NFL’s Kluwe Slams Archbishop’s Anti-Gay Views
Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has been making headlines recently for his strong support for marriage equality and gay rights. The football player has called out athletes and politicians and has now criticized the archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis for a letter he wrote to a woman pleading for acceptance for her gay child.
Truth Wins Out and Think Progress have circulated a 2010 letter written by Twin Cities Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt on social networking websites. The two-year-old letter is a response to a woman's letter where she asks for acceptance for her gay child. But the bishop says that she might go to Hell if she comes to terms with her child's sexual orientation.
"I write to inform you that the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, as described in paragraphs 2357 and 2358 and 2359 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is rooted in Scripture and based on the Natural Moral Law," Nienstedt wrote. "It, therefore, shares in God's revelation to us. Catholics are bound in conscience to believe this teaching. Those who do not cannot consider themselves to be Catholic and ought not to participate in the sacramental life of the Church.
"Indeed, some might find this is a hard saying but many of Jesus' teachings were likewise received as such," he continued. "I urge you to reconsider the position that you expressed in your letter. Your eternal salvation may well depend upon a conversation of heart on this topic."
Nienstedt's letter sparked Kluew to respond in an op-ed piece in the Minneapolis-St.Paul Pioneer Press.
"It fills me with great sadness and regret that a steward of the Catholic Church on this Earth feels the need to take a stance of oppression, intolerance, and fear," Kluwe wrote.
"Millions of children grow up raised in the Catholic faith. Some of these children will be gay, through no choice of their own, but because of how God created them," he continued. "What does it say to those children when the head of their religion in this state, a man who claims to 'explain and defend the teaching of the Church because I have been ordained to do so and I believe those teachings with all my heart,' a man acting under the direct auspices of the Pope himself, tells them that they can't be as worthy as everyone else, even though they believe in the teachings of Jesus?
"What will these children think, as they suffer the barbed insults of their classmates and teachers; I ask you, sir, what will these children think as they are belittled and tormented due to teachings you espouse? What judgment will be passed on your soul when yet another poor child reaches for the knife or the noose to end his or her earthly torment due to your example?"
Kluwe, who also calls out Pope Benedict XVI, asks why the Catholic leaders don't practice empathy and uses the Bible's teachings to make his point for equality.
"If you strike me, I shall turn the other cheek. If you ask me to walk with you for a mile, I will do so," the athlete writes. "If you ask me to respect your faith, your beliefs, then all I ask is that you do the same for everyone else. For is that not the most pertinent of Jesus' teachings, and one that everyone, no matter their religion, can strive to achieve?"
Nienstedt's letter may have been from two years ago, but it seems as though the bishop still hasn't changed his anti-gay marriage views. Last week EDGE reported that Nienstedt sent a letter asking Roman Catholic followers to support a legislation that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
When the letter was read, many parishioners were so upset that they walked out during church services.