Nienstedt's top deputy at Archdiocese resigns amid priest misconduct fallout


A leading church official at the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has resigned, saying he hopes his departure will help rebuild trust especially among victims of clergy abuse.

Through its newspaper, the Catholic Spirit, the archdiocese announced that the Rev. Peter Laird resigned as vicar general and moderator of the curia, effective immediately. Laird said he hoped his decision to step aside "can help repair the trust of many, especially the victims of abuse.”

As vicar general, Laird has been at the right hand of Archbishop John Nienstedt. The Rev. Charles Lachowitzer, who is pastor at a church is Eagan, will succeed Laird as vicar general, the archdiocese announced.

As the Star Tribune reports, Laird's resignation came on the day St. Paul attorney Jeffrey Anderson presented evidence that Laird and other church officials knew a priest was in possession of child pornography.

Anderson tells Minnesota Public Radio Laird's sudden resignation is unprecedented but he also said it is only a gesture. "That means they are obviously aware something needed to be done, and somebody needed to fall, " Anderson told MPR.

According to an MPR investigation released last month, the archdiocese knew about the sexual compulsions of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer for years before the priest pleaded guilty to abusing two 12 and 14-year-old brothers.

The archdiocese plans to put together a task force on the issue of priest misconduct. Archbishop Nienstedt said in the Catholic Spirit that more details will be released next week.

Next Up

State Patrol

State Patrol reports 2 fatal crashes on Friday in Minnesota

The first incident happened in Austin Township, and the second happened in Birch Lake Township.


Deaths on Minnesota roads in 2021 at highest level in more than a decade

There have been a total of eight motorcyclist fatalities on Minnesota roads this year.

Screen Shot 2021-05-08 at 9.15.09 AM

Chinese rocket debris to crash somewhere on Earth this weekend

Minnesota appears to be just outside of it's massive potential crash zone.

Starlink satellites

Strange lights in Minnesota sky Friday night were SpaceX satellites

SpaceX is planning to launch 60 more Starlink satellites on Sunday, May 9.

Jorge Polanco

Shoemaker, Twins lineup rebounds against Tigers

Jorge Polanco homered in a 7-3 victory over Detroit.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Watch: Kaprizov's OT winner lifts Wild into 2nd place in West

Kaprizov's goal gave the Wild a 3-2 victory over the Ducks.

Byron Buxton

Buxton placed on IL, Trevor Larnach called up

Buxton could be out "for weeks" with a hip strain.

A bald eagle perched on branches.

USFWS confirms 2 bald eagles were shot dead

The agency is offering a reward for information in the case.

A newborn baby, wrapped in a blanket with its mother.

Most popular baby names includes one not in top 10 for 100 years

But Olivia and Liam once again led the way for girls and boys.