Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Attorney: New documents suggest false statements in archbishop's deposition

Author:

Documents released Monday by St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson suggest that Archbishop John Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis gave false statements under oath in April while testifying about a priest accused of abusing minors, MPR News reports.

In a sworn deposition April 2, Nienstedt reportedly claimed he didn't know until March of this year that Fr. Kenneth LaVan – who was accused of sexually assaulting at least one teenage girl in the 1980s and "sexually exploiting" several women – was still in the ministry.

"I was not aware that he was publicly in ministry, and as soon as I realized it, I had his faculties removed," Nienstedt reportedly said in the deposition.

However, Anderson – a victims' representative in the case against the archdiocese – provided documents from LaVan's personnel file that showed inconsistencies, FOX 9 reports.

Anderson pointed out that Nienstedt was updated on LaVan's continuing work in the ministry and signed off on a document about it nearly a year ago, on Aug. 15, 2013.

According to MPR News, Nienstedt received an annual report in 2013 from a church official who monitors abused priests, and in it, the official described "two face to face contacts" with LaVan. The report also described how LaVan assists at "a few parishes in the metro area when asked," primarily at St. Olaf in Minneapolis, MPR says.

FOX 9 reports by the time Nienstedt had become archbishop in 2007, LaVan had already been involved in two settlements involving the church and his individuals who claimed to be a victim of abuse – but continued to serve periodically at St. Olaf until December 2013.

This embed is invalid

The revelation about the inconsistencies between the deposition testimony and documents released Monday comes less than two weeks after Nienstedt rejected calls for his resignation over the abuse scandal.

Nienstedt announced his decision to stay in his weekly column in the July 30 online edition of The Catholic Spirit newspaper, a publication released weekly by the archdiocese.

Nienstedt has been under scrutiny for several months over his handling of clergy sexual abuse cases in the archdiocese. Among the several high-profile parties that have called for him to step down are the Star Tribune’s editorial board, the New York Times and at least one influential Catholic donor.

Next Up

US Sec Defense Flickr - Joe Bide Nov 11 2021

Biden lays out wintertime plan to curb COVID's spread

It comes as the U.S. reported its second case of the omicron variant.

Willow River DOC

MN Dept. of Corrections offering $5K bonuses as it seeks to hire 200

The DOC is offering hiring bonuses for new employees and for referrals.

covid

3rd federal medical team to join COVID-19 fight in Minnesota

There are more than 1,500 people with COVID-19 admitted to Minnesota hospitals.

hospital, emergency room

Driver killed after other motorist crosses into opposite lane

The head-on crash occurred early Thursday, just north of the Twin Cities.

shot clock

MSHSL approves shot clock for Minnesota varsity basketball

Shot clocks will be required at all varsity games beginning in 2023-24.

Redmons Popcorn Colbert screengrab

Popcorn shop featured on 'The Late Show' has to close 2 days later

A county inspection after the national TV appearance found code violations.

covid, vaccine

Minnesotan infected with omicron was vaccinated, had booster shot

The Hennepin County man received his booster shot in early November.

Related