Monday, November 26, 2012

Quote of the Day

. . .  [With regard to the 'marriage amendment'] Minnesota’s Catholic community was divided by robust lay dissent from the official position of the Archdiocese. Catholic leaders, starting with Archbishop Nienstadt, led an energetic (some said heavy handed) effort to approve the amendment. They invested large sums of money. They instructed priests and parochial school teachers about how they in turn should instruct parishioners and students. Several faculty of the Catholic University of St. Thomas published opinion pieces asserting Catholic natural law theology in defense of “traditional marriage.” The archbishop forbade priests from expressing dissent over this basic position.

But many lay Catholics opposed the amendment. Catholics for Marriage Equality MN (C4ME-MN) coordinated efforts to articulate and publish Catholic reasons to support marriage equality. Yard signs boasting “Another Catholic Voting No” were a common sight. Though no exit polls that I know of measured Catholic voting patterns on the amendment, national polls suggest that up to 70 percent of Catholic laity support marriage equality. So the story of the Catholic community in Minnesota’s marriage conversation was not that “the Church” supported the amendment. The story was that official Catholicism supported the amendment, while large numbers of lay Catholics (and some dissident priests) did not. Faith-based concern for justice led many to oppose what they saw as the injustice of the amendment. . . .

– David Booth
November 26, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thank You!


On behalf of the Catholics for Marriage Equality MN board of directors, I extend heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all who contributed to the defeat of the ‘marriage amendment.’

If passed, this amendment would have been a major obstacle to the movement toward marriage equality in our state. With its defeat, we can now continue in the work of (i) ensuring civil marriage rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation, and (ii) educating our fellow Catholics on how such work is supported by the very best elements of our faith tradition.

Let us celebrate this historic victory for justice, compassion and the common good. Let us also pray for those troubled and confused by the defeat of the amendment. May our continued conversations cultivate respect and understanding. Let us pray, too, for healing, as this issue has caused great hurt and divisiveness within families, parishes and communities.

Finally, let us pray for Archbishop Nienstedt and the bishops of Minnesota; that the rejection of the amendment they actively and controversially supported may give them pause to reassess their priorities and refocus their energies and our church’s financial resources on activities that reflect the core tenets of our faith as embodied by Jesus.


Michael Bayly
Executive Coordinator, Catholics for Marriage Equality MN

Monday, November 5, 2012

In St. Cloud, A Prayer Vigil for Peace, Justice, Hope and Healing

On Sunday, November 4, 2012, close to 30 people participated in a prayer vigil outside the chancery of Minnesota's St. Cloud Diocese. Organized by area Catholics, the vigil was billed as a "loving, peaceful and respectful" gathering.

The purpose of the vigil was to pray for peace, justice, hope, and healing around the divisive 'marriage amendment.' The Prayer of St. Francis, which was prayed out loud a number of times, reflected well the purpose of the event and the intent of those who gathered.

C4ME-MN executive coordinator Michael Bayly traveled from the Twin Cities to attend the vigil. On his blog The Wild Reed he wrote:
It felt good to be part of this gathering, and I was heartened by its loving and hopeful energy. Kelly Doss (left) did a beautiful job organizing the vigil, along with a number of previous events in St. Cloud, all of which focused on why as Catholics we can oppose the 'marriage amendment.'

Related Links:
Minnesota Marriage Fight Cuts Deep for Catholics – Patrick Condon (Associated Press via the San Francisco Chronicle, November 3, 2012).
"This is the Living Word"Sensus Fidelium (March 28, 2012).
Voting No and No: A Catholic Perspective – Jamie L. Manson (Sensus Fidelium, October 25, 2012).
Why Catholics Can Vote 'No' – Fr. Bob Pierson, OSB (Sensus Fidelium, June 11, 2012).
Polls Show Gay Marriage Leading in Minnesota, Maine – Tom Kludt (TPM, November 4, 2012).
The Amendment is About More Than Marriage; It’s About Putting Gays Back in the Closet – Andy Birkey (, November 5, 2012).

Images: Michael J. Bayly.