Archbishop John Nienstedt leaves the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas
following a funeral Mass for Monsignor Lavin
It's none of my business, but ...
A friend sent me an article from the Minnesota Post by Tim Gihring entitled, Does it matter whether or not Archbishop Nienstedt is gay? My friend is straight but he was thinking the article was too gay to print, so he sent it to me, haha! Yet the article is by a straight man - I think he's married with children as well - so why the author's interest in Nienstedt's sexuality? Actually, my friend probably would have posted on the article, but he later told me he wanted to know what I thought of it. This is what I told him in my reply email, now slightly edited for readers here:
I missed this piece. Sounds like a smear job to me - I can't even imagine Nienstedt doing the things mentioned - buying poppers?! That's nuts. Following a guy to his car?! Crazy. Nienstedt is obviously so straight that type of behavior wouldn't enter his mind - I'm sure of it - unless he watched porn or something - I doubt he would. Of course he could be a Jekyll and Hyde, or get turned on by poppers like Jerry Lewis' character in The Nutty Professor. He just doesn't exhibit signs of that kind of double life.
To some extent, it would matter if he was gay - but I strongly doubt he is. He could suffer from sexual temptations to any type of sexual behavior - it doesn't mean he is that way. Did he ever 'act out'? He says he didn't - so I suspect the stories saying he did are calumny. If they are true, they are detraction and slander - but again - I don't believe they are true.
Maybe I'll post on it - but I doubt that many are interested any longer.
It's horrible how they are destroying his good name.
Personally, I never was that fond of Nienstedt, but I've never been very fond of his predecessors either. I honestly don't believe he did what they've accused him of here. He would have shown other signs of decadence, drinking, some show of outward vanity, entertaining and living the high life, and so on. He's not gay. I doubt he'd even know what to do. - Terry
Obviously, I decided to post on it.
I reread the article and noted Nienstedt supposedly went to a gay bar - possibly frequented it? Alone or with others? it didn't say, and I am not interested. I agree with the Archbishop when he insists these calumnies are brought forward in retaliation for his anti-gay marriage policies. The Archbishop has publicly stated “I am a heterosexual man who has been celibate my entire life.” Though I commented in another post what that could mean, I absolutely believe him.
I hate those hats. See - if he was gay he would at
least wear it backwards and get some decent glasses.
The tip off the stories are false is the poppers. LOL! Are they serious? Look at Nienstedt. He is so not a swinging-Mr. Goodbar, bathhouse-popper type guy. Marcel Maciel had more style than he does. I mention Maciel because yes, some people can fool you, but I've been just a few feet away from Nienstedt and 'no gaydar' went off - in fact I kind of felt a chill - he's so passionless. (I exaggerate - but he's just not a warm guy.)
The article goes on to talk about how heartbreaking it would be for gay Catholics if Nienstedt were gay yet came out so strongly against gay marriage/marriage equality and or approving homosexual behavior. That's a little dramatic. If it were true he experienced same sex attraction, was inclined to homosexual affections, he does exactly what every other Catholic man does - or should do. He strives to enter the narrow gate - as Today's Gospel tells us. He experiences his temptations as the discipline of God, as the Second Reading teaches. He is not going against nature by insisting on Catholic teaching as regards sexuality and marriage - quite the contrary. He is being faithful, he is a faithful son of the Church either way.
"They" want him to be gay to shame him, and to shame the Church. Again, his detractors seem to be analogous to those mentioned into Today's Gospel who are locked out by the Master of the house, standing outside the door protesting "Lord ... we ate and drank in your company, and you taught in our company ..." How come he's okay and we are the bad guys?
How is that, you ask?
The persons doing the condemning and defaming the character of Nienstedt have all been pretty much locked out of any active work in the local Church - and their agendas aren't helping them get their jobs back, as it were.
At the top of that list is Jennifer Haselberger - a woman scorned, I suppose, and one who protests way too much.
