Events Leading to Nienstedt's Resignation

Star Tribune
June 15, 2015

Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was the first in the nation to be criminally charged.

A timeline of Archbishop John Nienstedt’s tenure:

April 2007: Church announces that John Nien- stedt will become archbishop on the retirement of Harry Flynn in 2008.

September 2010: Archdiocese launches battle against same-sex marriage, issuing 400,000 DVDs to state Catholics and campaigning for constitutional amendment that fails in 2012.

May 2013: A new state law extends the statute of limitations on sex-abuse lawsuits, opening the door to potentially dozens of additional lawsuits, witnesses and depositions.

September 2013: Former archdiocese canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger goes public with allegations that church officials ignored concerns about the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer for years before he was convicted of abusing two boys.

October 2013: Nienstedt appoints a task force to study the archdiocese’s handling of clergy sex-abuse allegations.

December 2013: Ramsey County District Judge John Van de North orders the archdiocese to release a list of 30 priests considered “credibly accused” of child sex abuse.

December 2013: At Sunday mass, Nienstedt apologizes and says the archdiocese overlooked allegations of clergy sex abuse.

January 2014: Archdiocese hires a Minneapolis law firm to investigate anonymous allegations that Nienstedt committed sexual improprieties.

February 2014: A Ramsey County judge orders Nien- stedt to give a sworn deposition to lawyers in lawsuits against the church, addressing whether the archdiocese followed its own policies in investigating sex abuse allegations.

March 2014: St. Paul police reopen investigation into the archdiocese’s handling of allegations against Wehmeyer.

April 2014: Nienstedt gives a sworn statement that he knew little about the allegations against Wehmeyer and was not aware that known child sex abusers worked at the archdiocese during his tenure.

April 2014: Internal archdiocese task force issues a report saying that poor oversight led the church to do an inadequate investigation of clergy sex abuse allegations.

July 2014: Nienstedt announces that he will not resign, saying the church has turned the corner on the abuse allegations and he is working to regain support.

October 2014: Archdiocese reaches landmark settlement with victims of clergy sex abuse and announces major changes in the way it will address future allegations.

January 2015: Archdiocese files for bankruptcy protection, citing in part legal costs from clergy sex abuse litigation.

June 5: Ramsey County Attorney John Choi files criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for “failing to protect children” stemming from the Wehmeyer case. It’s the first time a U.S. archdiocese has been criminally charged with such offenses.

June 10: Pope Francis creates a new Vatican tribunal to hear cases of bishops accused of failing to protect their flock, the church’s biggest step yet to crack down on clergy abuse.

June 15: Pope Francis accepts the resignations of Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piche.








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