Retired Presiding Bishop Chilstrom Calls on Catholic Bishops To Listen To LGBT Couples

In an article published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, December 8, the Rev. Herbert Chilstrom, first presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, spoke to the Roman Catholic bishops in Minnesota, and by extension, to all Roman Catholic bishops, about the position taken by them in support of the upcoming ballot to amend the state constitution to preclude same-gender couples from being married in the state.


In the article, he says that, while he would vigorously defend their right to work for the amendment’s passage, he thinks that by doing so they are “making a significant mistake.”


He says, “Over my 35 years as an active and retired bishop I have come to know hundreds of gay and lesbian persons.  I have yet to meet even one who is opposed to the marriage of one man and one woman.  After all, they are the daughters and sons of such unions.


“What they cannot understand is why church leaders would oppose their fundamental desire and right to be in partnership with someone they love and respect who happens to be of the same gender and sexual orientation. They don’t understand why they should not enjoy all the rights and privileges their straight counterparts take for granted.”


He calls forth the memory of Father Francis Gilligan, who, more than five decades ago, spoke out tirelessly in favor of the equality of blacks against a cultural tradition among some in Minnesota, supported by supposed scriptural authority, that the opposite was true.


He challenges those bishops to spend time with 15 couples from each of their areas, two hours with each couple individually, to hear of their lives in Minnesota.


The article can be found at