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Minnesota archbishop rejects calls for resignation

July 30, 2014

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, has rejected calls for his resignation, and insisted that he never knowingly concealed evidence of clerical abuse.

"I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here," writes the archbishop, in an article appearing in the archdiocesan newspaper.

Archbishop Nienstedt acknowledges the difficulties of recent months, during which the archdiocese has been battered by revelations-- many of them dating from before his arrival-- that priests accused of abuse had remained in ministry. "To say that this has been a difficult year is quite an understatement," he writes at the opening of his statement.

The archbishop says that he has always sought to be honest with the faithful of the Minnesota archdiocese, and that his administrative team has worked to give top priority to the victims of sexual abuse. He argues that he and his staff are now better prepared to handle the abuse issue in the future.

In a related development, an independent investigator, commissioned by the archdiocese to look into charges of abuse by Archbishop Nienstedt himself, has submitted a report. Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche said that archdiocesan officials would "need to digest the information and any other information we receive." Archbishop Nienstedt has said that the charges against him are "absolutely and entirely false."


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