After document release, Archbishop Nienstedt maintains misconduct allegations are false

The Catholic Spirit

Maria Wiering | August 2, 2016

With the closure of the criminal case, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office made public documents from its investigation of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, including memos and affidavits addressing an inquiry of whether Archbishop John Nienstedt, then head of the archdiocese, may have mishandled a clergy sex abuse case because of his friendship with former priest Curtis Wehmeyer and his own alleged sexual misconduct.

The documents include references to an internal investigation of Archbishop Nienstedt the archdiocese initiated in January 2014 into allegations of sexual misconduct as a priest and bishop of Detroit and New Ulm.

In a statement to The Catholic Spirit, Archbishop Nienstedt reiterated that the allegations are “absolutely and entirely false” and said he was “relieved by the release of the information.” He stated that he is heterosexual and has been celibate his whole life.

“I believe that the allegations have been made as 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,” he said, acknowledging the “he said, he said” nature of the allegations. “It is my word against the accusers, and, as much as they want to seem to discredit me, I don’t want to harm them.”

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