Answers to questions on ‘Preserving Marriage’ initiative

| Dennis McGrath | October 7, 2010

After taking phone calls protesting the Minnesota Bis­hops’ creation of the DVD “Pre­serving Marriage in Minnesota” and reading many e-mails, there are common presumptions that are repeated again and again, which are simply not accurate.

» “This is an anti-gay campaign by the Church and the bishops.”
A. It is not. The Catholic Church and its dioceses and par­ishes welcome all those with same-sex attraction and minister to them. This is an educational, catechetical effort to educate Catholics about the need to preserve and protect traditional mar­riage in its time- and Christ-honored form as being between one man and one woman.

» “This is an expensive campaign, the costs of which could have been used for the needy, the homeless and children.”
A. All costs for this program were paid for by private donors who came forward to support the effort.  Des­pite rumors to the contrary, none of these donations came from political sources. And the cost has been vastly overstated. The DVDs were supplied by the Knights of Columbus, and the DVD reproduction and mailing costs were kept to a minimum with low-cost methods. Fur­ther­­more, the archdiocese, in concert with Catholic Charities, continues its commitment to the poor through millions of dollars of financial assistance and other types of aid. No one, other than county governments, gives more.

» “What gives the Catholic Church and the bishops the right to define what marriage is and is not?”
A. The teachings of the church over centuries, Sacred Scripture, the commandments and natural law, among other things.

» “How can the church make these judgments after it has gone through the clergy abuse scandal?”
A. This effort is about the defense of marriage and the health and protection of our society — our way of life. The horrible revelations about clergy sex abuse have been forcefully dealt with in a way that has be­come a model for other institutions. As a national lay Catholic writer and commentator said recently, “There is no place that is safer for a child today than a Catholic school or parish.”

» “Were you prepared for negative fallout from this DVD mailing campaign and, in retrospect, would you still do it?”
A. The church makes its decisions based on its teachings, the Scriptures and the laws of God. Decisions are not based on polls or “what if” scenarios. It is the role of the bishops to preach, teach and lead.

Dennis McGrath is the archdiocesan communications director.

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Category: This Catholic Life

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