Monday, September 16, 2013

Remarks of Archbishop Nienstedt Linking Gay Rights to Devil Gaining Wide Attention, with Video Coverage on YouTube

I mentioned last week that the vociferously anti-gay archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis, John Nienstedt, spoke recently to the right-wing Catholic group Napa Institute, decrying "sodomy, abortion, contraception, pornography, the redefinition of marriage, and the denial of objective truth" as the work of the devil. Napa Institute has now uploaded Nienstedt's presentation to YouTube. The clip is at the head of the posting. 

The video coverage of Nienstedt's remarks is gaining quite a bit of online attention right now, deservedly so. Meredith Bennett-Smith discusses it yesterday at Huffington Post, noting that several years ago, when a Catholic mother wrote him to ask that the church accept her gay son, Nienstedt replied (and see also here):

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. 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... Your eternal salvation may well depend upon a conversion of heart on this topic.

As Fred Clark notes at Slacktivist, Nienstedt has gone "full church lady" in his remarks to the Napa Institute folks, and,

It was either invoke Satan or attempt to make an argument, and given the lack of arguments for his position, this was probably the slightly less embarrasingly silly option for him. 

As I noted in August 2012, Mike McShea has posted important information at his This Cultural Christian site about Napa Institute's thick ties to well-heeled GOP activists, and has noted that such Catholic luminaries as Paul Ryan's bishop (and defender) Robert Morlino have also gone to Napa to hold forth on the moral corruption of American society under Democratic leaders, and to press the well-heeled GOP flesh congregated there. The anti-gay archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, who has also linked the struggle for gay rights with the devil, is a Napa Institute favorite, and likes to preside at pull-out-the-stops-Latin-liturgical-wingdings-in-the-catacombs for the group, which you may be interested in seeing at YouTube, as well.

Since, you know, these poor Christians have been sent to the catacombs by the Democrats and the evil president Obama, and now have to worship in hidden, dark places in which they alone preserve the pure Catholic faith while many Catholics apostasize by loving the gays . . . .

Nienstedt's advice to the Catholic mother seeking love and acceptance for her gay son is about as pastorally obtuse as Purgatrix Ineptiae's recent advice at NCR to parents of children who experience anguish because they are convinced that their biological gender doesn't match their psychological self-understanding of their gender: "[T]he best course of action is to encourage their child to learn to live with his or her dissatisfaction with his or her biological sex and make the best of it."

What has happened to the notion of love as the leitmotiv of the Christian life and the centerpiece of authentic pastoral response of the Catholic community to human beings in anguish?

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