effect this past spring, representing, they said, "many other priests who support this position." …
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