Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstedt is asking Catholics to recite a “special prayer” condemning the right of gay and lesbian people to marry, the Star Tribune is reporting. The request is just the latest effort in the archdiocese’s campaign to whip up support against the state’s pending constitutional amendement to outlaw marriage equality. The prayer explains that marriage is “a source of blessing and joy,” before asking parishioners to deny this happiness to gay people:
Through the powerful intercession of the Holy Family, grant to this local Church the many graces we need to foster, strengthen, and support faith-filled, holy marriages and holy families. May the vocation of married life, a true calling to share in your own divine and creative life, be recognized by all believers as a source of blessing and joy, and a revelation of your own divine goodness. Grant to us all the gift of courage to proclaim and defend your plan for marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman in a lifelong, exclusive relationship of loving trust, compassion, and generosity, open to the conception of children.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.
In October, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis called on priests to appoint special committees to “spearhead this effort at the local level” so as to prevent a “detriment to the common good of society.” The Catholic Conference is one of three arms of “Minneosta for Marriage,” the coalition advocating for the discriminatory amendment. In a joint statement, the MCC and Archdiocese proclaimed that anyone who does not support the amendment is not in “good standing” with the church, although Catholics largely support marriage equality, even at higher rates than the general public in some polls.
Fortunately, the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, has passed a resolution opposing the proposed constitutional amendment, explaining, “The Episcopal Church in Minnesota has always stood with the marginalized” and “embraced both the Gospel mandate of love of neighbor and the Baptismal Covenant imperative to respect the dignity of every human being.”