A Minnesota priest recently revealed that he will vote against the state’s marriage amendment that would ban marriage equality – and he urged his fellow Catholics to do the same. Citing the principle of freedom of conscience found in the writings of the young Pope Benedict XVI, Father Bob Pierson says that Catholics can and should support marriage equality according to their religious convictions. “I believe that it is important that we as Catholics help to insure that the people in our community have the same freedoms: whether it is the freedom to worship or the freedom to marry. My conscience tells me, ‘I have no right to limit someone else’s freedom.’” Recent polling shows that voters in the state are increasing their support for marriage equality. More brave voices like Father Pierson could help solidify this victory for good.
Watch the video below and read on for an excerpt from the Advocate.com story:
Father Bob Pierson, an openly gay priest in Minnesota, told a group of 200 Catholics last month that they can vote against the amendment that would place a same-sex marriage ban in the state constitution this November.
Pierson, who belongs to a monastic community at St. John’s University in Collegeville, gave the advice in a speech on June 10 at an event in Edina, according to MinnPost. The speech has received more than 30,000 views on YouTube, where Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition working to defeat the ballot measure, posted it.
“I believe this amendment violates an important principle in Catholic teaching, and that as Catholics, we can vote no,” Pierson said.
Pierson said his argument was based on the principle of freedom of conscience. He referred to the writings of “a young theologian by the name of Joseph Ratzinger,” now known to the world as Pope Benedict XVI, for support.
“Over the pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority,” wrote the future leader of the Roman Catholic Church in 1967.
A Public Policy Polling survey from June showed support for the measure declining, with 49% of voters opposed compared to 43% in favor. Most of the shift has come from independent voters, who now oppose the ban by 54% to 37%. . . .