Allegations against fmr. Twin Cities Archbishop Nienstedt deemed “unfounded” by Vatican investigation

CBS News [New York NY]

January 5, 2024

By Cole Premo

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says the Vatican’s investigation into former Archbishop John Niensedt is complete.

Eight years ago, Nienstedt resigned from his position amid allegations of covering up crimes of a pedophile priest at the church.

Current Archbishop Bernard Hebda, who assumed the role in 2015, released a statement on Friday. Hebda says a Vatican investigation looked into all of the allegations and did not support finding that Nienstedt had committed any crimes. The Holy See deemed the allegations unfounded.   

Hebda says he was told of several instances of “imprudent” actions from Nienstedt that were brought to light. He says the instances “either standing alone or taken together” did not warrant any further investigation or penal sanctions.

However, Pope Francis determined that several administrative actions would be imposed. These include Nienstedt not practicing ministry or living in the Province of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, which includes all of Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Nienstedt will not be able to exercise ministry in any way outside of his diocese of residence “without the express authorization of the attendant Ordinary and only after the Dicastery for Bishops has been informed.”