May 03, 2007

Coadjutor Archbishop Nienstedt Responds to Pioneer Press

I just got my May 3, 2007 issue of the Archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Spirit and there is a brief interview by Maria Wiering with Coadjutor Archbishop John Nienstedt in it. I found this particular exchange interesting.

Question: The Pioneer Press article that ran the day after the coadjutor announcement called you “hard line” [“Hard-line Bishop to Succeed Flynn,” April 25, 2007]. How does that initial perception strike you?

Coadjutor Archbishop Nienstedt: It struck me as being very harsh. I don’t see myself as being a hard-line person. I believe what the church believes. And unfortunately, in this day and age where there is such pluralism and individualism in our society, a person who believes in a creed as we do as Catholics, is somehow considered hard-line or a fanatic — a zealot, if you will — because they believe what they believe, they believe what the church believes.

I have worked ecumenically with the Lutheran bishops in New Ulm, and on the national level I’ve worked on religious affairs. I’m on a committee — I have been for about 10 years — with the Jewish rabbis. But, I believe the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church of Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t have given up my life, I wouldn’t have given up a family and a wife, if I didn’t believe that.

And so, that isn’t to say that we don’t find truth in Judaism — we do. Spiritually, we are all Semitists, Pope Pius XII said. It’s not that we don’t find truth in the reformed churches. But I believe that the Catholic Church reflects the body of Christ as he intends it to be reflected.

As I said in the press conference, I’ve given all my affection to the church, and I will do what she asks me to do because I believe that her message and her mission need to be heard.

I hope the readership of The Catholic Spirit will find me as a compassionate person, as an understandable and reasonable man. I don’t think I’m harsh at all, but I do stick to my guns. If confronted by questions, I answer them truthfully. If I’m confronted with people who disagree, I argue our point of view because I think our point of view is right. I would hope that more would be willing to accept it.


Blogger Adoro said...

I wish I could just sit and pick his brain. I want to meet him.

Not likely to happen, so I'll just continue praying for him. :-)

May 03, 2007 9:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My hero!

May 03, 2007 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He sounds wonderful! Can you give him my bishop's phone number....?!

May 03, 2007 11:28 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...


May 04, 2007 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's all about Homosexuality in Minnesota these days.

I acutally happen to have been born in Minneapolis BTW. Left at age 5 and haven't been back, except one time on a layover on g-d forsaken Northwestern Air. I was sure to drink some pig's eye.

It is interesting to contrast this with the musings of a Minnesotan gay activist over at a blog called the Wild Reed.

I do not agree certainly, with everything he writes. I am far more impressed by the strong ethic of folks like Courage International and I do not understand why more liberal gay catholics are so quick to condemn them. It seems like there is Courage on the right, and Dignity (another group) on the left. Dignity refuses to take a strong position against promiscuity.

So what's a liberal-but-striving-towards-obedience bear to do?

Well, I know that if my son were gay, I would want him to strive towards celibacy, or, have a monogamous relationship for life. The trouble is, that the gay community has only the two polarities, celibate and promiscuous. And the catholic community, well that seems to be our only way of dealing with the issue either.

So really, being a bear of very little brain, I am in the midst of making my mind up about this issue. But I tend to feel that a middle way is needed. A group with a strong ethic towards a voluntary commitment away from promiscuity, but perhaps not towards celibacy. I can't fathom that celibacy is right for all gay poeple.

May 04, 2007 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


So we meet again on a different blog!

An easy way to understand the disorder of Same Sex Attraction is to compare it to the disorder of alcoholism.

Drinking copious amounts of alcohol is a compulsion for some, many times due to a genetic predisposition and/or other external factors.

Regardless of how much they WANT and LOVE to drink alcohol, the fact remains that it is not good for them.

Man is not a dumb animal incapable of changing or moderating his behavior. We all encounter demons throughout our lives and we all fight them, sometimes failing.

To willingly succumb to something that is disordered is sinful.

Monogomy aside, anal sex is a dangerous practice. I tried to point that out to you on Michael Bayly's blog but he refuses to accept the obvious facts; they don't 'fit' his agenda, which is complete and total acceptance of his disorder by Christ's one, true Church or, in other words, God Himself.

Not gonna' happen.

May 04, 2007 10:26 AM  
Blogger Sanctus Belle said...

Thank you God for this Holy descendant of Your Apostles! Please send us one this good or better to the Diocese of Winona! (This is not an indictment of our Bishop Harrington, as he's up for retirement and I'm praying, praying, praying for a good replacement!) We need more of the likes of St. Charles Borromeo.

May 04, 2007 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes but the heterosexual male brain suffers one sexual thought per minute. I cannot fathom being told that a massive percent of my being were intrinsicly evil. It doesn't sit right with my conscience. Paul said that we should marry rather than burn with lust or be promiscuos. Surely there must be another way forward.

The ideologic battle lines are drawn in Massachusetts, in Minnesota, in Poland.... all over the world!

May 04, 2007 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A thought popping into your mind is not "intrinsically evil". However, dwelling on such thoughts and entertaining the possibilities is a dangerous occasion of sin, or lust.

The Church does NOT say that homosexuals are disordered, just as She doesn't call alcoholics disordered. We're all sinners and we all have our vices but they are vices nonetheless.

Check out the group NARTH on the Internet. And I would recommend Dr. Jeffrey Satinover's book, "Homosexuality & the Politics of Truth". Very good.

May 04, 2007 12:13 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

WC: Society has made us all about sexuality but we aren't. Not as people not as Catholics. Sure, it's important but I don't define my entire being by my sexuality.

All of us, as Catholics, must express our sexuality appropriate to our situation in life based upon the teaching of the Lord and His Church.

May 04, 2007 4:45 PM  

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