In an op-ed letter to the StarTribune dated Saturday, October 8, 2011, Archbishop Nienstedt explains how and why the Church does not impose its own beliefs upon others in its defense of marriage:
Contrary to the Star Tribune's editorial opinion ("On gay marriage, the state is out of step," Oct. 1), the Catholic Church, along with other Bible-based denominations, does not seek to impose its own beliefs on others as it upholds the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), or when it supports a constitutional amendment on marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
The reality we are defending predates any religion or government.
It finds its logic in the complementarity of the human anatomy, as well as the male/female psyche and in the propagation of the human species.
Marriage unites a man and a woman in a unique bond so that they might form the proper context of a family in which children can grow and flourish. Government is called upon to protect that context for the sake of the common good.God bless the Archbishop for speaking out clearly - we have perilous times ahead, as Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota, told CNA on a visit to Rome October 7:
Yes, the Bible reveals to believers God's plan that a man and a woman become "one flesh" in holy matrimony, and that makes our understanding of what marriage is meant to be more comprehensible.
But human reason without faith can and, in fact, historically has come to the same conclusion based on the intrinsic complementarity of husband and wife.
Moreover, to say that marriage can be one thing for believers and something else for nonbelievers implies that the truth about the human person can be manipulated at will. That line of thinking is basically flawed.
No, there can only be one truth about the human person, and marriage finds its real meaning in that understanding.
THE REV. JOHN C. NIENSTEDTThe writer is archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
“We could see the possibility within the United States where we are no longer free to preach the truth from the pulpit or to present Catholic teaching. It will then become important for us to take a very strong stand, as we have done with human life and the unborn child, to continue to speak the truth and to speak it clearly and with charity.”
Bishop Aquila cited two recent examples where he believes religious liberty is being undermined: the closure of Catholic adoption agencies in states that have legislated for same-sex “marriage” and the new government health mandate requiring private insurers to provide women with coverage for contraception and sterilization. “It’s very, very important for us to realize that we are in a very real clash between the culture of death and a culture of life,” said Bishop Aquila, summing up the former culture as one where “rights are eroded and where lies are being presented as truth.” - CNA