This lay person caught the book from church officialdom:
Lucinda Naylor, artist in residence at the Basilica of St. Mary for the past 15 years, was recently suspended from that position when she went public with her opposition to the church campaign [vs. same-sex marriage].
She has asked other Catholics opposed to the effort to send the DVDs [sent by Minnesota bishops to more than 400,000 Catholics] to her for an art project. She told the Minnesota Independent that she was thinking of doing something related to water or flames, “since both are important Catholics symbols of the Holy Spirit.”
But this priest?
“The premise of the DVD,” wrote [Rev. Michael] Tegeder, in a letter published Oct. 2 by the Star-Tribune, “is that same-sex couples and their committed relationships are a grave threat to marriage.”
The real threat to marriage, the pastor argued, is poverty, citing an earlier report on the effects of the economic downturn on marriage.
I doubt if he will be similarly chastised.
I could be wrong:
Asked if he feared reprisal, [Fr. Tegeder] recalled that he’d already been threatened by the archbishop “with excommunication and interdict” for installing a cremation garden at the church. When he was called on the carpet, he said, he was able to produce documentation that showed his parish had complied with all of the diocesan and state regulations. He said he’s heard nothing further. “You have to know how to defend yourself,” he said, “because a lot of what we’re being told we have to follow just isn’t true.”
Tegeder, 62, a Bloomington MN pastor, will go to the mat on this, he says:
“If he throws me out I can walk away from this with my head up … I love ministry. I wake up at 5 every day and stay busy until midnight. I love it. I’m energized by the opportunities.” But some things just need to be said, he remarked.
“This man is leading us in the wrong direction,” on this issue, he said of Nienstedt. “We have to call it for what it is – it’s bullying behavior. It’s not the work of Jesus Christ. It’s not the work of Jesus Christ.”
NC Reporter’s Tom Roberts elicited hot quotes from Tegeder, by the way, but relied on the Star-Tribune — “Strib,” as it’s called by Power Line, which routinely exposes its leftist political bias — for response by the archdiocese:
According to a report in the Start [sic] Tribune, Dennis McGrath, spokesman for the archdiocese, said the bishops “felt the situation had gotten to the poiont that they had to do something. They couldn’t stand by and let this thing go any further. The same-sex marriage train was chugging along.” McGrath also said the mailing was paid for with a private donation. Nienstedt has described the DVD as a “teaching tool” for voters in advance of the November gubernatorial election. Two candidates running support same-sex marriage and one doesn’t.
Roberts has an acutely sensitive eye and ear for dictatorial prelates. He assigned me once to do a piece about Bishop John Myers, then of Peoria, for Religious News Service, when he fired a raft of religious education people. I got Myers at his personal number, which I got from the diocesan web site. He was not pleased. Eventually, the piece ran in Chi Trib.
Nonetheless, I trust the Mpls-St. Paul archdiocese has a good response to this story, maybe someone as articulate in the archbishop’s defense as this Fr. Tegeder is for his position. At any rate, here is a ringing defense and call to arms for the official position. And here the vox populi is raised.