Nienstedt says he will continue as archbishop

Minnesota Public Radio

MPR News Staff St. Paul, Minn. Jul 30, 2014

Archbishop John Nienstedt, under increasing pressure to step down amid scandal, said he will continue to serve as leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

In a column posted to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ website, Nienstedt acknowledged that he has been a divisive figure among Twin Cities Catholics.

“I will continue to listen to those who express concerns about my leadership,” he wrote, “but I will also continue serving as I have been called to do.”

Nienstedt wrote that he has “never knowingly covered up clergy sexual abuse.”

“I have always been honest with the Catholics of this local Church,” he added.

Calls for Nienstedt’s resignation, which began soon after the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted in the Twin Cities last fall, have grown louder in recent weeks. The Star Tribune joined the chorus Sunday, with an editorial calling for his ouster.

“For the sake of one of this state’s most valued institutions and the Minnesotans whose lives it touches, Nienstedt’s service at the archdiocese should end now,” the paper wrote. The New York Times last week cited the Twin Cities archdiocese in an editorial insisting the Catholic Church make its bishops accountable for covering up clergy abuse, saying the archdiocese has “made a mockery of accountability.”

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