Friday, July 13, 2012

Save the Date!

Catholics and friends celebrate
faith, family and marriage

WHEN: Wednesday, August 15, 2012
(7:00-8:30 p.m.)

Catholics for Marriage Equality-MN invites all Catholics and friends to join in a celebration of faith, families and the freedom to marry.

Join us for a musical, soulful event and demonstrate your belief that love is love – it belongs to everybody.

Help reassure Catholics they can be faithful and in opposition to the proposed amendment.

Come to pray together, sing together, and through fun, improvisational comedy, learn how to listen to and talk with family and friends about this issue.

The evening will also feature the special premiere
of the music video, “For All the Children,”
written by David Lohman and sung April 28 by
more than 300 people who lifted their voices
in love to inspire all people of faith to vote NO!

To RSVP, click here.

Parking is available on the west side of the Basilica in the parking lot under the freeway ($2.00) and in the MCTC ramp east of the church ($5.00), or street parking surrounding Loring Park. There is also parking on N. 17th St. just west of the Basilica.

Rain Venue will be at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral at the southwest corner of Loring Park (across from the Walker Museum).

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Catholics in St. Joseph, MN Share Thoughts on Marriage Equality

Faithforward MN is a video project by local filmmaker Matt Peiken. Recently, Matt traveled to St. Joseph, Minnesota where he interviewed a number of Catholics about their thoughts on marriage equality. Following is Matt's introduction to this series and two of the three videos he made in St. Joseph.

Catholicism is branded onto St. Joseph, MN — right down to the silhouette of the Church of St. Joseph on the town’s water tower. The annual Parish Festival in St. Joseph, on July 4, is a billboard for church causes, with a parade featuring, among other groups, a “pro-life kids’ club.” But Faith Forward Minnesota didn’t have to search long to meet Catholics supportive of marriage equality . . .

See also the previous Sensus Fidelium posts:
C4ME-MN Spreads a 'Vote No' Message at Twin Cities Pride
Why Catholics Can Vote 'No'
Hundreds of Catholics Gather to Speak Out Against Marriage Amendment as a Matter of Conscience
Archbishop Just One of Many Catholic Voices in Gay Marriage Debate
"This is the Living Word"

Recommended Off-site Links:
Conflicted Catholics: Consciences Wrestle with Church Actions on Marriage Amendment – Beth Hawkins (MinnPost, April 18, 2012).
A Catholic Case for Same-Sex Marriage – Jeannine Gramick and Francis DeBernardo (The Washington Post, February 14, 2012).
Catholic Family with Lesbian Sister Weighs Marriage Amendment – Sasha Aslanian (Minnesota Public Radio, December 23, 2011).
Can 'True Catholics' Support Same-Sex Marriage? – Chris Welch (CNN, June 20, 2012).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

C4ME-MN Spreads the 'Vote No' Message at Twin Cities Pride

The annual Twin Cities Pride Festival was held in Minneapolis' Loring Park on the weekend of June 23-24. It's one of the biggest Gay Pride events in the country, with hundreds of thousands of attendees and 500+ exhibitors. Catholics for Marriage Equality MN shared a double booth with Dignity Twin Cities, and those who helped staff the booths of both organizations received words of affirmation, encouragement and gratitude from countless festival attendees. Without doubt, people appreciate a Catholic presence at Pride.

Our key message this year was that one can indeed be Catholic and vote 'no' on November 6's proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban civil marriage rights to same-sex couples by limiting these rights to opposite-sex couples.

Following are the three main reasons why Catholics can vote ‘no’ on the ‘marriage amendment.’

1. The Primacy of Conscience

Our Catholic tradition teaches us that conscience is the highest norm, and that we are to follow our conscience, even in opposition to official church authority. In good conscience, many Catholics have pledged to vote ‘no’ on the ‘marriage amendment.’ They have done so because they have yet to hear a convincing reason why such an amendment to our state constitution is needed.

2. The Golden Rule

We would not want another religion using the constitution to impose its views on everyone. Yet for many, that’s exactly what the bishops are doing. Our church teaches, however, that “equality of citizens before the law” should never be violated for religious reasons. As Catholics we want to live by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

3. “Be Not Afraid”

In their support of the ‘marriage amendment,’ the bishops have provoked false fears. They warn, for instance, that if civil marriage rights are extended to same-sex couples, churches will be sued if they refuse to perform sacramental marriage for a gay couple. This is untrue. Even if the ‘marriage amendment’ is defeated in November, same-sex civil marriage would still be illegal in Minnesota. And if civil marriage rights were one day extended to same-sex couples, our nation’s separation of church and state would guarantee that churches would always have the freedom to choose who they marry.

Above: Steve and Cathie Wilson did a great job in overseeing the smooth running of the C4ME-MN booth throughout the duration of Pride. Plus they created the beautiful display they're pictured standing next to.

Above: As well as encouraging Catholics to vote 'no' on the freedom limiting 'marriage amendment,' we also gathered signatures for our 'Catholic Statement of Support for Marriage Equality.' We displayed a map of Minnesota divided into the state's dioceses, and listed those Catholics from across the state who have already signed the statement. We gathered close to 1,000 new signees at this year's Pride festival. To sign the statement online, click here.

Above: We also offered folks C4ME-MN buttons and bumper stickers with the message, "Another Catholic Voting No."

For more information about obtaining one of these buttons or bumper stickers, click here.

Above and below: Throughout the two days of Pride we had a fantastic team of volunteers. They tirelessly greeted visitors, answered questions about the 'marriage amendment,' and collected signatures for the 'Catholic Statement of Support for Marriage Equality.' Thank you to all our volunteers!

Above: C4ME-MN volunteers Cathie and Steve Wilson and Kelly Doss.

Above: Sean Simonson and his parents. Sean is the former Benilde-St. Margaret student whose 2010 article in his school's newspaper about being gay in a Catholic high school was censored. To read more about this incident, click here.

Above: Lisa and Brent Vanderlinden, who feature in C4ME-MN produced DVD Catholics for Marriage Equality.

Above: C4ME-MN executive coordinator Michael Bayly with Darlene and Tom White, who also feature in Catholics for Marriage Equality

Above: Preparing to march in Sunday's parade.

Above: C4ME-MN board members Jim Smith and Kathleen Olsen.

Above: The good folks of Dignity Twin Cities.

Above: C4ME-MN co-founder and former board member Paul Fleege.

Above and below: The rapturous reception we received from the thousands who lined Minneapolis' Hennepin Ave. was tremendously affirming.

Thank you again to all who helped make
Catholics for Marriage Equality MN's presence
at this year's Pride the energizing, inspiring
and successful event that it was!

Images: Michael Bayly.