June 15, 2015

Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt resigns after charges over abuse scandal

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Former Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis, center, and other bishops from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota concelebrate Mass at the Altar of the Tomb in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on March 9, 2015. Nienstedt resigned in June 2015 after a series of scandals. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

Former Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis, center, and other bishops from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota concelebrate Mass at the Altar of the Tomb in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on March 9, 2015. Nienstedt resigned in June 2015 after a series of scandals. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

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(RNS) The Vatican launched a major housecleaning of the scandal-plagued Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The moves seem to mark another step in Pope Francis’ new “get tough” policy on bishops.

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  • Betty Clermont

    Resigned without the headline making tribunal. As Ray Mouton stated about the tribunal, “the biggest non-story in the history of the clergy child sex abuse scandal.”

    On Sept. 26, 2014, the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Serra reported that Wesolowski was arrested by order of the pope because “there was a serious risk that the nuncio would be arrested on Italian territory at the request of the Dominican authorities and then extradited.” Wesolowski had more than 100,000 computer files of pornography. “The prelate stored part of this chamber of horrors on his own laptop. The material, which is classified by type, shows dozens of young girls engaged in sexual activities but the preference is for males. Images show youngsters aged between 13 and 17 being humiliated for the camera, filmed naked and forced to have sexual relations with each other or with adults.” The pope left him a free man for 14 months. Poor children are trafficked for sex and pornography.

  • Tabaga

    Why do we/they call it child abuse instead of rape?

  • Judy Jones

    Because brave survivors are speaking up and because Minnesota opened up the three year window of opportunity for victims to file a suit, the cover up of child sex crimes is being exposed.
    By filing a suit, this gives victims the opportunity for their lawyers to enter into the discovery phase, which allows them to subpoena secret archive documents and to subpoena high ranking officials to testify under oath. This helps to expose the child predators, but it also helps to expose those high ranking officials who continue to cover up these sex crimes.
    These two things helped prosecutors to charge the Archdiocese for their crimes of enabling children to be sexually abused.

    This needs to happen is all states, not just Minnesota. Plus the Pope must defrock Bishop Nienstedt and all clerics who cover up sex crimes. Sadly the sex abuse and cover up within the church hierarchy throughout the world is still going on to this day. Cardinals and bishops are being as quiet as possible,…

  • “Nienstedt has been a champion of their culture war focus….his outspokenness had made him a target.”

    So a right wing Rape Enabler is no problem.
    As long as he defends Christian bigotries against the gays.

    Christianity is obviously a despicable theory about humanity and it does not lead to decency.

  • I don’t understand why this stops with the bishops!

    The entire Catholic church is enabling networks of pedophiles worldwide.
    Cardinal Bernard Law – the kingpin of the Boston Priest Pedophile Network – moved known pedophiles from parish to parish for decades!

    Now Bernie Law lives in the Vatican! He has a suite of rooms in Vatican City!

    Churches need to be closed, taxes need to be levied on the properties where crimes were committed and priests who failed to deliver fellow rapists to the authorities need to go to jail.

    The Pedophile Priest networks must live in infamy.
    We must never forget the 25,000 victims – many of these perpetrators are still running Sunday schools!

  • Ben in oakland

    Max, let us not also forget that Nienstedt has also been accused of being a little light in the Prada loafers as well. when questioned about this directly by Minneapolis newspaper, his comment was very revealing. He did not say “I am heterosexual.” What he said was that I’m not homosexual. That’s a loophole you could drive a very large truck through.

    And lest anyone rush to his defense by blaming gay people for attacking this “good man of God”, let us not forget as well that the former cardinal O’Brien of England was also vehemently anti-gay, and discovered to have had at least one former male lover.

  • Ben,

    You are so right!
    Years ago I strongly believed the Christian religion was fundamentally good; the hypocrisies were not a flaw in Christianity but a flaw in humanity – us poor sinners. Like blaming the leak in the roof on the leaky roof itself!

    But now I see Christianity as a despicable bargain; “eternal life” in return for sexual self-repression and mindless obedience to ancient nonsense (among other unhealthy things).

