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Retired Priest Letter

Retired Priest Letter

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Published by: Minnesota Public Radio on May 17, 2012
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06/20/2015

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Catholics of Minnesota you have a choice!

As you undoubtedly know five months from now voters in Minnesota will be asked to vote on the so-called Marriage Amendment. This vote will allow or deny GLBTQ couples the right to pursue civil protection in their partnerships. This is a vote about who has rights and who does not. It should not be written into such a permanent document as our State Constitution. We are writing in opposition to our Catholic Church’s promotion for Catholics to vote in favor of the amendment. The Catholic Church’s position on Sacramental marriage is very clear and we agree with that position. However, regarding same-sex unions even the Catholic Hierarchy has members with different views on this issue. The Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schonborn is one who has a different point of view. Here is a quote from another Catholic Archbishop, Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England: “We would want to emphasize that civil partnerships actually provide a structure in which people of the same sex who want a lifelong relationship (and) a lifelong partnership can find their place and protection and legal provision.” (Press Conference on November 26, 2011 following the English and Welsh Bishops’ Conference Meeting). Right at home here in our own parishes there are gay-lesbian couples who are strong active and faithful Catholics. These church members are not only our sisters and brothers in Christ, they are the blood relatives of you and me and of large numbers of our parishioners and friends, They need allies. We, the signers of this letter (and we know that there are many other priests who support this position), are opposed to a Constitutional amendment that would deny rights and privileges to same-gender unions in Minnesota. The so-called “Marriage Amendment” would do just that. We write now to say that there is not just one way for Catholics to vote in November. We ask you to consider voting “No” this November on the Marriage Amendment. We feel that our church is stronger when both sides of an issue are part of the public dialogue. Thank you for your consideration. Fr. John F. Brandes Fr. Thomas J. Garvey Fr. J. Timothy Power

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