In this stunning video, embattled Archbishop John Nienstedt, refusing to step down amid allegations of inappropriate sex with another man and a disastrous handling of child sex abuse cases, shares his thoughts on gay people and same-sex marriage.
Archbishop John Nienstedt, the man best-known for spamming 400,000 Minnesota households with unrequested anti-gay DVDs in a failed attempt to prevent same-sex couples from being allowed to marry, is at the center of calls from within and without his own church to resign.
The 67-year old Roman Catholic prelate was accused of inappropriate touching of a young boy's behind. He was cleared of those charges, but shortly thereafter was accused of inappropriate sexual contact with men. He has, and in the video below, denies he has ever had "homosexual relationships," and denies he is gay or homosexual.
But Archbishop Nienstedt is also at the center of controversy for ignoring or covering up child sex abuse charges against priests he has overseen.
In a fascinating 30-minute unedited video made by FOX 9 News/KMSP-TV anchor Tom Lyden in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nienstedt addresses all of these issues, and more.
Below, the interview starts with Nienstedt being asked if he is gay, then moves direct into his beliefs -- and those of the Catholic Church -- about the lives gay people should lead. It is as full of hypocrisy as his claim that the attempt to ban same-sex couples from marrying was "not intended to be hurtful or discriminatory."
Nienstedt: I'm not against gays. I look at all individuals [as] children of God and they deserve the respect and the dignity of their personhood.
Lyden: That's not what you said about Brokeback Mountain the movie. You came out pretty strongly about that being an immoral movie.
N: I was critical of the movie, yes. I don't know if I used the word 'immoral.'
L: And yet that seems to contradict what you're telling me now, your criticism of that movie.
N: The church makes a clear distinction between someone who would have an attraction that would be same sex and the behavior itself.
L: So when you say you have nothing against homosexuals, you have nothing against homosexuals as long as they're not having sex.
N: We believe, correctly, that sexual relations take place within the context of a committed marriage relationship.
L: And yet the church is opposed to marriage and you fought gay marriage.
N: I didn't fight gay marriage. I fought for marriage as a traditional understanding of a union between a man and a woman.
L: I don't want to get too off the rails on this issue, and yet there is a contradiction here that I don't think can be denied. On the one hand, you said you're not against homosexual relations as long as they take place in the confines of a marriage, a committed relationship--
N: I didn't say homosexual... [sex is to take place] within the context of a marriage relationship between a man and a woman.
L: Okay. What about homosexuals?
N: Homosexuals need to lead chaste lives.
L: They need to lead celibate lives?
N: Well, yes.
L: Okay. Does that seem reasonable to you, that we should all lead the lives of priests?
N: Well... um...
L: Tell me, archbishop, why should I lead the life of a priest?
A: Because it is of your nature to, um, express yourself sexually through a committed relationship.
L: I am. I've been with the same partner and husband now for 21 years.
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