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Minneapolis Church Postpones Mark Ritchie Speech

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis Catholic Church has postponed a speech by Minnesota’s controversial secretary of state rather than canceling it outright.

Mark Ritchie was to speak at St. Joan of Arc Church on Aug. 12. The Democrat is under fire by gay marriage opponents for altering the ballot title of the constitutional amendment to define marriage, which is strongly supported by the state’s Catholic leadership.

A spokesman for the St. Paul-Minneapolis Catholic Archdiocese initially told the St. Paul Pioneer Press the appearance wasn’t appropriate and the invitation would be withdrawn. But St. Joan of Arc spokesman Dennis Heaney says church leaders decided Ritchie’s talk on democracy would be postponed, likely until after the election.

Heaney says church leaders feared the controversy would distract parishioners.

Ritchie has not responded to several requests for comment. Heaney says he was gracious about the postponement.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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