Catholics Oppose Church’s Stance On MN Marriage Restriction Amendment

On a windy Friday afternoon in downtown St. Paul, a handful of Catholics gathered to speak out against the Archdiocese stance Minnesota’s proposed Marriage Restriction Constitutional Amendment.

Many are frustrated that Church resources are being directed towards what they feel is a hurtful, divisive issue. Some feel that poverty, education and other issues should take precedence.

“This archbishop has done his best to make a name for himself by making this a political issue in his Archdiocese and the Minnesota Catholic Conference. That rift will take a long time to heal,” says Minnesota State Representative John Lesch.

Lesch was among several politicians lending their voice to speak out against the amendment. Saint Paul City Council President Kathy Lantry and State Representative Sandy Pappas also attended.

John C. Nienstedt, Minnesota’s Archbishop has ordered parishioners to vote for the amendment. He was quoted in a recent Star Tribune article on the issue, but declined a formal interview about the matter.

Parishioners have struggled between a deep seated belief in Catholic values and opposing a hurtful amendment they say is dividing the Church.

When church member Nancy Scanlan heard about the church’s stance she wrote a letter to the Archbishop.

“The letter I got back said to me,’I’m sorry you don’t see things our way and we may end up a smaller, stronger church,’” said Scanlan.

Scanlan and others say that the issue doesn’t come up at Sunday mass but that others are talking about it outside of church. They say they aren’t the only ones who disagree with the church’s position.

Allison Herrera

Allison Herrera, originally from San Luis Obispo, Calif.,  studied media and Spanish at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., where she earned her bachelor s. Since moving to the Twin Cities, she has been a news producer for KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio, communications coordinator for Twin Cities Public Television's arts series MN Original, and producer for the Association of Minnesota Public and Educational Radios Stations for the series MN90: Minnesota History in 90 Seconds.

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