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Archbishop Nienstedt wants pro-amendment 'Prayer for Marriage' used in Mass

Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt has issued a "Prayer for Marriage" to parishes in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese to be used during the Prayers for the Faithful portion of Mass.

The archdiocese has been a big supporter of a proposed constitutional amendment that will be on the state ballot in November 2012. If passed, the amendment would ban gay marriage in the state.

In announcing the prayer, Nienstedt said in a letter:

"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."

Nienstedt wrote that he offered the prayers to parishes "to help assist in the strengthening of our state-wide efforts to defend marriage in our civil constitution."

And he wants Catholics to pray and sacrifice on Fridays, to help get the amendment passed:

I would also like to call upon all Catholics of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to embrace Fridays as a particular day of prayer and sacrifice for the success of this most current struggle to defend marriage with our civil constitution. Without such deliberate prayers and sacrifices, our efforts will be in vain. But with God, all things are possible.

The archbishop's prayer:

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.

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Comments (16)

Can’t help but wonder, if the positives of marriage are as glorious as the archbishop’s letter suggest, why those positives would not benefit anyone and everyone who marries, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, as well as the society in which they marry. Historically, the Catholic church, more often than not, has been on the side of those advocating equality of treatment. Sad, then, to see the Church abandon its historical position by taking the side of outright discrimination, as encouraged by this letter.

I am a Catholic and I will pray and sacrifice and knock on doors and march in parades and go to rallies and do everything I can to ensure that this foolish amendment does NOT pass!
I will not give one dime to the Church for anything until they give up on their anti-civil rights "crusade."
I joined the Church because I believed in its works of social justice. But over and over again in recent years it has set itself squarely on the side of INJUSTICE and on the side of the status quo and has identified itself with vested interests.

This part of the prayer makes me very sad:

"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 know God's plan for marriage? And how EXACTLY do we know this?

"open to the conception of children."

So when folks marry who do not plan to have children or are not capable of bearing them because of age or medical conditions, this doesn't fit God's plan?

"open to the conception of children."

Is this a veiled anti-birth control message?

It is sad that those who do not agree with the church's positions in these matters will again be forced to feel like hypocrites.

"I joined the Church because I believed in its works of social justice."

Well there's the problem, right there. The Catholic church is the Universal church of Jesus Christ, our Lord. While the church certainly does promote social service, the leftist recipe known as "social justice" often comes into direct conflict with the Gospels.

If you've come to the point where you are in such direct conflict with the Catholic faith, perhaps it's time to look around for another church. There are lots of "run what ya brung" churches out there.

I'm guessing Ray has never investigated the church's catechism at all.

If they keep this up, the only Catholics left will be the priests and they'll go away like the Shakers.

"The archdiocese has been a big supporter of a proposed constitutional amendment that will be on the state ballot in November 2012. If passed, the amendment would ban gay marriage in the state."

Mr. Kimball, gay marriage is NOW banned in Minnesota.

Quoting from the Legislative Reference Service, "the Minnesota Legislature passed its own version of what has been referred to as the Defense of Marriage Act (Laws of Minnesota 1997, Chapter 203, Article 10). The governor approved it on June 2, 1997. This act clarified that 'lawful marriage may be contracted only between persons of the opposite sex' and went on to specifically prohibit 'marriage between persons of the same sex' (Minnesota Statutes chapter 517.01 and 517.03)."

If the amendment fails, same sex marriage remains banned in Minnesota.

Mr Swift

Can you please cite chapter and verse in which "social justice" comes into conflict with the gospels? And please don't use some right wing paranoid fantasy about eating the rich or something.

To me, it seems that Matthew 25:31-46 ("I was hungry and you gave me food...") seems to endorse some type of social justice.

First, leave the Constitution alone. It is difficult to amend just for that reason, so it won't be casually amended in such a heinous way. For those of you who insist on perpetuating discrimination against gays, there is already a law (hopefully not for long). Leave the Constitution alone.
Second, T. Swift, I don't know which gospels you've been reading but they sure aren't the ones in the New Testament of any Bible I have ever read. Jesus Christ was and is the model for what you call "the leftist recipe known as 'social justice.'" From the Beatitudes to rendering to Caesar, to the Sermon on the Mount and the miracle of the loaves and fishes, everything he did (is reported to have done) was an example for each of us that "... It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24. In addition, greed is one of the seven deadly sins, as well as being identified in the 10th commandment. (Needing basic shelter, clothing, food and a decent education is not envy/greed.)
Finally, with pedophilia, mysogyny and now outright bigotry rampant in the Catholic teachings it really is no longer a 'church.' Should be able to take quite a chunk out of the state's credit card debt with all those taxes collected from this uber conservative business.

The archbishop has made the call and now is the time for all the quiet and polite liberals out there to answer. NO.