Haselberger, who worked closely with Nienstedt in the archdiocese office as an adviser on church law, believes his proclivities help explain why he coddled abusive priests — he may have been attracted to them. And the so-called Delegate for Safe Environment, a priest overseeing child-abuse prevention in the archdiocese, came to the same conclusion about Nienstedt two years ago: being gay “affected his judgment.” - source
That seems to be a rather unfair statement by an officious former employee now turned 'canonical consultant.' Nienstedt screwed up in the way he handled abusive priests, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't because of any gay protectionism, as Haselberger suggests. Perhaps there is a problem of 'clericalism' - but that is not dependent upon sexual preference.
Homosexual activity is considered a sin and I think the error resulted in viewing it as simply that - a forgivable sin one may control through mortification and prayer - without consideration as to how far same sex proclivities can take a person of weak moral character. Individual cases may be more complex than that of course, and it doesn't excuse the mishandling of abuse cases - to be sure - I'm just saying.
I do not believe Nienstedt's sexuality affected his judgement - his pastoral outreach to Wehymeyer during and after his conviction seems to me to show a bishop concerned with his priest - nothing more. The idea there was some sort of lust-love connection is absurd. I've met Wehymeyer, kind of an unlikable fellow, in my estimation. (BTW - I'm just expressing my opinions here - I'm going by the things I've read and hearsay - just like these people are. I'm no authority. I just want to point out that I think these accusations are part of an old fashioned, anti-clericalist smear campaign.)
The other shoe dropped.
Gihring also pulls in Michael Bayly and CPCSM - Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities, a group seeking to promote understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ Catholics, which formed at the time:
A different era...
When gay Catholics in the Twin Cities first came together, in the late 1970s, they asked to meet with then-Archbishop John Roach. They were looking for compassion and understanding, if not acceptance — and to a remarkable degree they got it.
With Roach’s blessing, the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM) — an independent group of local Catholics based in St. Paul — introduced a sort of sensitivity training in parishes and in nine of the 11 local Catholic high schools. It was intended to help priests, teachers, and administrators better serve gays and lesbians, and it lasted for nearly 20 years.
“During the peak of our work,” one of the group’s co-founders told me several years ago, “we became almost mainstream.” In 1989, the archdiocese awarded its Archbishop John Ireland Award to another CPCSM co-founder for his social-justice activism on behalf of gays and lesbians.
The efforts paid off: “If it was okay to bash someone in the past, it isn’t now,” reported the director of Catholic Education and Formation Ministries in 1998. “We’re trying to teach kids what’s right.” When conservative activists objected that same year, the archdiocese defended the Safe Schools initiative.
Michael Bayly, a gay Catholic who until last year headed up the CPCSM, began compiling this history in 2009, shortly after Nienstedt became archbishop. He worried at the time that “there are some who would like to downplay or even deny such a relationship.” - sourceThat was around the same time I was trying to get a Courage chapter established in this Archdiocese - with no takers. The only real program the Archdiocese offered was a more or less pro-homosexual group headed by a deacon and his wife, who also had a gay son. It was very 'liberal' and pretty much ignored every decree made on the subject of homosexuality that was ever issued by the CDF. All that changed when Archbishop Flynn was installed and suddenly, Courage was indeed welcomed.
So what's my point in this discussion?
The so-called corroborated evidence against Nienstedt is used simply to out him and shame him - even though he is safe and sound, far away from this Archdiocese.
The evidence that exists, in the form of corroborated witness accounts, suggests that Nienstedt spent his time in Minnesota, from 2001 to 2015, living a precarious double life: indulging his homosexual tendencies, even as he railed against them. - sourceIt's yellow journalism.
Ironic as hell since these people want to normalize LGBTQ life and integrate it into the Catholic Church. They object to outing others against their will, but they attempt to out people who refuse to be identified by such labels. They seek to shame them - they always have.
Before I ever discussed my past openly, Bayly was one of my readers who insisted I was gay and simply a closet case and frustrated. We've all seen how such tactics work with discrediting people who speak against homosexual politics and gender ideology. It's meant in part to silence or discredit them.
These folks preach against shaming others, but they use shame to disgrace their opponents.
So. Does it matter if Nienstedt is gay? It shouldn't by their standards.
It does matter by Catholic standards however. The Archbishop says he is not gay, and I believe him.
Talk among yourselves.