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Archbishop: Mom Of Gay Son May Go To Hell If She Doesn’t Embrace Church Anti-Gay Teachings

by David Badash on October 8, 2012

in News,Religion

Post image for Archbishop: Mom Of Gay Son May Go To Hell If She Doesn’t Embrace Church Anti-Gay Teachings


John Nienstedt, the Minnesota Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, told a mother who asked him for acceptance for her gay child, that she might go to hell if she does not embrace the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality.

“Your eternal salvation may well depend upon a conversation of heart on this topic,” Nienstedt told the mother via a letter. “Catholics are bound in conscience to believe in this teaching. Those who do not cannot consider themselves to be Catholic and ought not to participate in the sacramental life of the Church.”

The Star-Tribune profiled the anti-gay marriage debate in Minnesota, one of four states that will have marriage on the ballot in November. Minnesota is the only state seeking to ban same-sex marriage in its constitution, whereas Washington, Maine, and Maryland are seeking to legalize marriage equality.

“Nienstedt is not a new disciple to the traditional marriage campaign,” the Star-Tribune reports:

In 2006, as bishop of the diocese of New Ulm, he mobilized Catholics to send postcards to lawmakers urging them to support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Not long after he was promoted to archbishop in 2008, Nienstedt ordered an end to the gay pride prayer service at St. Joan of Arc Church in Minneapolis. Before the 2010 election, he led a move to send DVDs opposing same-sex marriage to 400,000 Catholics in Minnesota, in which he gave a six-minute introduction.

“It is appalling that Archbishop Nienstedt chose to issue such an un-Christian response to a vulnerable member of his flock who came to him seeking help,” said Truth Wins Out (TWO) Executive Director Wayne Besen, via a statement in response to Archbishop Nienstedt’s letter:

“The archbishop’s letter shows just how deeply held his anti-gay views are.”

In the letter, Nienstedt wrote that Catholics are obligated to believe the Church’s official teachings on homosexuality, and that “those who do not… ought not to participate in the sacramental life of the Church.” He exhorted the recipient to reconsider her inclusive spiritual beliefs, saying that “[her] eternal salvation may well depend on a conversation of heart on this topic.”

“Telling the parent of an LGBT child that she ‘ought not to participate in the sacramental life of the Church’ unless she renounces her pro-equality views – and that her ‘eternal salvation may well depend upon’ her willingness to accept the Catholic Church’s anti-gay teachings – is spiritual bullying of the highest order and utterly reprehensible,” added John Becker, Director of Communications & Development for Truth Wins Out. “What kind of spiritual leader demands that a mother reject her child in order to save her soul?”

Such rejection can have devastating consequences for LGBT youth: according to a 2009 study conducted by San Francisco State University researcher Caitlin Ryan and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, LGBT teens who experienced negative feedback from their families were 8 times more likely to have attempted suicide, 6 times more vulnerable to severe depression, and 3 times more likely to use drugs than teens who did not experience negative feedback.

Earlier this year, a Catholic priest under Nienstedt leadership hosted a mandatory assembly at a Minneapolis high school where seniors were told gay marriage is akin to bestiality, and adopted children are not normal.

Related:

Gay Marriage Ban ‘Not Intended To Be Hurtful’ Says Archbishop Leading Charge

NOM Suggests ‘Redefining Marriage’ Slippery Slope To Jailing Pastors

Watch: Married Catholic Republicans Against Banning Same-Sex Marriage

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{ 16 comments }

Scott_Rose October 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm

When will the Catholic Church acknowledge its complicity in demonizing WWII-era homosexuals and getting them deported to concentration camps?

noturavguy October 8, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Never.

Bose_in_SP_MN October 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm

In one of the first comments at the Truth Wins Out blog post on this, another person reports receiving the same letter after writing Neindstedt to tell him that her 38-year marriage to her husband was not only not in some sort of danger from marriage equality, but had benefited greatly from knowing LGBT friends and family.

So, I wonder if this is boilerplate that is going out to all Catholics who express dissent to him.

Raytheist October 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm

If this "reject the gays or risk eternity in hell" is, in fact, just boilerplate language, that would suggest he didn't even consider her situation on its own merits. How can one be a spiritual "leader" while not treating each person under his care as a individual? You can't rubberstamp leadership.

stemke2010 October 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm

It's hateful, spiteful people like this who made it an easy decision for me to leave the Catholic church a long time ago. IF, and I say again, if there is anything after this life ends, I'm positive the good Archbishop will suffer for his views more than a mother who accepts her gay son.

EdinOcala October 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Of course the archbishop should be quite familiar with hell he will be in a long line of priests waiting to get in. Hell is the Catholic church…….

