Report: Minnesota Archbishop Nienstedt under scrutiny for same-sex relationships

Report: Minnesota Archbishop Nienstedt under scrutiny for same-sex relationships

(RNS) A Roman Catholic archbishop in Minnesota who had been one of the hierarchy’s most vocal opponents of gay rights is the target of an investigation into allegations that he had a series of sexual relationships with priests, seminarians and other men.

The investigation of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt is being conducted by a prominent Minneapolis law firm hired by the archdiocese after church officials received an allegation against Nienstedt.

The archdiocese confirmed the investigation, which was first reported by Commonweal, a Catholic magazine based in New York.

As these are only allegations there is only room for speculation. Let us pray that the truth will prevail.

It could turn out to not be true and which I hope is the case. Let’s all pray for the truth and that if it is true that those involved will ask forgivness for there actions.

It will. It always does whether we hear of it or not.


It sound like he is the target of a smear campaign. He’s a vocal opponent of gay rights, so they believe they have to bring him down by any means necessary.

Gee, whatever happened to “two consenting adults”?

That’s if any of this is even true.

Otherwise, at least some of the mainstream American media is always gleeful to report on religious hypocrisy to advance the liberal agenda.

BTW, just because someone is homosexual or does homosexual things (a grave matter in Catholic teaching and rightfully so) doesn’t mean they need or even want special rights from the government.

Such tactics are necessary when the Truth isn’t in one’s corner.

Minnesota is one of the more promising places were a gay “marriage” repeal is possible.

Pray for all involved. All else is gossip.

:eek: Commonweal :eek: Now, there’s a source to ignore until a reliable one comes along.

You mean one like the archidiocese, who confirmed the investigation?

Well, I guess we will see what happens.

There is an investigation. That’s a fact. Let’s not misrepresent the article or the facts. Confirming that there IS an investigation confirms only that there is one. The archdiocese is not confirming the truth of the allegations.

Who is asserting that they have any truth? I purposely avoided linking Commonweal because they are well-known for their dissent and twisting of stories.

I am more than a little skeptical. This poor archbishop was recently the victim of a false accusation for molesting a teenage boy. He was “on leave” for all of lent, because of the accusation, which on its face was ridiculous. (He was accused of fondling a boy’s butt, during a photo opp after confirmations, when all the confirmandi stand up on the steps and parents can snap pictures).


The non-surprise at Commonweal being the first to report the investigation comes not because the information is inaccurate, but because such sources tend to dig around looking things that could potentially be embarrassing for the Church if they are true, then report them in such a way that suggests they are more likely to be true than they are.

Neither your source nor your snippet have those properties, but nonetheless at this point there is not enough information to conclude whether this is an investigation that was started primarily so it doesn’t appear like the Archbishop is being protected when he shouldn’t be (recall a few months ago when this same - I think - Archbishop was accused of inappropriate conduct after a confirmation ceremony and decided to temporarily step down until an investigation proved the allegation completely baseless), or rather if there was serious evidence of wrong doing that motivated the investigation.

So don’t take the “ugh, Commonweal” comments as a slight on the RNS article you referenced, or on the fact that you referenced it, it’s just that Commonweal itself has left a bad taste in some of our mouths. The very fact that they were the first to report it (rightly or wrongly) biases me towards assuming that, at this stage at least, there isn’t really anything in the investigation to report and that they just felt like embarrassing an Archbishop.

I live in the Arcdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Archbishop Neinstedt has been accused of inappropriate acts before and it has amounted to nothing. The biggest problem here is that it takes him out of official office until the investigation is complete. I would ask for anyone who reads this to pray for the archbishop and the archdiocese of minneapolis/st. paul. They are greatly needed and greatly appreciated.

The investigation should have remained private, at least until the results were known. He is not accused of a crime. According to a canon lawyer consulted by Commonweal, there is no precedent for the type of investigation being done on Nienstedt. Moreover, the investigation is being conducted at Nienstedt’s request.

Here is the statement which Archbishop Nienstedt released:

Upon my direction, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is conducting an internal investigation involving allegations made against me. These allegations are absolutely and entirely false. Nonetheless, I ordered Bishop Lee Piché to oversee an independent, thorough investigation and that he hire an outside firm unaffiliated with the Archdiocese to conduct the investigation.

The allegations do not involve minors or lay members of the faithful, and they do not implicate any kind of illegal or criminal behavior. The allegations involve events alleged to have occurred at least a decade ago, before I began serving in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

I have ordered that the investigation be conducted for the benefit of the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese investigates all allegations of clergy misconduct. It would be unfair to ignore these allegations simply because I know them to be false. Since I would instruct the Archdiocese to investigate similar allegations made against any priest, I have ordered the Archdiocese to independently investigate the allegations made against me.

The investigation is ongoing. The Apostolic Nuncio, who oversees all bishops in the United States, has been informed of the allegations and he will be informed of the results of the investigation when it is completed. Let us pray that the truth will come out as a result of the investigation.

St. Paul’s archbishop, a leader in the defense of traditional marriage in his state, faces new accusations of sexual improprieties, supposedly with other adults. Several months ago he faced a similar accusation that was then seen as unfounded by the top-ranked independent law firm that investigated it. As in the earlier case, another bishop has arranged for the law firm, which is unaffiliated with the diocese, to investigate and report on these claims to the archdiocese and the Pope’s ambassador to the United States.

I don’t read Commonweal and understand the problematic stances they take.

But I have to ask why is Commonweal not OK around here but Lifesitenews, which is AT LEAST just as bombastic is acknowledged as a quality news sours?

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