June 05, 2007

StarTribune Front Page Story on Coadjutor Archbishop Nienstedt

A blog reader alerted me to the fact that there is a story in today's StarTribune (code name: Red Star) on our new Coadjutor Archbishop, John Nienstedt. I'm glad he informed me, because I quit subscribing to that biased rag seven years ago: well before my reversion. Even then, I couldn't stomach my daily city newspaper being so obviously biased: whether it be left OR right. Just present the news and the facts and keep the editorial page balanced, please. They don't bother at the StarTribune. They are leftist, progressive, Democrats and proud of it and they think you should be too. The story is online. You may have to register to view it (registration is free: the intellectual damage lasts a lifetime)

There isn't much new ground covered in this story by Pamela Miller: other than the still amazing, to some, "revelation" that Archbishop Nienstedt thinks it's a good thing to be a priest and instruct the faithful. There is an email interview with His Excellency here that does NOT appear in the print edition. His Excellency would not consent to a verbal interview-smart man.

There is a sidebar with some of His Excellency's writings and public speeches, that the newspaper thinks we should fear, included. You can read most of them on the New Ulm Diocese website or it's newspaper The Prairie Catholic.

The interesting part of this story are the comments from some of the priests and deacons of the Archdiocese and the Diocese of New Ulm.

There are three that I thought particularly interesting for various reasons.

Fr. "Tom" Ubel of St. Agnes in St. Paul was both quoted and DISSED at the same time. Fr. Ubel's first name is JOHN, not, Tom. I realize that the name, John, is really difficult because it's so uncommon, but, this is either: a fine illustration of poor fact-checking, poor proofreading, or a deliberate mistake. You be the judge. The online version has corrected Father's name, the print is wrong.

Deacon Bob Wagner of St. Stephens in Minneapolis. It's time I came clean. My post entitled Inner City Blues (Make We Wanna Holler) Part I was "inspired", in part, by this parish. Deacon Wagner calls St. Stephen's "a last chance gas station of faith for Catholics leaving or reentering the church"

Friends, with the price of gas these days, can we really afford (in more ways than one) to keep filling-up these CINO parishes with fuel?

But, Gentle Reader, I saved the "best" for last. It's our old friend Father Michael (whose first name really is Michael!) Tegeder of St. Edward's in Bloomington. Comments in parentheses are mine because I just can't help myself!

"Ray Lucker (hmmmm shouldn't that be "Bishop" Lucker. Oh, what do the titles matter? Authority is medieval) was a wonderful man, (I have to say the late Bishop was a kind man-but wrong about Catholic teaching on many levels. I, actually, met him several times) and for Nienstedt (hmmmm shouldn't that be preceeded by His Excellency or Archbishop?) to come in and denounce his writings was horrible." (yes, it was horrible that it HAD to be done)

(But, wait, it gets SO much better...)

"And for him to come into our state and right away spearhead a campaign to change our Constitution (I THINK Fr. Tegeder is talking about the campaign by several Bishops and Priests, of this state, to stop the effort a few years ago to amend our state constitution to allow for gay marriage. Actually, ALL of the Bishops in Minnesota helped with that effort but Fr. Tegeder is singling Bishop Niensted out. Unless he's ranting about something else that I'm not aware of. In any case, what the h--- else is the Ordinary supposed to be doing? Father would probably rather see the Archbishop in drag during Pride Week then bothering to do all he can to stop an abomination that is contrary to Christian Faith) without any opportunity for discussion (Father, this is not a Protestant denomination and you aren't a Cardinal or a Bishop. You don't get to vote on much of anything but in the election booth the 2nd Tuesday in November and, perhaps, whether to have pizza or brats at the Serra Club Retreat)--why did he have to be a strong arm corrector right from the start?" (perhaps, because it was necessary. but, what is "strong arm" to one is "faithful" to another)


Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Good catch - great commentary.

June 05, 2007 1:02 PM  
Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

what is "strong arm" to one is "faithful" to another

Oh, yeah!

June 05, 2007 1:51 PM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

Thanks for the heads up. Wasn't there a bunch of rhetoric against Cardinal Ratzinger before and after he became Pope? Geez, a guy can't even move into a new neighborhood these days without everyone talking unkindly about him over their backyard fences. He hasn't even done anything...yet. His critics need to have something new to bash him with other than his criticisms of Bishop Lucker and, heaven forbid, being an ABNINO (Archbishop not in name only).

