Portion of investigation of Archbishop Nienstedt is complete

Star Tribune

Article by: TONY KENNEDY, Star Tribune
Updated: July 29, 2014

A Minneapolis law firm hired by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct with adults by Archbishop John Nienstedt has completed its work and submitted a report to church officials.

Attorney Matthew Forsgren of the firm Greene Espel declined to discuss the findings and referred questions to the archdiocese.

The archdiocese commissioned the investigation earlier this summer in an effort to address accusations received by the chancery as Nienstedt fended off mounting criticism over the church’s handling of other sexual misconduct cases.

Lee Piche, auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese, said in a statement late Tuesday that the Greene Espel report “does not comprise” the entire investigation.

“We need to digest the information and any other information we receive,” said Piche, who was not available to answer questions.

Piche announced July 1 that Nienstedt asked him to investigate claims about the archbishop, which he said were received by the archdiocese several months earlier. Piche said the misconduct allegations “did not involve anything criminal or with minors.”

Nienstedt said at the time that the accusations were “absolutely and entirely false.” He called the allegations “a personal attack against me due to my unwavering stance on issues consistent with church teaching, such as opposition to so-called same-sex marriage.

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