Minnesota Catholic leaders issued statements on Wednesday expressing deep disappointment over the defeat of the proposed marriage amendment.
The Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of Catholic bishops in Minnesota, said that despite the setback, “our efforts to promote and defend the cornerstone social institution of marriage will continue.”
Here’s the rest of the statement:
“MCC’s support of Amendment 1 was rooted in the complementarity of the sexes, the public significance of their ability to procreate, and the fundamental right of all children to be born into an intact family with a married mother and a father, even though this is not always possible. These basic human truths remain with or without the passage of this amendment.
“Our position on the amendment was never “anti” anyone, but “for” marriage. We continue to emphasize that everyone, including those with same-sex attraction, must be treated with charity, dignity, and respect. The Catholic Church welcomes all and remains committed to affirming the irrevocable dignity of all persons created in the image and likeness of God.
“We thank the thousands of Minnesotans, particularly our partners in the Minnesota for Marriage coalition, who worked tirelessly to bring about the amendment’s passage.”
“MCC will continue to support and advocate for public policy that best serves all of society, human dignity and the basic rights of children. Marriage needs to be strengthened, not redefined. We look forward to finding ways we can all work together as Minnesotans to strengthen marriage and family life.”
Minnesota Catholic bishops have been instrumental supporters in the campaign to pass the amendment, which sought to change the state’s constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman -- essentially banning same-sex marriage.
Key among the amendment’s religious backers is Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt. The archdiocese dedicated over $650,000 to the cause of trying to pass the amendment.
The archdiocese posted a statement on its website Wednesday, lamenting the outcome of the amendment:
“Minnesota’s voters have spoken. Although the defeat of the amendment is a very serious concern to us, it will not deter us from continuing to serve this community and the whole state in pursuit of the common good. We are grateful to the thousands of Minnesotans, particularly those who lent their support to Minnesota for Marriage, for their commitment to proactively protect the timeless definition of marriage.”
“The Church’s public advocacy of support for the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment has always been rooted in our commitment to advance the common good for human society. This is the same spirit that guides the Church’s unwavering pursuit of economic justice, healthcare and immigration reform, and the defense of human life and dignity from conception to natural death.
“We proposed, and continue to do so, that the good of society is best served by maintaining the traditional understanding of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. This proposition finds its intelligibility in the order of reason and in the testimony of the Bible.
“The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis will continue to build up this community according to our principles, including giving voice and unwavering defense to the unborn, the poor and forgotten, the abused and the lonely. And we will continue to work to strengthen marriage, and defend it against all forms of its weakening, for the good of all society. We can do nothing less than continue to propose and do our best to live out what we believe.”
Meanwhile, the Rev. Mike Tegeder, a frequent critic of Nienstedt, who serves as pastor at two Minneapolis churches, submitted an e-mailed letter to The Star Tribune on Wednesday calling for Nienstedt to vacate his post.
“As a priest of the Archdiocese I would ask our Archbishop, John Nienstedt, to prayerfully consider stepping down from his office,” the letter states. “It would be healing for our state and our church and would show some magnanimity on his part.”
Jim Accurso, a spokesman with the archdiocese, said Wednesday afternoon the archdiocese was not aware of the letter but would take a look at it and possibly respond to it.