Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Some upset with Archbishop Nienstedt for stating the obvious regarding Catholic Church's teaching on homosexual behavior

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Coadjuter Archbishop John C. Nienstedt has generated some controversy with his article in the diocesan newspaper, "The Catholic Spirit", on the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality.

The archbishop was writing a follow up column to an article written by the editor of "The Catholic Spirit", Joe Towalski.

The Archbishop made four points:

First, Catholic churches, colleges and other institutions shouldn't be inviting in speakers who oppose the church's teaching.

Second, those who engage in homosexual behavior and those who promote or encourage such behavior are guilty of a mortal sin and have broken communion with the church.

Third, a good explanation of the church's teaching on homosexuality is found in a document entitled, "Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care."

Fourth, there are efforts and opportunities already in existence to help persons who struggle with same sex attractions to not act on them.

Those offended by the Archbishop's comments of course have an issue with not just the Archbishop but the Catholic Church's position which has been around for quite a while. (Nearly two millennium.)

I think the news here is the willingness of the new Archbishop Nienstedt to boldly, straightforwardly state the Church's position on one of the more contentious social issues of our day.

Frankly, there is a crisis of truth in our society and culture. I'm excited to see the Archbishop speak out. Ultimately, speaking the truth is an act of love. Just look at the life of the person who embodied love and the conflict His words and life generated -- Jesus Christ. Of course, we must speak the truth in a spirit of love and concern for those we're addressing. But to assume there's a problem merely because conflict or controversy are generated is the wrong conclusion to draw.

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