The Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the Minnesota Catholic Conference issued a joint statement on September 29 explaining that a newly formed group calling itself “Catholics for Marriage Equality MN” has no recognition from nor affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church.
According to the archdiocese, One of Catholics for Marriage Equality MN’s expressed aims is "to defeat the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment that will appear on the November 2012 ballot, and which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The group misleadingly tries to convince Catholics that they can, in good conscience, support a state redefinition of marriage without undermining marriage itself."
The statement said that the Catholic Church, in keeping with "Catholic teaching, reason and natural law, and in concert with many other faiths, strongly supports maintaining the current, traditional definition of marriage by voting “yes” for the Amendment during the November 2012 election."
“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 Executive Director Jason Adkins 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 continued, saying "It is the responsibility of the bishops in communion with the Pope to uphold the Truth as well as encourage and support all Catholics who are trying to live their baptismal promise of believing and trusting in our one, Catholic and apostolic faith. This is especially true in the area of marriage and sexuality, where the universal moral law and Gospel values are constantly under attack in American law and culture.”
Both MCC and the Archdiocese stressed the importance of respecting the "God-given dignity of all persons, which means the recognition of authentic human rights and responsibilities," while pointing out that official Catholic teaching goes well beyond what Catholics for Marriage Equality MN’s website states.
Adkins reiterated longstanding Catholic Church teaching that “Homosexual persons are to be fully respected in their human dignity and encouraged to follow God’s plan with particular attention in the exercise of chastity.” And, that the “duty calling for respect does not justify the legitimization of behavior that is not consistent with moral law” for those with same-sex inclinations or heterosexuals, married or unmarried.
William Donohue, who leads the Catholic League - a human rights advocacy group, also weighed in. "As everyone knows, the term "marriage equality" is code for homosexual marriage. The Catholic Church, no surprise, is opposed to treating marriage as an alternative lifestyle. It follows, then, that a group which calls itself 'Catholics for Marriage Equality' is a fraud. Another fraud is this group's sister organization, 'Catholics for Equality.' There was still another fraud, 'Catholics United for Equality,' but it has since merged with 'Catholics for Equality.'"
The voluble Donohue added, "No one really believes that two men can marry, and this includes those homosexuals deemed 'married' in states that entertain this fiction. But a separate matter is the right of homosexuals, and their heterosexual supporters, to declare that Catholicism is somehow agnostic on this issue. It is not. There is only one teaching body in the Catholic Church, the Magisterium, and it neither recognizes nor sanctions social arrangements that compete with marriage."