Protecting traditional marriage is focus of state bishops’ initiative

| September 23, 2010

“As the chief pastor of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, I am writing to let you know of an important development that, if suc­cessful, will pro­foundly im­pact families throughout Min­nesota,” Arch­bishop John Nienstedt wrote in a letter to Cath­olics in the archdiocese. “That is, the or­gan­ized effort to re­define marriage in our state.”

Archbishop Nienstedt and other bishops in Minnesota are sending a letter and DVD to Minnesota Catholics on the church’s response to legislation recently introduced at the state Legislature that would change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

During the 2010 legislative session, five bills to redefine marriage were introduced.

“Defining marriage as simply a union of consenting parties will change the core meaning of marriage in the public square for every Minnesotan,” Archbishop Nienstedt wrote in the letter. “At best, so-called same-sex marriage is an untested social experiment and, at worst, it poses a dangerous risk with potentially far-reaching consequences.”

Religious freedom

If same-sex marriage were legalized in Minnesota, the law would require public schools to teach children that same-sex marriage and traditional marriage are the same, the archbishop wrote.

In the video, Archbishop Nienstedt calls for an opportunity for citizens to vote on a state constitutional amendment to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.

Thirty-one states have adopted constitutional amendments defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman, Chris Leifeld, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, pointed out.

“The Minnesota Catholic bishops agree that Minnesota should follow this lead and let the people of Minnesota decide this issue, not our judges or legislators,” Leifeld said.

Read Archbishop Nienstedt’s speech on marriage given September 20 at St. Helena in Minneapolis

Marriage Life Study Day Speech

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