Skip to main content

Prominent cleric calls for release of files on ex-archbishop Nienstedt

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A prominent Twin Cities Catholic cleric has called on the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to release the details of investigations into the alleged sexual misconduct of recently-resigned Archbishop John Nienstedt.

In a letter posted on the The Basilica of St. Mary blog, the Rev. John Bauer said it is "absolutely imperative" that the archdiocese release the results of probes into Archbishop Nienstedt's conduct, probes that MPR has claimed were curtailed at his behest.

"I believe that in order for our Archdiocese to rebuild the trust needed for the healing process to begin, full disclosure is essential so that we can move forward with the clear and certain knowledge that nothing has been or is being hidden or concealed," he wrote.

"It is my firm belief, as I hope it is yours as well, that it is only through this kind of transparency and openness that our Archdiocese will be able to move forward in healing and hope," he added.

Among the reports Rev. Bauer wants released is one carried out by law firm Greene Espel, which was prompted by allegations that Nienstedt had inappropriate relationships with priests, seminarians and other men, and was requested by Nienstedt himself to clear his name.

He also wants to see a report prepared by Minneapolis attorney Peter Wold, any reports the archdiocese prepared for Carlo Maria Vigano – the top representative for the Vatican in the United States, and a breakdown of the money spent on the probes.

The Star Tribune claims its sources say that at least four Catholic priests, one former priest and two former seminarians have submitted affidavits related to the Nienstedt investigation, which describe personal encounters with Nienstedt dating back to the 1970s.

The newspaper notes that it is the first time a member of the Twin Cities clergy has publicly called for the publication of the allegations against Nienstedt, which he has previously said are "absolutely and entirely false."

You can read MPR's detailed report into Nienstedt's role in the investigations here.

Nienstedt resigned earlier this month, 10 days after Ramsey County filed criminal charges against the archdiocese for failing to protect children from an abusive priest.

The archdiocese has not yet commented on Rev. Bauer's letter.

Next Up

police tape

3 at trauma centers in critical condition after rural MN attack

Two victims and the alleged attacker are in critical condition.

grinch neighbor

Neighborhood 'grinch' sends letter to Burnsville family over holiday lights

A Burnsville family's holiday decorations were the subject of an anonymous complaint.


Anthropologie shutters Grand Avenue store, opening planned for Rosedale Center

The popular holiday shopping weekend marked the last for customers of the Grand Avenue store.

hospital, emergency room

Woman found on side of highway after hit-and-run

The 41-year-old was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Jorden Nicole Borders

Charges: Minnesota woman tortured her kids, removed boy's blood

Warning: This story contains upsetting content.

first snow

Will narrow band of 6+ inches of snow hit Twin Cities Tuesday?

The NWS says a band of 6+ inches is looking likely. It's now a matter of where.


Siblings, ages 19 and 14, killed in crash on icy MN highway

The crash happened around 1:15 a.m. Saturday in Carlton County.

Nicholas Kraus

Man sentenced for fatally striking woman during Uptown protest

Nicholas Kraus, 36, of St. Paul drove into a protest in Uptown last year, killing Deona Marie Knajdek.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Fleeing suspect crashes into vehicle in Woodbury, 2 injured

The crash occurred Friday afternoon after a pursuit with Woodbury police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.