Friday, May 18, 2012

Buttons and Bumper Stickers Now Available!

As Minnesota Catholics who want to defeat the amendment limiting the freedom to marry, we have a message to share and important conversations to start with family members, colleagues, friends, and fellow parishioners.

Let C4ME-MN's button and bumper sticker help you do both! Each item proclaims:

"Another Catholic Voting No"

To place an order, e-mail Michael Bayly at with your name, address, and the number of buttons and/or bumper stickers you require. We'll either deliver or mail your order to you ASAP!

Because of our non-profit status, our buttons and bumper stickers are not for sale. A donation to help defray production costs, however, would be greatly appreciated. You can make a donation online by clicking here or by sending a check to our fiscal agent:

Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM)
4001 38th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Weekly Prayer Vigil for All Minnesota’s Families

Our presence is a sign of our belief that WE are all the Church,
and our diversity is an expression of the universal and
all-encompassing love of God

Join Us!

Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m.
in the St. Paul Cathedral
(Selby Ave. and Summit Ave., Saint Paul)

Statement from the Organizers

As an expression of support for the inherent dignity of all God’s people and the promotion of the spiritual well-being of every family, we gather each week to pray the rosary at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

As faithful Catholics, we believe that we are created by God and redeemed through the loving presence of Jesus among us and that, having been baptized through the grace of the Holy Spirit, we have been freed from the power of sin and welcomed into the community of God’s holy people.

We aim to follow the example of the all-inclusive and expansive love of Jesus Christ who welcomed all those who followed him.

We believe that all Catholics, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics, have the right, the privilege and the duty to live the sacramental life of the Church. We believe that all people can and should express their sexuality in a loving, life-affirming manner that is in keeping with Christ's teaching.

Marriage, a lifelong and sacred vow of love and commitment, is the cornerstone of a healthy society. Because of the centrality of marriage to the well-being of families and communities, we cannot in good conscience exclude loving and committed couples from the blessings of this institution based solely on their sexual orientation as we believe this will result in deep and lasting harm to the people and communities we love.

Based on these beliefs, we pray:

• In deep concern for the many urgent needs of our community, in hope that our Church’s leaders will choose to direct our collective spiritual and material resources to lift up the weakest among us rather than diverting those resources toward political actions that cause pain and division and which result in further suffering for our GLBT brothers and sisters;

• In support of the sanctity of all our families who reflect the universal and all-encompassing love of God and serve as the fundamental core of our society and as the sanctuary for the creating and nurturing children;

• In steadfast opposition to discrimination against any child of God based on their race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic situation, conditions of birth, or sexual orientation;

• In profound hope that we can reestablish our bonds as a Catholic community committed to seek God, to know God, and to love God with all our strength and to carry out God’s will through the service of others.

Our Commitment:

We commit to meet each Tuesday at the conclusion of the 5:15 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul, the Seat of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and to pray the rosary for these intentions. We expect the prayer session to last approximately 30 minutes.

We invite all people to join us in this respectful prayer of redemption and reconciliation. We request that participants in this vigil refrain from confrontation in word or action, leave politics and paraphernalia at the doors of the Cathedral and assume a prayerful demeanor. Our presence is the sign of our protest.

Our prayer vigil itself speaks to the following principles of non-violence espoused by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

• Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation.

• Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people. Nonviolence recognizes that those who inflict harm are also victims.

• Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body. Nonviolent love is active, not passive. Nonviolent love does not sink to the level of the hater. Love restores community and resists injustice.

• Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice. The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win out.

– Derived from "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence"
in Dr. King's book Stride Toward Freedom (1958).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Resigned Priest Ed Flahavan: I Have Heard the Arguments for the Marriage Amendment and I Find Them Wanting, Prejudicial and Destructive

NOTE: Ed Flahavan of Resigned Priests for Marriage Equality delivered the following remarks at a media conference in Minneapolis on May 17, 2012. The group, representing 80 former priests, has issued a statement opposing the proposed "marriage amendment" to the Minnesota constitution.

Good morning. My name is Ed Flahavan and I live in St. Paul with my wife of seven years.

I was a priest of the Archdiocese for 48 years. For too many of those years I would have to characterize myself as homophobic. The very thought of gay sex, much less state-sanctioned same-sex civil marriage was disgusting and highly abhorrent to me.

But I grew up in a Catholic home that found racial prejudice repugnant and antithetical to the Christian Gospel. And so in the 1960's I naturally became active in the civil rights movement. I was assigned Associate Pastor of St. Peter Claver Church in St. Paul, a predominately African-American parish. Working as a priest there was a wonderful growth experience for me. I got to know personally many people who taught me the importance of breaking down prejudicial barriers of exclusion.

