Catholic Archbishop and Aide Resign in Minnesota over Sexual Abuse Scandal

By Mark S. Getzfred And Mitch Smithjune
New York Times
June 15, 2015

The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and a deputy bishop resigned on Monday after prosecutors recently charged the archdiocese with having failed to protect youths from abuse by pedophile priests.

In statements released Monday morning, the archbishop, John C. Nienstedt, and an auxiliary bishop, Lee A. Piche, said they were resigning to help the archdiocese heal.

“My leadership has unfortunately drawn attention away from the good works of His Church and those who perform them,” Archbishop Nienstedt said. “Thus my decision to step down.”

The resignations come about 10 days after prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges against the archdiocese for its mishandling of repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and a few days after the Vatican announced the formation of a tribunal to hear cases against bishops accused of neglecting or covering up abuse cases — an unprecedented mechanism but one whose details are yet unknown. ...

Archbishop Nienstedt is stepping down two months after the resignation of Bishop Robert W. Finn in Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri, where he had weathered years of controversy over his handling of a priest convicted of taking pornographic photographs of young girls. Archbishop Finn was himself convicted on a misdemeanor charge of failing to report the priest — the first bishop convicted in the abuse scandal’s long history.

They are hardly the first bishops to resign under scrutiny or accusations that they failed abuse victims. Since the papacy of John Paul II — now St. John Paul — 16 other bishops have resigned or been forced from office under a cloud of accusations that they mishandled abuse cases, according to research by, an advocacy group based in Boston. Archbishop Nienstedt is the 17th, by that group’s count.








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