27 Priests Sign Petition Against Bishop’s Opposition to Homosexual ‘Marriage’

By Gudrun Schultz

ST. PAUL-MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, March 10, 2006 ( – Archbishop Harry Flynn, of the archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, was recently accused of scandal for his opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’. The accusation came from among his own priests.

In a petition sent to the archbishop last month, 27 priests of the archdiocese said they believed his “aggressive and widespread endeavour in favour of the amendment [against gay “marriage”] is a scandal.”

The priests of St. Edward’s parish in Bloomington have been particularly outspoken in their support of gay unions. Rev. Mike Tegeder, head pastor at the church, has a history of liberal activism, also speaking out against the prohibition of married Catholic priests.

Rev. Jim Barry, also of St. Edward’s, has opted to preach a gospel of “inclusion,” referring to support for legislation banning gay unions as an “assault by hatred and prejudice,” reported the Pioneer Press. Rev. Barry used those words to call his parishioners to pray for “those whose dignity is under assault” on a Sunday when priests across Minnesota were encouraging people to support a statewide constitutional ban on gay marriage.

In December, Archbishop Flynn issued a joint directive, with the state’s seven other bishops, to all the priests in his diocese. In it he encouraged them to support the work of Minnesota for Marriage, a pro-family group campaigning to activate religious leaders in support of the ban.

“At a time when family life is under significant stress, the principled defence of marriage is an urgent necessity for the well-being of children and families, and for the common good of society,” the letter said.

Kathy Laird, director of the archdiocese Office for Family, Laity, Youth and Young Adults, said the archbishop is simply defending the Church’s teaching on marriage.
“He’s speaking on basic doctrine of the church since the beginning of time,” Laird said to the Press. “We as Catholics need to speak to this issue…Catholics are called by the church to change the culture.”

LifeSiteNews contacted the diocese to request a copy of the petition and the names of the priests who signed it, but the diocese did not respond by press time.

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