Monday, November 15, 2010

Defending Jesus

Archbishop Nienstedt of Minneapolis-St. Paul denied the Eucharist to a bunch of heretics and schismatics, per the Star Tribune. That's not how they worded it, but it's what actually happened.

About 25 college students and community members at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minn., were denied communion by Twin Cities Roman Catholic Archbishop John C. Nienstedt because they were displaying rainbow buttons and sashes in protest of the church's stand on gay relationships.

The conflict between the archbishop and the group, mostly students from the Catholic St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict, occurred during evening mass Sept. 26...

The St. John's action was coordinated by students, including members of People Representing the Sexual Minority (PRiSM), which represents gay and lesbian students and their friends and allies. That Sunday, according to those at the mass, about two dozen worshipers positioned themselves to receive communion from Nienstedt, who was saying his first student mass at the abbey. Some reached for the communion wafer but were denied it. Rather, the archbishop raised his hand in blessing.


Let's take a look at the reactions to all this.

St. Benedict theology junior Elizabeth Gleich, PRiSM vice president, said, "We were making a statement during the eucharist, and many have disagreed with that. But when we have no other way of dialoguing with our church, no other way of telling him how we feel, how else to do it than in liturgy?"

She said their complaint is with church hierarchy, not with the colleges...

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which describes itself as the nation's largest civil rights organization on behalf of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people, expressed outrage at Nienstedt's actions.

"Jesus didn't play politics with communion," Harry Knox, the HRC's religion and faith program director, said Tuesday in a statement. "He offered his body and blood for everyone."

Not a whole lot of effort by the paper to explain His Excellency's position. Just a bunch of whiny brats who have an inflated opinion of their own competency in this matter. The comments by Mr. Knox are especially stupid. He should be thanking Archbishop Nienstedt for preserving these poor shmoes from committing sacrilege (which maybe they kind of already did anyway by bringing this protest to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass).

Since we're already talking about him, I also wanted to reproduce this bit from InsideCatholic. It's part of an interview with Archbishop Nienstedt where the subject of divorce comes up. This, my friends, is why the media cannot engage in any real discourse with the Church.

Crann: If same-sex marriage is a 'dangerous risk,' as you put it, in society, wouldn't also divorce, as well, be such a risk?

Nienstedt: Obviously. That's obvious. And it has been a dangerous risk and it is a dangerous risk to our society today.

Crann: And yet there has been no effort from the Catholic Church over the years to outlaw divorce.

Nienstedt: No, the church doesn't permit divorce. I don't know - the use of your word 'outlaw.'

Crann: In a civic sense.

Nienstedt: But divorce is not acceptable. Divorce is not part of our teaching, no.

Crann: No, but in a civil sense. And I suppose what I'm saying is there has been a difference historically in the secular and civil world with marriage and divorce and in the context of the Catholic Church and other churches, too. And I'm wondering if there always will be that difference or do you want to see the civil definition of marriage be more aligned with your church's definition.

Nienstedt: There is no difference between the civil and the religious definition of marriage because marriage comes to us by virtue of creation and our creator. And so the state does not establish marriage. Marriage came long before there was any government.

And so this is a natural reality, and it's defined by the natural law, what we call the natural law. And so it precedes any government. And government is meant to support marriage between a husband and a wife in order to give it a context for the raising of children and the protection of children.

Basically, the media tends to be ignorant and, when confronted with their ignorance, they run away. You can read the rest of the interview here.

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