Saturday, December 22, 2007

Abp. Nienstedt: Parents are to Love Their Children; Not Required to Accept Their Behavior!

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[Printed Letter to the Editor, StarTribune, December 22, 2007. Not found in electronic edition]

In her Dec. 19 commentary, "What's this new sin called complicity?" Ann Marie DeGroot presents an argument against the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexual activity that is representative of many such proposals I have recently received -- with one exception: She does claim that this archbishop is "good!"

The caricature that she makes of my argument is that "parents of an actively homosexual child cannot invite that person home for Christmas dinner" without committing a sin. I never said or implied that and I never would.

After being born, raised and educated in a Catholic home and Catholic schools, my brother decided to join an evangelical church. My parents were heartbroken but continued to keep in touch with him. He knew that my parents never accepted his action, but he also knew they would not reject his person.

The same is even more true for any child involved in an immoral activity. You don't have to sanction the behavior in order to eat Christmas dinner with that son or daughter. At the same time, you do not have to condone that activity. You urge the offspring to reconsider his/her activity and you pray for his/her conversion. In other words, you let it be known you do not approve. Parents, family members, friends are called to radical honesty and moral integrity. There is nothing "new" about that.

The Rev. John C. Nienstedt, St Paul
Coadjutor Archbishop of St Paul and Minneapolis
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