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home : letters : letters May 27, 2016

11/8/2012 10:41:00 AM
Referenced in sermon

To the editor:

Normally, I might consider a sermon deserving of some degree of confidentiality. But when Father Siebenaler referenced me as part of his explicit instruction on how parishioners were to vote, I reasoned a response was appropriate.

He started the sermon by noting how earlier in his ministry, 85% of Catholics attended Mass every week - and how that number had regrettably declined to 35%. But those that remained last Sunday seemed more amiable to the consideration that would follow. If they might question Archbishop Nienstedt's instruction on how to vote, Father Siebenaler reminded them that his god speaks his demands to the Pope, who relays the demands to the Archbishop, who relays the demands to Father Siebenaler, who relays the demands to the pew.

So as Father Siebenaler might appear to instruct parishioners on how to vote, it was really God making the demands. Archbishop Nienstedt had previously provided the heavy stick - writing with similar claimed authority that those "who actively encourage or promote homosexual acts ... formally cooperate in a grave evil, and ... are guilty of mortal sin." In other words, his god has a place reserved for anyone that might vote otherwise.

Elsewhere in the state, Catholics openly challenged the reliability of the Archbishop's connection to God. At least seventeen churches refused to read the Archbishop's support for the amendment. A particular version of signage increasingly appeared: "Another Catholic Voting No."

"I am not going to tell you how to vote" Father Siebenaler began, with his audience attentively anticipating the imminent violation of this declaration. He paused for effect, then pressed on, "Just vote the opposite of the 'NO' sign out on the corner." His cleverness was applauded with hearty laughter. But such cleverness and laughter must have seemed vulnerable to error - which turned out to be partly warranted. God had apparently failed to inform Father that the corner was absent of any signage. Once the laughter subsided, Father Siebenaler unknowingly compensated for his uninspired presumption and concluded the sermon more succinctly - "Vote Yes."

Ken Kressin

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