80 former Minnesota Catholic priests sign statement opposing Marriage Amendment
by Don Heinzman — Eighty former Minnesota Catholic priests, many from the Twin Cities Metropolitan area, have signed a statement opposing the Marriage Amendment that will be on the ballot this fall. The statement was released today (Thursday) at a press conference led by former Catholic priests.
The proposed constitutional amendment would restrict marriages in Minnesota to one man and one woman.
The resigned priests’ statement is contrary to the views of the state’s Catholic Bishops, said a spokesperson. The 80 former priests represent 1,000 years of service to the Catholic Church.
A committee of five former priests drafted the statement and collected the signatures.
They emphasized that Catholics have the right and a duty to vote according to their consciences, and that all Americans should be treated fairly and equally.
According to committee members, one reason for issuing the statement is that active priests were strongly discouraged from expressing dissenting opinions openly.
The statement reads:
“As resigned Catholic priests who collectively devoted more than 1,000 years of service to the Church, we strongly oppose the proposed Marriage Amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution. Free to express our opinions openly, we call on all people of good will to exercise their fundamental right to follow their consciences and to resist discrimination against any of God’s children.
“We encourage Minnesotans to base their vote on principles of justice and love. In violation of these principles, the proposed amendment would deprive an individual of his or her right to marry the person he or she loves. Therefore, we resigned priests encourage all Minnesotans to vote “no” on the marriage amendment.”