Mr. Swift is apparently unaware of Catholic Social Teaching. I can't really blame him for that as the Church does an exceedingly poor job of teaching it.

But there are some lovely resources on the archdiocesan web page for the Office of Social Justice:

http://www.osjspm.org/page.aspx?pid=491

Among the teachings of the Church are such socialist notions that workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively, structural racism is destructive to society and that we have a responsibility to steward the earth's resources for future generations.

So yes, Thomas, social justice is in fact integral to the Church's teaching. Charity and justice go hand in hand.

I'm speaking of, and apologists are sidestepping, ideas such as low income women having the *right* to not only murder their children, but in order to accomodate leftist's twisted concept of "social justice", tax dollars must be employed to pay for infanticide.

If I've misinterpreted that, by all means feel free to set me straight.

There's plenty more, but I think you get the idea.

Threatening the church with abandonment is outright laughable, folks. The Catholic church is not running a popularity contest, and it will never, repeat never, rewrite it's catechism to conform to the pop culture poster issue du jour.

Matthew 16:18

Read it, know it, believe it.

Thomas, you are misinterpreting.

I am pro-life in its full meaning. That means not only do I oppose abortion (except in cases where the mother's life is in danger -- believe it or not, it happens and I can't condemn anyone for choosing the mother's life), I also oppose capital punishment, support universal single-payer health care and other programs that enhance the quality of life.

I would like to know what your "plenty more" is. The Church's social teaching aligns very well with many (though certainly not all) of the liberal left's priorities. The whole concept of social sin means we don't get a pass because "I'm not the one who did that or made that decision." We ALL bear responsibility for our society's many social ills. Catholic Social Teaching is inherently collectivist and the Church herself has warned over these many centuries of the dangers and sinfulness of hyper-individualism.

Mr. Swift would like to present the Catholic Church as a monolith, except on social justice issues as other readers have already noted.

Fortunately, practicing Catholics disagree with Mr. Swift on two major reproductive issues.

According to the Gutmacher institute, most Catholic women of child bearing age practice contraception despite the Catholic hierarchy's strenuous opposition to so-called artificial means of contraception.

link: http://bit.ly/vSuXOa

As an aside, the Catholic church's opposition to birth control is an interesting subject for investigation. The life of the Catholic physician, John Rock, is instructive.

As for the position of Catholics on abortion.
"Catholics are essentially tied with non-Catholics on the moral acceptability of abortion."

link: http://bit.ly/vykFh4

Finally, Mr. Swift's equating abortion and infanticide is inflammatory and offensive. Mr. Swift is well aware of the Roe v. Wade ruling.

This decision, after forty years, is highly unlikely to be reversed.

Trying to demonize those who decide, in consultation with their physician, to terminate a pregnancy is simply unacceptable to the majority of women.

Let see! An argument for marriage by someone who can't get married. It's laughable. But the power behind it is frightening. Cardinal Richelieu has returned.

Heh..I'll be sure and bring my copy of Gallup to mass on Sunday. Lots of people call themselves "Catholic"...would you hire a "plumber" that hates pipes? Doctor that faints at sight of blood? Ridiculous.

Roe V. Wade is the law of the land, enforced by a system that also allows murder of unarmed, defenseless prisoners. My sense of dignity and honor don't allow such things. Law doesn't always = moral.

I know many leftists are uncomfortable with having the truth of what a bloody bit of butchery abortion is, but it's not my job to fuel delusions.

Everyone that shares a sense of human dignity and honor agrees: Facts are facts; abortion is bloody, violent infanticide.....Gallup didn't contact me.

It is always funny how most people justify abortion only in the cases "when the mother's life is in danger" but in no other cases. By using this justification, you are still trying to play the role of your god. How do you know your god won't perform some miracle and save the life of the mother. Or in the other case, how do we know an otherwise normal pregnancy won't suddenly turn for the worse during childbirth and endanger the mother? I hate using conjecture in such a manner, but essentially by using this limited exception excuse, that is what you are doing. If you are basing your abortion stance on faith in some mystical being, why do you question that being's authority in any instance?

Thomas - you and I have had many heated discussions on this topic. Calling this infanticide is inflammatory. I'm not sure how that relates to the Roe v. Wade decision since that ruled on the case based on the due process clause. But to generalize every abortion in such a manner is absolutely ludicrous. There are many instances where a pregnancy puts a mother at risk or severe developmental problems in the child make abortion a much safer and less painful route for all then trying to carry to term. In instances of incest, there is a much higher chance of developmental problems. In the instances of rape, the psychological problems are unimaginable. In the few instances where it is a method strictly of choice, it may not appeal to your sense of personal responsibility, but not everyone is of the same means or same background as you. In order to allow the freedom to some, we allow the freedom to all. I for one would never tell a woman how they should decide.