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The Deacon's Bench

Hundreds of thousands of Catholics found a DVD from their archbishop in the mail last week — and the reaction has been decidedly mixed:

When the archbishop’s controversial DVD arrived in the mail last week, Renee Miller’s first instinct was to hide it from her non-Catholic husband.

“When I opened the letter and saw what the DVD was about — the archbishop talking about how marriage should be between one man and one woman — I thought it would mean we’d have to have the same old discussion about the church inserting itself in politics,” Miller said.

“There are so many wonderful things the Catholic Church does, so many beautiful things that make me proud and happy to call myself a Catholic,” said the West St. Paul mom, whose children attend Catholic school. “And then, when something political comes up like this, I think, ‘Darn.’ ”

Though she decided not to hide Archbishop John Nienstedt’s message, it would have been difficult to do so anyway: The mass mailing of 400,000 DVDs has the local Catholic community buzzing.

“Someone brought it up at our monthly wine club meeting the next day,” Miller said.

Although the group discussed the DVD, no one had actually watched it — including Miller.

“The letter summed it up, anyway. The church’s position on this issue is not new to me,” she said. “But the archbishop certainly restarted the discussion, didn’t he?”

The materials, sent to Catholic households throughout Minnesota, include an introductory letter from each local bishop and the DVD, which features Nienstedt reviewing the Catholic teaching on marriage and his concerns about potential legislation that would alter the institution.

“Reactions, as you might guess, are across the board,” said Dennis McGrath, spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. “Some are extremely supportive, and some are not extremely supportive.”

Continue at the link to read some of the reaction.

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