Skip to main content

Expert: Minnesota archdiocese issues likely not on pope's radar


Despite a growing scandal inside the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis over accusations of a coverup of sexual misconduct, an expert believes the pope will not soon get involved.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that former Vatican bureau chief of The Catholic News Service, John Thavis, believes things will have to get worse before Minneapolis-St. Paul pops up on the radar.

While appearing on The Daily Circuit, Thavis said, "It may take a long time to come to the pope's attention. People don't necessarily like to bring the pope bad news."

Calls have grown this week for Archbishop John Nienstedt to resign, and some of the other top officials already have. But Nienstedt Wednesday said that he will not resign, and Thursday ordered an outside group to investigate whether any acting clergy pose a threat to children.

Nienstedt wrote, "The first thing that must be acknowledged is that over the last decade some serious mistakes have been made. There is reason to question whether or not the policies and procedures were uniformly followed. There is also a question as to the prudence of the judgments that have been made."

The Star Tribune reports that the archdiocese has recently retained legal counsel to start the process. Nienstedt is also interviewing several national firms with expertise in clergy file review.

Thavis, who has covered this issue for 12 years at the Vatican, said the situation is disheartening. He said the whole narrative from the Vatican's side was, "We're on a learning curve."

Thavis said U.S. bishops came up with norms, they were approved and later strengthened by the Vatican. According to Thavis, implementation of the norms though is up to the bishops to enforce. He added that when scandals come to light, there is a feeling even among church officials that some people haven't learned a thing.

Next Up

940 Margaret St, St Paul, MN 55106, United States - May 2019 (1)

4-year-old girl struck by hit-and-run driver in St. Paul

The girl was struck by the driver around 5 p.m. Monday.

Minneapolis police

Baby found safe inside car that was stolen in south Minneapolis

The incident happened near 32nd Street and Chicago Avenue around 7 p.m.

Anthony Edwards

Ant puts on a show to help Timberwolves beat Pacers

A third-quarter surge gave the Timberwolves their seventh win in their past eight games.

Mikko Koivu

Wild to retire Mikko Koivu's No. 9 jersey

Koivu will be the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

Boebert-Omar - Flickr Gage Skidmore

Rep. Boebert refuses to apologize for Islamophobic comment toward Rep. Omar

A phone call Monday between the two lawmakers ended abruptly.

Patrick Peterson

Vikings place Patrick Peterson on COVID-19/reserve list

The Vikings cornerback said he was vaccinated in August.

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

'Numerous' reports of eager anglers falling through ice

Conditions are still unpredictable, and can vary even across a single body of water.


Minnesota health officials watching closely for omicron variant

Health leaders do not yet know how transmissible or severe the new variant is.

school bus stop pixabay

School bus driver charged in fatal hit-and-run will plead guilty

Another motorist told the driver to call 911, but he instead got on the bus and drove off, charges say.

Franconia Sculpture Park - Lorie Shaull - Flickr

5 outdoor destinations to explore around the Twin Cities

There's something for everyone on this list of overlooked spots.

Child mental health counseling

As pandemic continues, so do efforts to improve child mental health access

Children's Minnesota has announced it will open its first inpatient mental health facility for under 18s.

Dalvin Cook

Mixed reports on Dalvin Cook's injury status

The Vikings running back could miss two games...or he could play Sunday.