Siddigfan October 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I am a mother of a wonderful gay son who, with his gay friends have cared for me throughout a five year illness and still are. 'By their fruits shall ye know them' My Christian son and his friends will be at the door of Heaven way in front of this unmerciful, bullying excuse for a priest!

Gabe1956 October 8, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Hell's leadership includes people like the Archbishop who thinks he speaks for God, when in reality he speaks for none other than the devil himself. Who does that ass think he is? I fail to understand why that bastard has to hold all his anti-gay marriage rallies at the state capital rather than across the street in front of his cathedral. Perhaps he does that so that true Christians won't be offended by his pompous ass and evil words.

Gabe1956 October 8, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I am starting a collection for Archbishop Nienstedt so that we can hire a nice prostitute so that he can get laid and all his anti-gay sex obsession out of his system. Like a hooker told me one time " Gabe, there is nothing like a blow job to take a mans mind off his troubles!" Perhaps that would help the virgin Archbishop become a bit more human and realistic. You can send your contributions to me and I will gather them and present them to the poor virgin during his sermon on a nice Sunday morning. In fact, I could bring a whole slew of working girls and boys for him to choose from

oshma1963 October 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Meanwhile, the Episcopal Church in Minnesota voted to oppose the anti-same-sex marriage amendment. The Episcopal Church invites you join us in following Jesus rather than a bureaucracy.

Susan October 9, 2012 at 5:19 am

It really is troublesome that any educated, thinking adult would continue to subscribe to the dogmatic teachings of a religious institution that continues to defy science. The Catholic Church is digging a big hole for itself with its opposition to womanhood as well as the documented, natural lgbt behavior of many people throughout the world with respect to sexuality. I cannot imagine continuing to follow such an anti-gay path, and hope that people who value science and personal rights will remember this when they go to the polls in November. Mitt Romney is nothing but a homophobic, ignorant bigot, and we don't need any more of this or our country will be harmed through intolerance of diversity. Even the former vice president supports gay marriage.

Jack Scott October 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm

The Church created Hell to keep the ignorant in check. We are no longer ignorant. The result is empty pews and a Church losing its grip.

rickyray October 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Mankind will truly have grown up when there is no longer talk of heaven, hell, sin, angels, gods, devils, demons, priests, and especially RELIGION. Until that happens, mankind is doomed to religious wars and fighting within their own denominations. I grew up never quite figuring out why the Catholics and Protestants hated each other and you weren't supposed to play together. Good thing younger kids don't listen much to religious foolishness. Atheist at 10 yrs of age!

barbonine October 11, 2012 at 11:44 am

When a religion tries to impose its model on your behavior, using extortion (won't get into heaven) and threat (goin straight to hell) it's time to sit back and ponder.

Both heaven and hell sound like something primitive people would concoct. Pearly gates! Roads paved in gold! And on the other end, eternal torment in fire.

None of this sounds divine to me. More like some shit some clown made up thousands of years ago around a campfire.

It's perfectly okay to reject these things, you know. Heaven and hell sound like something a kid would make up, and given the state of people back in the Bronze Age, no surprise there.

The surprise is that this con still works in the 21st century!

Pjdr November 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Im a Catholic Christian. I love gay people and I know the Church does as well. I fundamentally disagree with homosexual behavior. But im going to love them where there at but I am going to defend this Bishop. This is what God throughout the centuries has taught and still teaches through His Church and His Word. Something is fundamentally disordered about a homosexual union, it gives no life and intrinsically cannot produce life. God bless this Bishop. Im going to stand by him. Aside from whether he needs more sensitivity in pastoral care is one thing. But he is still Episcapose- overseer.

Siddigfan January 14, 2013 at 12:37 am

Respectfully, I am a straight Catholic, the mother of a gay, transgendered son who was born with both genders' body parts. Autopsies upon gay men have revealed that their brains are wired more like a woman's than like a man's. They are, for all practical purposes, women trapped in men's bodies. Seriously this is science, biology, psychology, that the Church is, to her detriment, and to the detriment of countless gay kids who kill themselves because people in the Church call them 'disordered', make them feel ashamed and dirty and lower class just for being as God made them. The Church has been wrong about science before as with Galileo when the Church insisted that the sun revolved around the earth, and when one Pope condemned trains as the work of the devil. I lovingly ask you to please investigate this more thoroughly and try to keep an open mind. Gay kids are dying everyday and made homeless by families that reject them and throw them out in the street. They often have to resort to prostitution to survive. The Church is doing serious harm by ignoring the science behind homosexuality and gender identity. The Pope has been especially unkind implying that gay people are destroying the Free World as we know it. I beg you to try to learn more. Thank you for listening.

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