Archbishop Nienstedt Is at St. Matthew's Cathedral

By Jennifer Haselberger
Canonical Consultation
September 23, 2015

With Pope Francis scheduled to lead a prayer service at 11:30am ET at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington DC, the American bishops have assembled- including the former Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, John Nienstedt.

Of course, there is no reason that Archbishop Nienstedt should not be in attendance. He resigned from his position as leader of the Archdiocese without any admission of guilt, and as we know he claims that his conscience is clear.

However, his presence creates a potential problem for Pope Francis, who must respond to critics who say that he has not done enough to address the issue of sexual abuse by clergy. In addition, for the Holy Father to greet Nienstedt before meeting with victims of sexual abuse by clergy is a bit of a faux pas.

One can imagine that Archbishop Nienstedt would be fairly oblivious to the discomfort he is causing, but the person who reported his presence to me (who also happens to be in the Cathedral this morning) was clear that the other bishops were very aware of the tension surrounding his presence. As it was reported to me, all eyes are on Archbishop Nienstedt.








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