Clergy resign after archdiocese charged with coverup

By Jane Onyanga-Omara
USA Today
June 15, 2015

Archbishop John Nienstedt talks to the media at Our Lady of Grace Church in Edina, Minn. on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.

Corrections & Clarifications: A previous version of this story misstated the archdiocese of Archbishop John Nienstedt. The erroneous information was provided by the Associated Press.

The archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and a deputy bishop have resigned after the archdiocese was charged with with having failed to protect children from a pedophile priest.

The Vatican said Monday that Pope Francis accepted the resignations of Archbishop John Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piche.

The two resigned under the code of canon law that allows bishops to resign before they retire because of illness or some other "grave" reason that makes them unfit for office.

Earlier this month, prosecutors charged the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as a corporation of having "turned a blind eye" to repeated reports of inappropriate behavior by a priest who was later convicted of molesting two boys.

No individual was named in the indictment.

In a statement on the archdiocese website, Bishop Piche wrote: "The people of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis need healing and hope. I was getting in the way of that, and so I had to resign."

Archbishop Nienstedt wrote that he submitted his resignation in order to give the archdiocese "a new beginning."

He added: "My leadership has unfortunately drawn attention away from the good works of His Church and those who perform them. Thus, my decision to step down."


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