Ex-Twin Cities Archbishop quits new post after arrival caused 'anger and fear'


Former Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt's new position at a diocese in Michigan didn't last long – as concerns raised by worshipers led to his resignation after little more than a week.

In a letter to parishioners, Rev. John Fleckenstein said that effectively immediately, Nienstedt "has decided to discontinue his pastoral assistance" at the St. Philip Roman Catholic Church in Battle Creek, in the diocese of Kalamazoo.

It comes after his appointment caused "unintended discord," with Rev. Fleckenstein saying: "A very regrettable circumstance of Archbishop Nienstedt’s presence within our community has been anger and fear."

Nienstedt left his position as the Archbishop for St. Paul and Minneapolis under a cloud after the Archdiocese was charged by Ramsey County with failing to protect children from a predatory priest.

After he stood down, it was also claimed that he derailed an investigation into allegations he had made inappropriate sexual advances toward at least two priests.

He found a new position in Battle Creek, with his appointment confirmed in a bulletin posted on Jan. 10, saying he would fill in for the parish's head priest while he underwent medical treatment.

His duties would have been to "celebrate some of the weekend and weekday Masses, visit the sick in the hospital, visit the sick and homebound, and celebrate Mass for the nursing home and assisted living facilities."

According to the Star Tribune, Bishop Paul J. Bradley, of the Kalamazoo Diocese, said in a statement issued Thursday he regrets not anticipating the reaction Nienstedt's arrival would cause.

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