From left are retired Catholic priests Fr. John Brandes, Fr. Timothy Power and Fr. Thomas Garvery near the Lake Harriet bandshell in Minneapolis.

Archived Story

Former priests speak out against marriage amendment

Published 9:48am Friday, May 18, 2012

By Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio News

As Minnesota voters prepare to go to the polls this fall, the Catholic Church has mounted a major effort to convince them to approve a constitutional amendment that would only allow marriage between men and women.

But Catholics are not united behind the church’s official position, a point made clear Thursday, when a group representing 80 former Catholic priests spoke out against the marriage amendment. They said the amendment violates Christian principles of love and justice.

Also coming forward to oppose the amendment were John Brandes, Tom Garvey and Tim Power, three retired priests who are still part of the church. They also came forward to oppose the amendment, putting them on a collision course with John C. Nienstedt, the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, who last year informed all priests that they could not publicly dissent.

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  • peaceforall

    A volatile issue on which Christians, even Catholics disagree. Glad to see these priests standing with the courage to follow the Jesus they know instead of the egos of their superiors.

    In the end, we will all agree – that we have to look forward to!

  • Scott Bute

    Faithful Catholics have a term for priests like these. They are dissenters and they do not speak for the Church nor for the majority of faithful priests who follow Jesus Christ and the teachings of his Church. We are called to pray for them. David, it is not about the “egos of their superiors” as you say. It is about being faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to the definition of marriage, authored by God all the way back to Genesis 2:21-24.