Hypocrisy watch watch: Arch. Nienstedt

I’ll preface by noting I’m a papist myself, but more than kinda of the American cafeteria variety.  To me God does have white robes and a long beard, and sits on a cloud up there.  And I’m pretty much pro-Life.  But I am not worried about the fate of my eternal salvation where I might disagree with the church, as on with the gays, their sins, and their ability to live with whom they want in the way they want.  Nor am I worried about their eternal salvation.  I have my doubts people are remanded to hell based on Old Testament bylaw.

Which is just to say, I think I am objective enough to be skeptical of the church despite some support and affection for it.

So on with an application of that objectivity.  In today’s examination of hypocrisy watching we have both Minnpost Chortle and Andrew Sullivan relaying the investigation of Archbishop Nienstedt as if there’s  obvious irony there:



The investigation is ostensibly into Nienstedt’s homosexual history.  Such a history would be in conflict with Nienstedt’s role as a doctrinaire enforcer of Church doctrine re gay marriage and life.  So a gay history by Nienstedt would make him a hypocrite eh.

Well enough, were it true.  But we’re far from knowing that, and as such it seems premature for chortles and snickers.  There’s isn’t even an anecdote or association noted that can be related as a basis for the investigation.

Note Nienstedt ordered the investigation into himself.  Ostensibly he knows the truth, and feels safe in making the report a signature gesture of the Church’s new efforts at transparency re the scandals.

Other thing is….  I don’t know that Nienstedt should be despised for his role as the mere local magistrate for an out-of-date institution.  Seems he ought to be pondered more as an inconsequential peon .  But despised he is.  And with the passion there is about it, there’s a good half a chance people are making stuff up about him.

My judgment:  we don’t know anything.  There’s no hypocrisy here by Nienstedt.  Yet.


3 thoughts on “Hypocrisy watch watch: Arch. Nienstedt

  1. pm1956

    I agree–in that i think that there is a significant chance that these charges might not pan out. Neinstedt is a target, and it would not be strange for him to attract false charges

    That said, it would not surprise me if it was true. I know a lot of people active in the Catholic Church, including priests, who are gay. One friend of mine, who came within a day or two of becoming a catholic priest, estimated that 25% of catholic seminarians were gay. Another, currently holding a very senior position in the Twin Cities diocese, who travels to Rome regularly and has met all three of the most recent popes on church business multiple times, agrees that there is a large percentage of the priesthood that is gay. (both of these people are gay).

    There might not be hypocrisy by Neinstedt–but there is by the Church.

    (I have to say–I am not at all certain what it is about the Catholic Church that is so attractive to gays–maybe it is the costumes and pageantry and theatre, but there is an attraction, and it is very strongThese friends of mine all acknowledge it–they love the Church, and will not leave it for anything, despite being pretty open about their sexuality.)

    1. Erik Petersen Post author

      I’m sure its 50 / 50 either way here if it’s anything, I understand all that to be true.

      I think there is a fairly easy etymology, but it’s crude, kinda bar stool talk. With the Catholic church, it’s snake handling to a great extent, not superficially better or worse than anyone other religion’s snake handling. A lot of myth, rite, ritual, hocus pocus. Somewhat uniquely however, Catholicism thinks it needs to be staffed by an army of celibate shaman. This is completely a function of superstition or worse, and is at odds with the truism that people are sexual. You just can’t take their biology away by having a ceremony and saying they are celibate. Still, the celibacy is a draw for gay men who are ashamed and unable to confront it, they enter because they think the celibacy is going to obviate their difficulty and conflict.

      These guys fail, the straight ones too, probably nearly every ‘celibate’ priest, at bottling up their sexuality for a lifetime. Let’s be real, isn’t that the safe assumption? They sneak around and real transgressions come out of all that tension and sneakiness.

      So, it’s the celibacy.

      1. pm1956

        Yes, it is the celibacy–because not all of the abuse issues are male/male, or male/child.

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