[Full Text] JOINT STATEMENT ABOUT “CATHOLICS FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY MN”

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JOINT STATEMENT OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS AND THE MINNESOTA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE, 9/29/11

A group calling itself “Catholics for Marriage Equality MN” seeks to confuse Catholics and the public about authentic Church teaching related to matters of marriage and sexuality. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC) wish to make it known that this group does not speak for the Catholic Church, is not an agent or entity of the Archdiocese, MCC, or the universal Church, and has no authority to determine what does and does not constitute Christian doctrine and morality. The Archdiocese asks that Catholics avoid associating themselves with this group, and not be deceived by its messages, which are in conflict with the fundamental teachings of the Church.

“Catholics for Marriage Equality MN” attempts to convince Catholics that they can be in good standing with the Church and oppose Church teaching about human sexuality and marriage, which centers on the complementarity of the sexes and the mutual self-gift of loving spouses in marital union. The group also misleads people by proposing a false ecclesiology that undermines the legitimate authority of the bishops and the Magisterium as the authentic guardian, interpreter, and teacher of the faith handed to the apostles by Jesus Christ.

The Archdiocese and MCC also wish to remind Catholics of the importance of showing loving support and solicitude to those struggling with same-sex attraction and condemning every instance of unjust discrimination against them. The Catholic Church desires that all persons enjoy the same basic rights consistent with their human dignity.

From the Catholic Spirit:

Group seeking marriage amendment defeat is not affiliated with Catholic Church

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Minnesota Catholic Conference issued a joint statement Sept. 29 explaining that a newly formed group called “Catholics for Marriage Equality MN” has no recognition from, nor affiliation with, the Catholic Church.

One of the group’s aims is to defeat a state constitutional amendment on the ballot in November 2012 that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

“The group misleadingly tries to convince Catholics that they can, in good conscience, support a state redefinition of marriage without undermining marriage itself,” the MCC, which represents the Minnesota bishops on matters of public policy, said in a Sept. 29 news release. “The Catholic Church, in keeping with Catholic teaching, reason and natural law, and in concert with many other faiths, strongly supports maintaining the current, traditional definition of marriage by voting ‘yes’ for the amendment during the November 2012 election.”

“Anyone can selectively piece together statements taken out of context from church documents or the writings of theologians to construct a religious worldview that suits his or her personal preferences,” Jason Adkins, MCC executive director, stated in the release. “But such a pick-and-choose cafeteria religion is antithetical to Catholicism. One of the most compelling reasons for being Catholic is that we believe in the faith given to the Apostles by Jesus Christ himself and handed on and safeguarded by their successors, the bishops.”

Adkins added: “It is the responsibility of the bishops in communion with the pope to uphold the truth as well as encourage and support all Catholics who are trying to live their baptismal promise of believing and trusting in our one, Catholic and apostolic faith. This is especially true in the area of marriage and sexuality, where the universal moral law and Gospel values are constantly under attack in American law and culture.”

Both the MCC and the archdiocese “stress the importance of respecting the God-given dignity of all persons, which means the recognition of authentic human rights and responsibilities, while pointing out that official Catholic teaching goes well beyond what Catholics for Marriage Equality MN’s website states,” the news release said.

“Homosexual persons are to be fully respected in their human dignity and encouraged to follow God’s plan with particular attention in the exercise of chastity,” Adkins said, reiterating Catholic Church teaching. He added that the “duty calling for respect does not justify the legitimization of behavior that is not consistent with moral law” for those with same-sex inclinations or heterosexuals, married or unmarried.

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