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DVD Campaign Urges Traditional Marriage Be Protected
Source: Catholic News Service
Published: Sunday, October 3, 2010
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS)—Minnesota's Catholic bishops have sent a letter and DVD to Catholics in the state about the church's response to measures recently introduced in the state Legislature that would change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

"As the chief pastor of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, I am writing to let you know of an important development that, if successful, will profoundly impact families throughout Minnesota," Archbishop John C. Nienstedt said. "That is, the organized effort to redefine marriage in our state."

During the 2010 legislative session, five bills to redefine marriage were introduced.

"Defining marriage as simply a union of consenting parties will change the core meaning of marriage in the public square for every Minnesotan," the archbishop said.

If same-sex marriage were legalized in Minnesota, the law would require public schools to teach children that same-sex marriage and traditional marriage are the same, the archbishop wrote.

In the video, Archbishop Nienstedt calls for an opportunity for citizens to vote on a state constitutional amendment to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.

"At best, so called same-sex marriage is an untested social experiment," he said. "And at worst, it poses a dangerous risk with potentially far-reaching consequences. An exercise of caution should be in order."

The cost of producing the DVD, titled "One Man, One Woman—Marriage and the Common Good," was covered by an anonymous donor.

In a column in the September issue of his diocesan newspaper, The Courier, Bishop John M. Quinn of Winona urged Catholics to talk to their legislators and urge them to oppose any effort to redefine marriage.

"Any other kind of relationship simply is not a marriage," he said. "This is our time to stand up and defend marriage as a unique institution that, from the beginning of human history and in every culture, is the union of one man and one woman for the propagation of the human family and the upbringing of children."

Thirty-one states have adopted constitutional amendments defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman, Chris Leifeld, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, pointed out.

"The Minnesota Catholic bishops agree that Minnesota should follow this lead and let the people of Minnesota decide this issue, not our judges or legislators," Leifeld said.

In a related development, the Star Tribune daily newspaper reported that the rector of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis suspended a woman from her part-time job there because she said she planned to collect the DVDs sent to Catholics and turn them into a protest sculpture.

Artist Lucinda Naylor told the Star Tribune she had to stand up for what she believes and while she was disappointed about her suspension, she was not surprised. Naylor, who has been an artist in residence at the basilica for 15 years, disagrees with the church teaching against same-sex marriage.

Archdiocesan spokesman Dennis McGrath told the newspaper that the rector, Father John Bauer, made the decision to suspend Naylor, but said the archdiocese supported it.

McGrath called the priest's action "pretty logical" when someone who works for the church lobbies against church teaching. He said he doesn't know of any organization that would keep someone who opposes "the main thrust of what you're doing."

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