Former archbishop no longer allowed to say mass in Twin Cities

John Nienstedt resigned in disgrace from the archdiocese in 2015
Author:
Publish date:

The man who was at the helm of the Twin Cities Catholic church  during the clergy abuse scandals is now officially banned from celebrating mass in his former archdiocese.

Former Archbishop John Nientstedt, who resigned from the archdiocese in 2015, is no longer free to "exercise public ministry" there, per an order from his successor, Archbishop Bernard Hebda. 

The reason? Nienstedt is himself facing unresolved allegations of abuse involving minors. 

According to a Friday announcement from Archbishop Hebda, the alleged incident is said to have occurred in 2005, when Nienstedt was bishop of New Ulm. He is alleged to have undressed in front of two "unaccompanied minors" in his hotel room at a World Youth Day event in Germany.

As the announcement points out, Nienstedt denies this ever happened. 

However, he has also been accused of "inappropriate conduct with adult males," and according to documents that surfaced in 2016, Neinstedt has been dogged by allegations from fellow priests and rumors of a "promiscuous gay lifestyle" for years. 

In his letter, Hebda points out that "any effort by the Vatican" to address these latter allegations was suspended in 2015 when Nienstedt resigned, leaving the matter "unresolved for the accusers, for Archbishop Nienstedt and for the public."

Hebda says he is "troubled by the failure to bring closure" to an investigation into the matter, and that he shares the frustration of all involved that the situation has been left in limbo.

The archbishop added that he believes "this situation highlights the need for a better-defined process and independent mechanism to resolve allegations made against bishops."

Hebda's Friday declaration, he points out, "is not intended to convey an indication or presumption of guilt," which is true of all "similar cases involving our priests and deacons."

Nienstedt's current status

Earlier this year, Nienstedt stepped down from his consulting duties at the Napa Institute, a Catholic organization. 

According to the National Catholic Reporter, the resignation came amid a wave of criticism against the Napa Institute for employing Nienstedt despite its "stance against bishops accused of mishandling sexual abuse."

Indeed, Nienstedt was heavily criticized for his leadership during the high-profile sex abuse cases that rocked the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The archdiocese declared bankruptcy in the wake of a multimillion-dollar settlement against the church, and is still working to administer those settlements. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 8.54.21 PM

MN police leader on Daunte Wright: 'If he would've just complied'

Brian Peters is a former commander with the Brooklyn Center Police Department.

ATV

Women killed in ATV crash in Paul Bunyan State Forest

She wasn't wearing a helmet and alcohol was involved, officials say.

49920879552_ef6458affd_o2

As golf season approaches, book your round now at Dacotah Ridge GC

The stunning course is designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones.

51113883716_68153add1b_k

Aggressive police response on third night of Daunte Wright protests

Law enforcement used armored vehicles, tear gas, and fired rubber bullets, but say officers were targeted with bricks and other projectiles.

st. paul police homicide april 13 2021

Woman found suffering from 'fatal wound' in St. Paul apartment

Her death marks the 10th homicide in the city this year.

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 6.40.37 AM

15-vehicle pileup closes Hwy. 169 near Maple Grove

The incident happened shortly before 5 a.m.

Grand casino

Grand Casino celebrates 30th anniversary with more than cake

Hundreds of thousands of winning dollars are on the table.

Brodd defense witness

As defense starts, expert argues Chauvin's use of force was reasonable

Use-of-force expert Barry Brodd testified on behalf of the defense.

Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren named Minnesota's Mr. Basketball

Minnehaha Academy produces back-to-back award winners for the second time in state history.

Byron Buxton

Red Sox out-slug Twins in chilly matinee

Bobby Dalbec hit two RBI doubles to hand the Twins their third straight loss.

Related

St. Paul cathedral

Twin Cities archbishop disavows priest's COVID-19 conspiracy sermon

Archbishop Bernard Hebda addressed the controversy in a letter.

Court approves $210M payout to Twin Cities clergy sex abuse victims

Archbishop Bernard Hebda issued an apology to victims on Tuesday.