Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

One courageous parish priest

I’m happy to discover that Fr. Michael Tegeder, pastor of St. Edward’s
church in Bloomington, Minn., appears to have suffered no ill effects in
the archdiocesan reorganization and retrenchment laid out this weekend by St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John C. Nienstedt. Tegeder had the chutzpah
to take to the pages of the state’s leading daily to criticize
Nienstedt for sending out 400,000 DVDs attacking same-sex marriage a few
weeks before an election that gives Minnesota voters some opportunity
to weigh in on the issue.


Tegeder’s comments to his parishioners, posted on his web page,
bristle with well-placed barbs. Under “THE AXE FALLS,” the clearly
unreconstructed Vatican II-nik responds to the archiepiscopal call for
greater collaboration among parishes by saying, “Thankfully we have been doing
that for many years as we work with local Catholic and Protestant
[ital. added] parishes in many areas of ministry.”

After noting that financial pressure may require freezing benefits for
employees and denying pension coverage to hew hires, Tegeder turns
(under CLOTHE YOURSELF IN CHRIST JESUS) to NIenstedt’s readiness to
allocate $90,000 to procure identical vestments for all priests to wear
at diocesan Masses and clergy funerals. Helpfully, he points out that,
in fact, the liturgical year utilizes five different colors, which would
require five different sets of matching matching vestments, at a cost
of $450k. “Or perhaps,” he offers, “a rainbow colored
vestment is called for, something like Joseph’s coat of many colors.
Indeed, a rainbow stole would suffice. And I already have one.


Finally, alluding to the priest shortage that the archbishop points to
as a partial explanation for the merging of parishes, Tegeder–a member
of Voice of the Faithful–turns to A COLORFUL BISHOP:

Bishop William Lee of the
Waterford Diocese in Ireland has recently called for more formal
involvement by the laity in church governance. He said that he would
have no problem with the ordination of women or married priests. It is
refreshing to see bishops addressing the real concerns of the day.

But perhaps not so colorful or refreshing. After his remarks were published in the local biweekly Munster Express, Bishop issued a “clarification”:


The Pope has spoken very formally and authoritatively on these
matters and I fully accept his teaching and guidance always.  The Pope’s
teaching authority is a gift from God to his people which I appreciate
and follow in all my preaching and teaching.

I regret any confusion or misunderstanding that may have arisen on
these matters at a recent Pastoral Listening Session and I am glad of
the opportunity to clarify this.

Whatever he was quoted as saying, it cannot now be found on the
newspaper’s website. So it goes when parish priests speak truth to power
and successors of the Apostles behave like church mice.

Comments read comments(2)
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posted October 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Nevermind a priest taking them to task for these DVDs. The IRS should have their tax exemption pulled for illegal lobbying.

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posted October 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm

I believe that the lobbying is not illegal if it is non-partisan and this was no doubt non-partisan. In other words, the bishop did not support a particular candidate but rather a principle. The same sort of thing went on during the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
But as far as fr. Tegeder….his main beef seems to be that the bishop used money from an anonymous contribution to send out the DVDs. Maybe Tegeder needs to read the words on Jesus on this subject. See Matt. 6:3,4 for starters.

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