By Ryan Fitzgerald: MINNEAPOLIS, May 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) – A pro-gay student group in Minneapolis had to relocate to a Protestant venue after the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis stepped in and canceled its planned event.
The LGBTQ Catholic Student Coalition, headed by a group of high school students, had scheduled a “LGBTQ+ Catholic Youth Summit” for May 16, last Saturday, at the Church of Christ the King, a Catholic parish.
The event was to feature Kristen Ostendorf as its keynote speaker. Ostendorf used to be a teacher of English and Religion at a local Catholic high school, until one day she blurted out that she unrepentantly lives in defiance of the Church’s teachings. Ostendorf “came out” to her co-workers, proudly proclaiming to them, “I’m gay, I’m in a relationship with a woman, and I’m happy.” This got her fired.
The alleged goal of the event was just to create a “safe space” for people with sexual disorders to discuss living their faith.
On May 10, however, less than a week before the event was to be held, the group was told by the Church of Christ the King that the archdiocesan chancery had intervened. As it turned out, they weren’t allowed to host the event.
Archbishop John Nienstedt, who in the past hasn’t been afraid to stand up for Catholic doctrine, stated, “We are concerned that the content of the proposed presentation will contradict Church teaching, leaving those in attendance, especially young people, confused about the truth of the teaching long after the May 16th presentation.”
“There are many venues in our free society to voice opposition to Church teachings regarding contentious social issues,” he said. “But,” he added, “the parishes of the Archdiocese are not the proper place where these specific activities are to be sponsored.”
They still ended up holding the summit, though, as a Protestant venue about a mile away from the Church of Christ the King was more than happy to have them. Almost 200 people reportedly attended. It was sponsored by OutFront Minnesota, a gay activist group, as well as the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates, an ostensibly Catholic congregation of women religious.