Friday, June 08, 2007

I do not come as a politician

Right, Jack. So says incoming archbishop of the Twin Cities John Nienstedt:

Nienstedt himself expressed dismay at speculation that he'll overhaul the archdiocese. "I do not come as a politician but as a priest, as one who sees his life as being a bridge between God and his people," he said in an e-mail, the only way he agreed to be interviewed for this story.

Boy, you could have fooled Spotty! Here are just a couple of things that the linked Strib article says about Nienstedt's activities:

He led last year's drive to have Catholics pepper legislators with postcards supporting a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

He has written that homosexuality stems from childhood events rather than biology.

He had only been in Minnesota for a few years before he took it upon himself to decide for all of us what was moral and what was not:

Nienstedt's most vocal critic has been the Rev. Michael Tegeder of St. Edward's in Bloomington.

"Ray Lucker [a Minnesota priest who was criticized by Nienstedt for suggesting it was time to ordain women into the priesthood]  was a wonderful man, and for Nienstedt to come in and denounce his writings was horrible," he said. "And for him to come into our state and right away spearhead a campaign to change our Constitution without any opportunity for discussion -- why did he have to be a strong-arm corrector right from the start?"

And there's this:

The Rev. David Smith, a theology professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, said he has heard many expressions of concern at the college. The postcard campaign is one sore point, he said. Another is Nienstedt's beliefs about the origins of homosexuality, "which have no scientific support," he said.

Religious ideologues aren't big on science, especially when science contravenes a Precious Notion. It certainly seems that Nienstedt is Pope Benedict's agent in dragging the state of Minnesota back into the Middle Ages.

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