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Archdiocese renounces Catholics for Marriage Equity group

The battle over gay marriage in Minnesota is heating up as both sides prepare for the November 2012 vote on a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as an institution between one man and one woman, and if passed, would ban gay marriage in the state.

Now that a group call Catholics For Marriage Equity MN has popped up — opposing the amendment and  favoring civil marriages for all — official Catholic Church groups are crying foul.

"A newly formed group calling itself 'Catholics for Marriage Equality MN' has no recognition from nor affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church," says a statement from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

On the Minnesota Catholic Conference website, the two groups say they:

wish to make it known that this group does not speak for the Catholic Church, is not an agent or entity of the Archdiocese, MCC, or the universal Church, and has no authority to determine what does and does not constitute Christian doctrine and morality. The Archdiocese asks that Catholics avoid associating themselves with this group, and not be deceived by its messages, which are in conflict with the fundamental teachings of the Church.

The groups also say the new organization:

attempts to convince Catholics that they can be in good standing with the Church and oppose Church teaching about human sexuality and marriage, which centers on the complementarity of the sexes and the mutual self-gift of loving spouses in marital union. The group also misleads people by proposing a false ecclesiology that undermines the legitimate authority of the bishops and the Magisterium as the authentic guardian, interpreter, and teacher of the faith handed to the apostles by Jesus Christ.

But the Catholic for Marriage Equity organization says:

We are Roman Catholics who advocate for civil marriage for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. We are called to such advocacy by the Gospel message of liberation and our Church’s teachings on justice and human rights.

As Catholics we value compassion, justice, family, truth-telling and love, and we witness all of these qualities and values in the lives and relationships of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. In other words, we see the face of God in the love of same-sex couples and families.

 The group even has talking tips for its supporters to use in discussions with other Catholics. One is:

Use the language of your Catholic faith and the teachings of the Church to inform and bolster your support of marriage equality and your opposition to the proposed “marriage amendment.”

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Comments (6)

*Sniff...sniff*

Yup, I smell St. Joan of Arc parish alrighty.

Maybe this will convince the Archdiocese, finally, that apostate parishes do people more harm than good.

Is that the ghost of Martin Luther I see comin' down the road?

Is that the ghost of Martin Luther I see comin' down the road with his "husband"?

Catholics can absolutely be in good standing with the Church and disagree on some very fundamental things.

Right in the Catechism the Church makes clear that one's ultimate authority is one's conscience. If one has a fully-formed conscience and one disagrees with some aspect of the Church, one must go with one's conscience.

Now, having a fully-formed conscience involves some very deep reading, listening and understanding of what the Church teaches and why. It is a pretty big hurdle. But I cannot judge anyone's conscience, nor can anyone else except the individual making the decisions.

So yes, one can be a Catholic advocating for marriage equality and be in good standing.

I recommend the following blog-post to any religious people who wrestle with the concept of being religious and gay/lesbian. Ten Things I've Learned in Ten Years about Gay People

If you aren't genuinely wrestling with the question, no need to read the blog post.

A few questions to prep you:

1. Have you ever had the experience of having to reconcile something you were taught by your religious faith with something you experienced that seemed counter to that teaching? (eg experience with birth control; experience with daily practice of loving God, practicing forgiveness; experience with abortion; experience with what you eat) ...How did you manage to reconcile those things?

2. Do you have close family members or personal friends who are gay, lesbian, or in a same-sex relationship? Do they have religious beliefs? Have you asked them how they reconcile their faith with who they are?

3. Do you believe there's a middle ground between what religion teaches and how God loves us unconditionally?

I'd like to thank Cardinal Greene for clearing everything up for us.