Asshole of the Month: The Catholic Church By Derek Henkels

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Asshole of the Month: The Catholic Church By Derek Henkels

My parents showed me a copy of a statement their Bishop, John M. Quinn, sent out to his parishioners after the marriage equality bill passed. If you're not Catholic, the Bishop is the one that can only move diagonally. He's also an asshole.


A Statement from Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of Winona


     WINONA, MN – May 15, 2013 ­ The Governor of Minnesota, on May 14, 2013 signed into law legislation, that redefined the legal definition of marriage. It is very disappointing, that Minnesota law will now put the desires of adults ahead of the best interests of children, and ignore the importance of families that are founded on the marriage of one man and one woman, as the foundation of society. The Diocese of Winona remains grateful for the elected officials, who demonstrated great courage in defending marriage and voted against this legislation.

     In our parishes, Catholic schools and in all catechetical programs, every effort will be made to promote the true meaning of marriage. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and is a natural institution found in every culture throughout human history. It is also a gift from our Creator. 

     To our brothers and sisters with same sex attraction, the Church extends its love and pastoral support and also to their families. God loves you, and you are invited to join us in a life of conversion and communion with Him.

     While there are many cultural challenges to living the Gospel and to embracing the life­giving teachings of the Church, the victory is already won for us in Jesus Christ. We live in hope, because “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” John 14:26.

     Pentecost is the completion of the Easter celebration of the Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ, and the movement of the Church out into the world, to proclaim the Gospel to every land and culture. Jesus Christ breathed the Holy Spirit upon the Church to give His people courage to preach and teach the truth of the Gospel with love and compassion. Come, Holy Spirit, Come!


Sincerely in Christ,

Most Rev. John M. Quinn

Bishop of Winona, Minnesota

I had to thank him for his courageously compassionate words and his preachy love, which is a lot like unconditional love, only with way more prejudice and conditions.



A Thank You from Derek Henkels

Hey Most Rev. John M. Quinn,

     If you hadn’t sent out that statement, I wouldn’t be aware that you think the quality of a marriage should be measured by how straight the couple is, or that you believe family has such vital benefits to society that society should deny certain people family. You are clearly an expert on being forbidden to marry. I wish you had the power to dictate how people lead their lives, instead of just the desire. It takes great courage to cast judgment on a large group of people without knowing them, especially since some/all people call that “bigotry.” And pretending you’re doing it for the sake of children is a nice touch. If only because it’s not the normal “bad touch” everyone expects from you guys. And I do mean guys. That is a bad reputation, but at least it’s not to the point that the Church’s unified opinion on every subject is immediately discarded as irrelevant.

     Simplifying the history of marriage down to one man and one woman is spot on. Monogamy is so universal, we don’t even have a word for polygamy. But unfortunately, that adorably child­like view is contradicted by your Bible, which makes it’s obvious you’ve never actually read it. I sympathize. I was told to read a huge manual at a job I had, but I just skimmed it. I got the impression everyone else skimmed it too, so no one really noticed. And that place stifled any and all dissent, so it’s not like anyone was going to be the only one to step out of line and speak up. So congrats on bullshitting your way through whatever interviews it took to get that promotion.

     You invited me to join you, but I can tell when I’m not wanted. And I can tell when I wouldn’t want to be wanted. And when I have to make sure you don’t think I want to be wanted. So I need to be excommunicated. I don’t want to hurt anyone, so I’m going with heresy. Here goes nothing, lata sententia. God isn’t real. Please do whatever it is you’re supposed to do to excommunicate me. Please send me confirmation I’ve been unConfirmed as soon as reasonably possible. Let me out.

     I’m glad a threat you guys used in the past to dominate and intimidate is now seen as “you don’t get to play church with us anymore.” I’ve been trying to convince my parents to stop playing church for years. But it wasn’t until they read your statement self-­righteously playing victim to civil ­rights advances in our state that they finally decided to, in my loving mother’s words, “take a break from the Catholic Church.” So, thanks. And since I can only assume you’ll find a way to extend their stay in reality, thanks in advance.


The Reverend Dr. Derek Michael Henkels D.D.

King of Minnesota

I'm still waiting for a response, no doubt overflowing with love and compassion.
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