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Archbishop Expected to Respond to Church Sex Abuse Claims

Updated: 10/24/2013 9:07 AM
Created: 10/23/2013 6:38 PM KSTP.com
By: Tim Sherno

As the priest sex abuse scandal continues to play out in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, some are calling for the resignation of Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Archbishop Nienstedt is responding to allegations surrounding child abuse and cover-ups. He denies any cover-up or illegal actions. He insists there are no offending priests in active ministry.

He said, "my highest priorities are to ensure the safety of our children and to restore the trust of Catholics and our clergy. I will do everything in my power to do so."

The Archbishop will expand on those comments Thursday in his column this week for the "Catholic Spirit."

This comes after Father Bill Deziel from the Church of St. Peter wrote in the weekly newsletter published for parishioners, "These accounts of priest abuse and misconduct are disturbing, yet even more disturbing to many of the faithful is the apparent lack of good judgment and common sense on the part of archdiocesan leaders to deal with offending priests." Deziel later writes, "it may be time for a do over with our archdiocesan leadership."

Local attorney Thomas Lyons says he's a member of the Church of St. Peter. He says dissatisfaction with church response has boiled over, "At some point the rage rises to the level that you have to express that this is not acceptable. I don't know who is advising the bishop!"

Lyons says Archbishop Nienstedt does not meet the new Pope Francis' high standards, "Corruption, worldliness, arrogance, vanity and pride, and that's all put together in Nienstedt. He should resign for the purpose of allowing the Pope, who has this high standard, to appoint someone for that position."

Father Mike Tegeder from St. Frances Cabrini Church in Minneapolis says Nienstedt has demonstrated a failure of leadership, "It's really disappointing and scandalous when the Archbishop drops the ball because the rest of us are doing the very best we can." 

Tegeder calls for Archbishop Nienstedt to speak publicly about the on-going scandal and what the church intends to do to make changes and begin healing, "I'm open to an explanation but it has to come from the archbishop, and it has to come from him in an open way. It can't be a press release, it can't be a newspaper article in 'The Catholic Spirit,' his paper, he has to stand before us."


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