An outspoken U.S. Archbishop has temporarily stepped down from his post after being caused of inappropriate contact with a young boy in 2009. John Nienstedt, head of the St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota Archdiocese, has denied the charge, which includes the “allegation that he inappropriately touched an underage male on the buttocks during a public photo session,” the AP reports.
“The St. Paul Police Department began its investigation at 2 p.m. Monday after the archdiocese encouraged a person within the church who is required by law to report allegations of abuse to contact authorities,” Minnesota Public Radio reports. “In a statement this morning, archdiocese officials said they learned of the allegation from that person.”
“The single incident is alleged to have occurred in 2009 during a group photography session with the archbishop following a confirmation ceremony,” the statement said.
In a letter to Twin Cities Catholics posted on the archdiocese’s website today, Nienstedt denied the accusation.
“I must say that this allegation is absolutely and entirely false,” the archbishop wrote. “I have never once engaged in any inappropriate contact with a minor.”
Nienstedt is perhaps is best known for having spammed 400,000 Minnesota homes with unrequested anti-gay DVDs in a failed attempt to get voters to ban same-sex marriage last year. While the DVDs reportedly were paid for by an anonymous donor, Nienstedt did spend $600,000 in Church funds to lobby against the same-sex marriage initiative.
In September of this year, Archbishop Nienstedt claimed that “Satan” is “the source” of same-sex marriage.
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