June 05, 2007 2:20 PM  
Anonymous L said...

Okay, when it comes to Coadjutor Nienstedt, where's the "Minnesota Nice", people? (I've only lived here a short time, but isn't that what this state is so proud of?)

June 05, 2007 3:09 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Minnesota nice is two faced. It's nice to your face...but don't turn your back.

There are some people who live up to the "nice" reputation and are truly nice, but those people aren't liminted to MN, and as a resident here I suspect we actually have a lower percentage of "nice" per capita.

Of course, when it comes to faithful Church leaders, well, all bets are off.

June 05, 2007 3:46 PM  
Blogger Our Word said...


Great comments. I just want to point out one thing with regard to Fr. Tegeder. I know him very slightly, having met him a couple of times, and know him better through others at St. Ed’s whom I know quite well.

I have no quarrel with your assessment of Fr. Tegeder’s comments – indeed, I think they are quite accurate. His comments strike me as being something between simply wrong and reprehensible, and they prove to be quite trying for one attempting to maintain an attitude of charity.

However, through these close acquaintences, I have seen the aspects of Fr. Tegeder that are overshadowed by his intemperate remarks. In truth, there are many people who have been impacted by Fr. Tegeder in spiritual (but non-theological) ways. These are people who have been shepherded through uncertainty, illness, conversion and family loss, in a way that has made a profound impact on them. It is quite clear that he is a man who cares deeply about his flock.

On the other hand, we should consider that the priesthood carries an immense responsibility -that of properly educating the faithful. Any priest who does care in such a pastoral way for his parish (or, frankly, even those who don't) is obligated to share with them the teachings of the Church, to see to it that his flock receives the unvarnished truth. You cannot mislead them or give them less than that truth. One who bases an opinion on Fr. Tegeder's comments, particularly in comparison to those of more orthodox Catholics, one might have difficulty discerning exactly what the Church does teach. And causing that kind of confusion and uncertainty is scandalous.

However, while it's quite true that you don’t have to be a priest (or a Catholic, for that matter) to display and share the admirable qualities I mentioned, nonetheless, we neither should overlook these qualities nor should we take them for granted in a priest.

So while I want to make it clear that I am not supposing to defend Fr. Tegeder, I do want to offer an additional perspective, in hopes that readers who may not be familiar with the area will not think Fr. Tegeder to be nothing more than a total misfit. While we must strive to correct those who are mistaken, we should not turn a blind eye to their - hopefully – redeeming qualities.


June 05, 2007 4:00 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


I respect your opinion and I am sure it is accurate with respect to the priest assigned to St Edward's in Bloomington.

But the problem with the dissident Church is that it is so full of marriage counselors, poverty technicians, pacifists, social workers, psychologist, sociologists, environmentalists and other professions that there is no room left for pastors, theologians and catechists to instruct in the faith, lead worship and administer the Sacraments so that the parishioners can make it to Heaven.

There is no room in their agenda for "Heaven." It is just a presumption.

June 05, 2007 5:16 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Mitchell: I hear what you are saying and, of course, we must be charitable towards Fr. Tegeder as we must be towards any Catholic who is in error.

I have trouble, and I'll admit it, with priests like Fr. Tegeder. I've known priests like him all of my life. Yes, they have redeeming qualities and, yes, they can do great things and perform enormous works of charity-none of which should be undervalued.

However, thanks to their theology which, frequently, had little to no bearing on Catholicism I was kept in ignorance for most of my life.

In my post, I said that I found Bishop Lucker to be a kind man-and he was. However, I did not mention where I met Bishop Lucker. I met His Excellency at events where women's ordination was praised. His Excellency was singled out at said events for being enlightened and great because he was there.

The appearance of authority's approval can go a LONG way towards convincing those in error that they are right-even though they aren't. I, thought, if a Bishop is showing up at these events and praising them it must be acceptable Catholicism.

Should it be less so for a priest?

I know what you are getting at, but I have, perhaps, too much emotional baggage from my old dissident days to take it in the full spirit in which you intended it.

June 05, 2007 6:39 PM  

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