The Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul is bringing in some of the biggest names in anti-gay marriage activists to kick off a movement to strengthen Minnesota’s denial of rights to same-sex couples. And LGBT Minnesotans are planning to protest an event with Bishop Salvatore Cordileone on April 17 at the University of St. Thomas. Cordileone sat down for an interview with the Catholic Spirit, the Archdiocese’s newspaper, where he described some of the strategy.
What was your role in passing Proposition 8?
I helped to do a lot of educating of people on it. My main role really was connecting people who had expertise to make it happen, people who knew how to make the case for marriage, people who had the means to support the campaign financially, people who had an understanding of how to campaign for it. So I was involved a lot in connecting people and trying to raise awareness about what really was at stake.
What message would you like people to take away from your talk?
We have huge challenges, but this is a winnable battle. We can win the fight for marriage, and, in fact, it’s a great evangelical opportunity. When people realize the good of marriage and respect that, everything else falls in place.
Some recent opinion polls have shown that younger generations are less averse to the idea of same-sex marriage. Do you think that the Catholic Church is fighting a losing battle?
I think all we have to do is inform them what marriage is and why it is so important for the public good, and get them in touch with their own experience.
This is the generation that has suffered the consequences of the undermining of marriage. They’ve grown up without their mother and father, or their friends have grown up without that. I think if we can get them in touch with their own experience — and it’s sensitive because it’s a painful thing for them — it can help them realize why marriage is so important and why it’s important for children, why it’s important for society.
So I think we have a great opportunity to reach young people if we can be very assertive and energetic in educating them about marriage. If we don’t do that, then, yes, I think we will lose them because without that they won’t understand from society what marriage really is.