Tom Lyden grills Archbishop Nienstedt on his sexuality and anti-gay views [VIDEO]

Lyden interviews Archbishop Nienstedt as one of his handlers looks on.
Lyden interviews Archbishop Nienstedt as one of his handlers looks on.

Last week, embattled Archbishop John Nienstedt did the media rounds, granting one-on-one interviews to most local outlets. (Our invitation must've gotten lost in the mail...)

Fox 9 reporter/anchor Tom Lyden's interview with the archbishop was especially noteworthy. Lyden, who's married to a man he's been in a relationship with for more than two decades, grilled Nienstedt about his own sexuality and anti-gay views. The line of questioning culminated in the archbishop acknowledging that his beliefs about the sinfulness of same-sex sexual relations don't seemingly make much sense at all.

See also:
Archbishop John Nienstedt steps aside amid allegation he touched boy's buttocks

Here's a transcript of the portion of Lyden's interview that came right after Nienstedt denied being homosexual or ever having partaken in homosexual relations, followed by the raw video:

Nienstedt: I'm not against gays. I look at all individuals [as] children of God and they deserve the respect and the dignity of their personhood.

Lyden: That's not what you said about Brokeback Mountain the movie. You came out pretty strongly about that being an immoral movie.

N: I was critical of the movie, yes. I don't know if I used the word 'immoral.'

L: And yet that seems to contradict what you're telling me now, your criticism of that movie.

N: The church makes a clear distinction between someone who would have an attraction that would be same sex and the behavior itself.

L: So when you say you have nothing against homosexuals, you have nothing against homosexuals as long as they're not having sex.

N: We believe, correctly, that sexual relations take place within the context of a committed marriage relationship.

L: And yet the church is opposed to marriage and you fought gay marriage.

N: I didn't fight gay marriage. I fought for marriage as a traditional understanding of a union between a man and a woman.

L: I don't want to get too off the rails on this issue, and yet there is a contradiction here that I don't think can be denied. On the one hand, you said you're not against homosexual relations as long as they take place in the confines of a marriage, a committed relationship--

N: I didn't say homosexual... [sex is to take place] within the context of a marriage relationship between a man and a woman.

L: Okay. What about homosexuals?

N: Homosexuals need to lead chaste lives.

L: They need to lead celibate lives?

N: Well, yes.

L: Okay. Does that seem reasonable to you, that we should all lead the lives of priests?

N: Well... um...

L: Tell me, archbishop, why should I lead the life of a priest?

A: Because it is of your nature to, um, express yourself sexually through a committed relationship.

L: I am. I've been with the same partner and husband now for 21 years.

Later, Lyden, referring to that exchange, told Nienstedt: "It does not seem to make sense to me as I sit here, what you've just laid out."

"I can understand that, yes," Nienstedt replied.

Asked whether he'd like to clarify anything, Nienstedt asserted, "Well, I think that as we look at the way God made us, God made us to express ourselves sexually between a man and a woman in a committed married relationship."

But the issue Lyden did such a tremendous job highlighting is that the archbishop can't muster good reasons why any thinking person should take heed of "the way God made us" beyond blind deference to Catholic dogma.

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >