Minnesota Catholic leaders say ‘gay marriage’ group is misleading

St. Paul, Minn., Oct 4, 2011 / 12:22 am (CNA).- A self-described Catholic group advocating “marriage equality” in Minnesota is misleading Catholics and others about the nature of marriage and is not recognized by the Church, according to church leaders in the state.

The group Catholics for Marriage Equality MN “seeks to confuse Catholics and the public about authentic Church teaching related to matters of marriage and sexuality,” the Minnesota Catholic Conference and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said on Sept. 29.

Both the conference and the archdiocese made it known that this group “does not speak for the Catholic 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,” the statement said.

The group proposes a false view of the Church that undermines the legitimate authority of the bishops and the Magisterium as the interpreter and teacher of the faith given to the apostles by Jesus Christ.

Catholics in good standing cannot 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.”

Catholics for Marriage Equality MN had launched a series of video vignettes of Catholics supporting “gay marriage” at the Minneapolis Review Theater in response to a proposed state constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The group also cites several Church statements on its website.

“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,” said Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

“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 said that Catholics have a duty to respect everyone, but this duty “does not justify the legitimization of behavior that is not consistent with moral law.”

Both the archdiocese and the conference stressed the importance of showing support and solicitude to those struggling with same-sex attraction and the importance of condemning unjust discrimination against them.