But I must say I was still homophobic.

A number of things changed that:

• I came to know personally very fine African American gay and lesbian people who were comfortable being who they were, and happy in their orientation.

• I became active in the anti-Vietnam War movement, challenging presumed enhanced wisdom in elected leaders.

• I was assigned Executive Director of the Archdiocese's Office of Urban Affairs with a mandate to help the church become an agent of social change, particularly in matters affecting race, poverty and social welfare.

• I was subsequently assigned as pastor to St. Stephen's parish in Minneapolis, then fast becoming a welcoming home to gay and lesbian Catholics who desired nothing more than a Catholic community that would embrace them without judgment or condemnation.

• A wonderful thirty year old gay nephew of mine died of AIDS in the arms of his mother and former Marine Corps father, and I presided at his funeral liturgy.

• I was appointed to the Governor Perpich's Task Force on Gay and Lesbian Minnesotans and travelled the state taking testimony from civic leaders (“there is no problem here”) and closeted people (“I have to stay hidden if I am to continue living in this community”). We heard horror stories that shamed me for my now quickly evaporating homophobia.

• In short, I got to know gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered people, good people, same-sex couples partnered for years raising children of their own or adopted, seeking only public acceptance and the civil rights married couples enjoy.

I was outraged that the Archdiocese spent $650,000 in 2011 to promote this divisive initiative when its own Catholic Charities, CommonBond Communities and inner city schools and parish initiatives are being forced to curtail their good and necessary work.

The net affect of all these experiences has turned me around. I have heard and weighed the arguments for voting to adopt the Marriage Amendment, and I find them wanting. And prejudicial. And destructive of our social fabric.

For the life of me, I cannot see how same-sex marriage is in any way a threat to my happy marriage. I strongly urge a "No" vote on the Marriage Amendment this fall.

Recommended Off-site Links:
80 Former Priests Oppose Marriage AmendmentThe Progressive Catholic Voice (May 17, 2012).
Some Minnesota Priests Split with Catholic Hierarchy Over Marriage Amendment – Sasha Aslanian (Minnesota Public Radio, May 17, 2012).
Conflicted Catholics: Consciences Wrestle with Church Actions on Marriage Amendment – Beth Hawkins (MinnPost, April 18, 2012).
Catholics Engaged in Gay Marriage Battle – Sasha Aslanian (Minnesota Public Radio News, May 14, 2012).
A Catholic Rationale for Opposing the "Marriage Amendment" – Michael Bayly (The Wild Reed, March 2, 2012).
The Minneapolis (and Online) Premiere of Catholics for Marriage Equality – Michael Bayly (The Wild Reed, October 17, 2011).

See also the previous Sensus Fidelium posts:
"This is the Living Word"
Catholics Sing Their Support for Marriage Equality
Archbishop Just One of Many Catholic Voices in Gay Marriage Debate

Image: Ed Flahavan at Catholics for Marriage Equality MN's series of Lenten vigils. (Photo: Michael Bayly)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Save the Date!

Prayer Vigil at the St. Cloud Chancery

Where: 214 3rd Avenue South, St. Cloud

When: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., Sunday, May 20, 2012

Join us as we peacefully gather to pray for awareness and understanding
regarding the Minnesota Marriage Amendment. 

We prayerfully ask that the Catholic Church turn toward an accepting view
of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and that they be treated with
dignity and respect. Our intentions will also include that resources
at the Church’s disposal are redirected from acts of discrimination
to acts of charity and goodwill.

For more information, contact Kelly at:

See also the previous Sensus Fidelium post:
"This is the Living Word"

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Catholics Sing Their Support for LGBT Marriage

Matt Peiken's documentary video project Faith Forward MN recently highlighted Catholics for Marriage Equality MN's April 28 "Sing Out for Marriage Equality" event.

This event involved over 300 Catholics coming together to record David Lohman's song "For the Children." A music video is currently being created from the gathering and will be premiered at a local theater in September. The project is the group's second foray into video-making. A series of "video vignettes" entitled Catholics for Marriage Equality was launched online and on DVD last fall.

Following is Matt Peiken's behind-the-scenes look at the April 28 recording of "For the Children."

See also the previous posts:
"The Holy Spirit Descended Upon Them . . ."
Come Out and Sing Out to Defeat the Marriage Amendment

Related Off-site Link:
"Singing Our Hearts Out" to Defeat the Marriage Amendment – Bev Bailey (The Progressive Catholic Voice, May 4, 2012).