Longtime readers will know that I’m no fan of Twin Cities Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt. In fact, I believe that Nienstedt has inserted himself more deeply into the battle over civil marriage in his state than perhaps any other Catholic bishop across the country. (And considering some of the competition, that’s quite the accomplishment!)

A two-year-old letter written by the archbishop has been making the social media rounds this weekend. According to the Star Tribune, the letter from May 2010 was a response “to a mother who pleaded for acceptance for her gay child” and apparently surfaced in the battle over a proposed marriage discrimination amendment to Minnesota’s constitution. I decided to share it with you because it shows just how deeply-held Nienstedt’s homophobic views are.

In my view, telling the parent of an LGBT child that they “ought not to participate in the sacramental life of the Church” unless they renounce their pro-equality views — and that their “eternal salvation may well depend upon” their ability to accept the Catholic Church’s anti-gay teachings — is spiritual bullying of the highest order, and nothing short of monstrous. As I’ve said just once before, this disgusts me on such a visceral level that if I hadn’t already left the Catholic Church before reading Nienstedt’s letter, I’d be walking out the door at this very moment.