Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No Gay Pride Prayer Service for Minneapolis St. Joan of Arc

Well done, Archbishop John Nienstedt!

I was very encouraged to read that Archbishop Nienstedt told the parish of St. Joan of Arc ("We Welcome You Wherever You Are In Your Journey") that they were to cancel the prayer service for the GLBT group. (Gays, Lesbians, Bi-Sexual, Transgendered) Of course, the GLBT folks and their supporters were outraged. (Emphasis and notes mine)

A Roman Catholic Church decision to prohibit a Minneapolis gay pride prayer service has many in the gay community up in arms, leading activists to call the action a troubling and telling sign from the Twin Cities' new archbishop.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis recently told staff members at St. Joan of Arc Church they could not hold their annual gay pride prayer service planned for Wednesday — an event held for several years in conjunction with the annual Twin Cities Pride Celebration, parishioners said.

Instead, the archdiocese suggested a "peace" service with no mention of rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

"That descriptor (LGBT) was not possible on church property. We suggested they shift it, change the nature of it a little bit, and they did," said archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath.

"The reason is quite simply because it was a LGBT pride prayer service, and that is really inimical to the teachings of the Catholic Church." ("inimical" - now there's a word that would likely befuddle "Joe and Mary Catholic" as some U.S. Bishops would call them. You know, there's this wonderful book. It's called a dictionary. Most people know how to use it.) Here it is:

Main Entry: in·im·i·cal Listen to the pronunciation of inimical
Pronunciation: \i-ˈni-mi-kəl\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin inimicalis, from Latin inimicus enemy — more at enemy
Date: 1573
1: being adverse often by reason of hostility or malevolence inimical to democracy>2 a: having the disposition of an enemy : hostile <inimical factions> b: reflecting or indicating hostility : unfriendly inimical glare>

From a little digging, I can see that His Excellency is not a stranger to putting things in the right perspective when it comes to dealing with homosexuality within the Catholic church. I liked what he said in this article (emphasis mine). I also want to include his comments about groups such as "Courage":

The second to last point of that document was our collective resolve that Catholic churches, colleges and other institutions should not give "awards, honors or platforms" to persons who, whether Catholic or not, held public positions contrary to the church's defined teaching. To do so would cause scandal, leading Catholics to be confused about what is right and wrong according to the teachings of the church, prompting them to endorse or even to commit immoral behavior.

This is why it was not appropriate for Carol Curoe and her father to speak at the Church of St. Francis Cabrini in Minneapolis.

Those who actively encourage or promote homosexual acts or such activity within a homosexual lifestyle formally cooperate in a grave evil and, if they do so knowingly and willingly, are guilty of mortal sin. They have broken communion with the church and are prohibited from receiving holy Communion until they have had a conversion of heart, expressed sorrow for their action and received sacramental absolution from a priest.

Finally, while we can always do more to support persons with same-sex attractions to live chastely within the community of the church, there is much that is already being done but receives little attention.

Here in the archdiocese, we have, for 10 years now, had present the support groups, Faith in Action Courage and Encourage.

The former invites persons struggling with same-sex attractions into a regular support group of faith-filled individuals who are striving to live chastely according to the teachings of Jesus, by confronting their attractions, building healthy relationships and growing spiritually through the sacraments of penance and holy Eucharist. Much like the support groups of Alcoholics Anon­ymous, Courage seeks to foster a spirit of fellowship to ensure that a person knows he/she does not face personal difficulties alone.

Encourage is a similar support group for parents, family members and friends of those with same-sex attractions who want to grow spiritually themselves and to help their loved ones live chastely.

I had the privilege of initiating both chapters in the Archdiocese of Detroit 11 years ago. I have met many impressive and, I would say, heroic individuals through that movement.

Four Points on the Church's Teaching on Homosexuality

I am filled with hope as I see there are still some wonderful men within the priesthood who are courageously taking a very strong stand against sin and promoting obedience to the church on this issue. God bless Archbishop Nienstedt. He certainly needs our prayers as does St. Joan of Arc.


X said...


Ben D. Kennedy said...

I was absolutely outraged when I learned how this St. Joan of Arc church was dishonoring her name. I sent a letter to the church which you can read online here:

Please share it with others and encourage them to complain to Catholic authories about this church.

God Bless,


Mary Rose said...

Ben, wow...strong words in your letter but I totally understand and agree with you. St. Joan is one of my favorite saints. You're absolutely right. She did not tolerate anything that was immoral within her ranks.

In fact, a book I have about her life said that a fellow soldier was tempted to rape her, but when he saw how pious she was, he immediately repented before God. She had Mass said each day in the camp and everyone was expected to attend.

Hopefully someone in authority read that letter.