    The clergy’s anti-homosexual bluster is so predictable – the louder the hate, the stronger is their desire to fool around.

  • JR

    It is important that the world see the Vatican take very public action in regards to the sex scandal. Although the bishops acted under laws in line with Church policy at the time, many may now have to suffer for their actions after the fact to end further speculation of Papal complicity. May they offer this sacrifice of public shame for the healing of the Church and the victims. The abusers sinned directly, with full knowledge of their demonic deviant behavior and should face all penalties prescribed by Catholic and secular law.

  • Ben in oakland

    Wow!!!!

    You didn’t blame gay people for the mess.

    Thank you!

  • Greg1

    And Ben you make a good point. The Church for too many years has been accepting men who are either gay, or somewhere in between, to become priests of Christ. In reality, the Latin Rite of the Church needs to end the prohibition on the married priesthood, and allow only truly celibate males, and married men to the priesthood. It works just fine in the Eastern Rites of the Church, so why not take advantage of the Tradition that is time tested. The only downside is that married priests cannot become pastors, but they can certainly assist, and say mass wherever needed. Let’s get away from this problematic, selection process that is riddled with holes, and do what the Church has been doing since the beginning. Men with mental disorders should not be allowed into the priesthood, as they cannot be trusted (these are mostly male victims).

  • Ben in oakland

    Do you mean to say that the church’s process for choosing priests to make sure they have an actual vocation from god is riddled with holes?

  • Greg,

    “Men with mental disorders should not be allowed into the priesthood…”

    These men believe they are ‘called’ by God.
    Are you saying such beliefs are a sign of mental illness?
    Or are you saying God is making a big mistake in choosing them?

    Or are you agreeing with me that religions are delusional nonsense?

  • Greg1

    It was fine when men were willing to give everything up for the kingdom of God, but today, man has become self-centered, caring only for himself. And sadly that vanity has crept into the priesthood. So due to that secularism which has begun to seep through the foundation–which protects the Church–then it is better for men who are married, men who understand sacrifice, sacrifice for others, to take on an even greater sacrifice for Christ and his kingdom. There are some shining young men out there who are currently in the seminaries, who are on fire for Jesus, but there are not enough. So the stop gap measure, in my book, is accepting married men into the priesthood.

  • Greg1

    Atheist, have you ever thought of joining the priesthood?

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  • Greg,

    Theist, why not answer my question?

  • Greg2

    Hey Max,
    Greg1 is correct and spot-on about his observations. He sounds like a former Catholic seminarian as was I. Two points: 1) There is no such thing as an “atheist” since you cannot be absolutely sure or conclusively prove that there is no God, therefore, the most you can be is agnostic – or not knowing, and 2) If people can not see the wonder of creation and the orderliness of it all pointing to a First Cause or Primary Mover (God) then they have much more “faith” in their deluded belief system than any Christian I know.

  • Garson Abuita

    Tabaga, because (a) many jurisdictions, including Minnesota, don’t use the word rape in their statutes, but instead call it criminal sexual conduct etc. (b) those jurisdictions that do use the term rape often limit it, like New York, to vaginal penetration by penis; (c) even in jurisdictions that use the term rape to cover wider degrees of penetration may not include fondling etc. (d) the clerical sexual abuse cases included “grooming” and inappropriate but not overtly sexual behavior like sleeping in the same bed while nude, group showers, etc.

  • @Greg2,

    “there is no such thing as an Atheist…cannot prove there is no god”

    I made no such claim. I never said a god was impossible. A god may exist.
    You clearly do not understand these words.

    Atheist – “I do not believe in a god.”
    Agnostic – “I do not KNOW if there is a god”

    Atheists are Agnostic. Didn’t you know that?
    Show me evidence of a god and I will believe in it. Until then I don’t believe in your gods.

    Meanwhile – explain how it is possible for you to claim Atheists don’t exist – yet you are an Atheist regarding Zeus, Thor, Aphrodite and Osiris.
    You don’t believe in those Gods, you are therefor Atheist regarding those Gods.

    I just go one god more.
    Prove your God exists or stop talking about it.

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