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Judge upholds ruling that Nienstedt must testify under oath


A Ramsey County judge has rejected a request by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to put a deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt on hold.

The Pioneer Press reports Judge John Van de North upheld last week's ruling that Nienstedt and former Vicar General Kevin McDonough must answer lawyers' questions about the church's handling of clergy sex abuse cases. The archdiocese had sought a delay while it appealed the issue to a higher court.

Van de North also declined to put on hold a separate order requiring the archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona to submit lists of priests who have been accused of sex abuse since 2004, the Pioneer Press says.

The judge ruled on Feb. 11 that Nienstedt and McDonough should be deposed within 30 days.

They will be questioned by lawyers for a plaintiff who says he was abused by Rev. Thomas Adamson in St. Paul Park during the 1970's. The lawsuit alleges Adamson had admitted molesting boys while he served in the Diocese of Winona and accuses church officials of responding by transferring him to a parish in the archdiocese.

The lawsuit names Adamson, the archdiocese, and the diocese, the Pioneer Press says.

In asking for a stay of the deposition, the archdiocese had argued that the judge's order reached beyond the limits of the law and noted that Nienstedt has only been with the archdiocese since 2007, which is 30 years after the abuse is said to have occurred.

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