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Campaign against Archbishop Nienstedt and Marriage a Failure
By Billy Atwell
December 14th, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Homosexual equivalency forces in Minnesota failed in their effort to get Catholics to return DVDs issued as part of a diocesan campaign to preserve marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Less than 1% of the DVDs were returned.WASHINGTON DC (Catholic Online) - December 10 marked the end of the 'Return the DVD campaign', which asked Catholics in the the Diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to return DVDs sent to them by Archbishop Nienstedt. The effort was a failure. Those who promote homosexual equivalency and oppose true marriage were unable to get Catholics to send their DVDs back to the Diocese. In fact, less than 1% of the DVDs were returned to the Archbishop's diocesan office.
ReturntheDVD.org, the virtual home-base for the campaign against Archbishop Nienstedt, sought to draw awareness to his loyalty to the teaching of the Magisterium and the Natural Law as though this were some kind of bad thing. The group's website says that the returned DVDs were destroyed "so they cannot be used again." The abysmal response to this ill-fated effort speaks well of the fidelity of Catholics in the Diocese to the truth.
Return the DVD objected to much more than just the pro-marriage and family DVD campaign. The website called the Archbishop a hypocrite and rejected the teaching of the Catholic Church, saying, "We believe their [the Diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis] action, distributing 400,000 DVDs on the single subject of same-sex marriage shortly before the upcoming election, reflects misguided priorities and strays from the essential teachings of Christ." Of course, the exact opposite is true.
The group also claimed that the Catholic Church no longer follows the teachings of Jesus. "Why should we stay [in the Catholic Church] and continue to support an organization that acts in ways that are inconsistent with the values that Jesus teaches?," the campaign asked.
In an apparent attempt to draw attention to other issues, the Return the DVD campaign raised $10,000 to fight homelessness. The Archdiocese has a tremendous outreach to the poor and homeless but any help caring for the poor is always welcome.
Dividing the faithful?
Archbishop John Nienstedt was marginalized by the secular media in Minnesota before the Return the DVD campaign concluded. CNN led the effort by conducting a series of interviews and putting together a video asking whether or not Archbishop Nienstedt had divided the Catholic faithful in Minnesota with his pro-marriage and family DVD campaign. In the DVD the Archbishop simply reminded Catholics what marriage is, and what it is not. He told them to vote in accordance with the truth and to follow the principles of their faith. He did not mention a candidate.
The central message of the video was, in the words of Archbishop Nienstedt, that "marriage is a committed union between one man and one woman." He went on to support a marriage amendment to the Minnesota state constitution that would properly define marriage as such.
CNN reported that the Catholic Church and other churches are "at the epicenter of an emotional (and) political debate-one that has divided Catholics statewide." This claim is unsupported by any evidence. In fact, the response to the return the DVD effort shows that Catholics and other Christians are in favor of marriage and the family.
Minority voices take center stage
Archbishop Nienstedt remained firm in his decision to launch a pro-marriage and family campaign in the face of objections and questionable journalism. Jan Buczek, an outspoken opponent of the DVD, was at the center of the CNN report on the DVD's "controversy."
She is a Catholic parishioner at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, MN and is "heavily involved" with the Basilica, according to CNN.
Buczek told the reporter, "I don't think God's very happy right now. Jesus would not be treating people this way." She went on to say that the Archbishop and the Pope are supposed to be "loving shepherds, and they're not."
Buczek claimed that her homosexual daughter told her, "I should have the same right as you, mom, to crawl in bed at night with my 'love person' and talk about the day."
From personal angst to public dissent, Buczek wrote a letter to Archbishop Nienstedt expressing her assertion that he was unaware of the pain he and the Catholic hierarchy are causing some of the laity-- especially those who reject Church teaching on marriage.
Archbishop Nienstedt allegedly responded, "I urge you to reconsider the position that you expressed in your letter. Your eternal salvation may well depend on a conversion of heart on this topic."
The CNN reporter asked whether the Archbishop is jeopardizing the Diocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis' tax-exempt status by somehow "compelling" the Catholic faithful to vote according to their Faith. Archbishop Nienstedt never mentions the name of a candidate, which the reporter acknowledges. Clearly there is no legal issue in question, despite the reporters implication to the contrary. The Catholic Church has a right to teach on Moral issues and it is efforts to prevent her from doing so which are themselves unconstitutional.
The real story
With all of the pseudo-journalism, contrived legal questions, and failed attempts at opposing the pro- marriage and family campaign, it is easy to miss the real story. Archbishop Nienstedt has done what every faithful Catholic should do: proclaim the truth.
Archbishop Nienstedt deserves our support and our thanks for his commitment to Catholic teaching. Several weeks ago, the Manhattan Declaration sent an email to its signers asking them to read a press release issued by the Catholic League on this topic and to email Archbishop Nienstedt at his office's email, thanking him for his faithfulness to orthodox Christian teaching and Scriptural principle. If you would like to do the same, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faithful and vigilant members of the clergy, such as Archbishop Nienstedt, should be commended for their service to our Lord and the people entrusted to their care.
Billy Atwell contributes to Catholic Online, and blogs for The Point and the Manhattan Declaration. As a young lay Catholic and two-time cancer survivor he offers commentary on faith, culture, and politics. You can find all of his writings at For the Greater Glory.
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