Archbishop Reverses Himself & Tries Again to Block Disclosures
February 14, 2014
St. Paul Archbishop John Nienstedt is inflicting emotional whiplash on abuse victims and concerned Catholics.
Yesterday, he said (through his public relations team), that he "looks forward to working with the court and all affected parties to promote the protection of children (and) the healing of victims."
And today, he's trying (through his lawyers) to block the very disclosures that help protect kids and heal victims, disclosures ordered by a judge who carefully considered the very real public safety risk that result when dozens of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics are allowed to live and work among unsuspecting families and colleagues after being ousted – often quietly – from Catholic parishes because of child sex abuse reports.
What's changed in 24 hours? Nienstedt may have thought more about how devastating his deposition – and Fr. Kevin McDonough's deposition – will almost certainly be. As long as they hide behind their desks and their public relations professionals, Catholic officials can make any claim or promise they like, no matter how far-fetched or absurd. But when they must face tough questions under oath about their complicity, that's when the facade really begins to crumble. And Nienstedt knows and fears this.
The other possibility is also depressing: that Neinstedt was being deceptive again, and pretended to cooperate yesterday knowing he'd reverse himself today.
Either explanation paints a dismal portrait of the archbishop.
This is more proof that Catholic officials' promises of reform are baloney. It's a reminder that those who want to protect kids and deter cover ups must not wait for others to act – we must step forward ourselves, whether we're victims, witnesses, whistleblowers or concerned Catholics.