Note: To my Catholic family and friends, this is a must-watch video.
Minnesota priest, Bob Pierson speaks out against the Minnesota marriage amendment. In June, Father Pierson celebrated his 28th anniversary of ordination with the church and shares why he became a priest:
I became a priest because I felt called to share the good news that God loves each and every one of us, unconditionally. Too many of us have been taught to think of god in terms of God’s judgement rather than God’s tremendous love and mercy.
Pierson goes on to share that he’s taken a stand before with the church and that he’s taking a stand again now when it comes to the marriage amendment (to which he receives a round of applause):
I believe this amendment violates an important principle of Catholic teaching and that as Catholics, we can vote no.
The most interesting part of the video is where Pierson shares the church teaching on following one’s conscience. According to the Catholic Catechism, one must follow their own conscience, even if it conflicts with church teachings – especially when it comes to religious matters. In fact, a man who would later become Pope of the church once shared that conscience is so important that Catholics must follow it, even if it conflicts with the Pope’s message.
Pierson goes on to share:
As Catholics we must follow our own conscience in making decisions such as how to vote. My conscience tells me to vote no on the amendment because I have yet to hear a convincing reason why we need such an amendment to our state constitution. In fact, I believe the church does not have the right to force its moral teaching on others outside our fold.
In the latter part of the video, Pierson shares three examples of where the church is “fudging the facts” trying to get Catholics to support the amendment. He then has this to say about marriage:
In any faith, marriage is about love, commitment and responsibility. In our faith, marriage is a sacrament, a commitment to God to live with your partner, to raise a family together and most of all, to live the word of God. We know that gay and lesbian couples want to get married for the same reasons as everyone else and I believe it’s important that we as Catholics help to ensure that people in our community have the same freedoms, whether it’s the freedom to worship or the freedom to marry. My conscience tells me I have no right to limit someone else’s freedom.
While I realize that not everyone who follows this blog is religious, I found this video very moving. Regardless of your beliefs, Father Pierson’s overarching message throughout the 10-minute sermon is about love – which, by the way, is the same message that Jesus taught all those years ago.