Talk by Minnesota Secretary of State at Catholic Church postponed, not cancelled
Washington DC, August 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite the much-publicized claims that Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is disinvited from speaking at the Roman Catholic St. Joan of Arc Church, a spokesman for the church says the speaking engagement is only postponed until an unspecified date.
The media had speculated that the supposed cancelation of the event, originally set for August 12, was a result of Ritchie’s rewording of the Minnesota marriage amendment. Ritchie has changed the title of the November ballot from “Recognition of Marriage solely between one man and one women” to “Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.”
This negative wording angered many proponents of the marriage amendment, with state Senator Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, saying the new wording was “definitely considered negative and misleading, and I believe they’re created to sway the voter.”
Dennis Heaney, a spokesperson for St. Joan of Arc Church, told LifeSiteNews on August 1 that there was never a cancelation. Since the speech “became such a media event,” they decided it was better for the community and for Ritchie to reschedule.
Heaney insisted the church discussions about the event and the rescheduling had nothing to do with Ritchie’s role in rephrasing the marriage amendment bill. Heaney did not wish to comment on why the speaking engagement had become such a “media event.”
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Jim Accurso, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, told LifeSiteNews he had “learned from the parish this afternoon” on August 1 that they had merely “postponed” the talk, contrary to what he originally believed. He was unable to answer any questions as to why there had been this misunderstanding.
Advocates of the amendment are worried that new words, such as “limiting,” may cause voters who are against government regulations to be suspicious of the amendment and vote “no.” Also, they worry that the language is less clear and that voters may simply skip the question. Skipped questions will automatically count as a “no” in Minnesota and could tip the scales against the constitutional amendment.
St. Joan of Arc Church is no stranger to controversy. In 2004, the church planned to have Rev. Mel White, an ordained minister of a church founded by gays and lesbians, give the homily. Then-Archbishop Harry Flynn prevented Rev. White’s visit.