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Cops Trying To Investigate Sex Abuse At St. Paul Archdiocese: ‘We Have Been Told No’

by David Badash on December 18, 2013

in News,Religion

Post image for Cops Trying To Investigate Sex Abuse At St. Paul Archdiocese: ‘We Have Been Told No’

An accusation of inappropriate touching of a minor against one of America’s top Catholic Archbishops has opened the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota Archdiocese to national attention, and it’s not looking good.

Yesterday, Archbishop John Nienstedt voluntarily stepped aside as he was accused of inappropriately touching the buttocks of a young boy in 2009. He denies the charges.

Now, the nation is learning that there are other sex abuse investigations taking place by police of Nienstedt’s archdiocese — and they are being stalled by an uncooperative church.

“I want to let the public know one thing: let me be very clear on this,” St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith told reporters yesterday. “We have through written and verbal requests made clear our desire to speak to individuals connected to the archdiocese and we have been told no.”

“We have been told no”? Who gets to tell the police, “No, we will not speak with you”?

KSTP reports that “Smith says police have not had the access to interview clergy members in recent investigations into the previous allegations.”

As late as last week, Smith said they were told no.

“In order for us to bring these cases to the next step in the process of concluding investigations and to bring them to closure, we again, now publicly, call upon those individuals to speak with us,” Smith said. “That’s why we are here today.”

Watch:

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.

Last year, Nienstedt told a mother who asked him for acceptance for her gay child that she might go to hell if she does not embrace the Church’s teachings.

In September of this year, Archbishop Nienstedt claimed that “Satan” is “the source” of same-sex marriage.

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{ 7 comments }

BJLincoln December 18, 2013 at 9:30 am

A warrant to search his residence and arrest anyone who gets in the way. I could just see an average person say no…Ha Ha Ha..Riiiiight.

DannyEVillage December 18, 2013 at 10:30 am

The pope's already told 'em to cooperate. In fact, I think even the last pope told 'em to do that. these American bishops are full of themselves – and that isn't all.

Of course, it figures that this nutjob–the one that told a mother she risked eternal perdition by not turning her back on her son–is deep in it.

The worse their homophobia the more they have to hide.

Bose_in_SP_MN December 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

Note that Abp Nienstedt has "stepped aside" and removed himself from "public ministry," leaving himself running the archdiocese. Unlike a leave of absence or a suspension, his authority and control have not changed.

So, whatever shenanigans are being pulled to obstruct the investigations, they're happening on Nienstedt's watch.

snapjudy December 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Quoted: "St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith said Tuesday that investigators have not gotten cooperation from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on sexual abuse cases"—
—This is extremely disturbing news, How are parents and parishioners expected to know that their children are safe within this diocese, when the church officials are not telling the truth? And why are they not cooperating with the police?

Also, It takes a lot of courage to come forward and take action about being sexually abused. So let's hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Archbishop John Nienstedt, will get help and find the courage and strength to speak up and contact law enforcement, not the church officials, no matter how long ago it happened.
Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.
Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511, snapjudy@gmail.com
SNAP "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests"

bishopsheeney December 19, 2013 at 7:26 am

I believe that the correct theological description of obstructionist abp Nienstedt is lying sack of —- in league with Satan. Satan has put him in the church to ruin it.

Huntercgo December 19, 2013 at 8:38 am

It will be interesting to see what action Francis (The Advocate's "Person of the Year") takes on this — if any.

Somehow, I don't think it's a good idea to hold your breath.

kpm5953 February 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm

omg they are suppose to me teaching children about god and morality!!! this is awful i hope the god they worship sees to it that these kids get the justice they deserve. If you dont put an end to the abuse of children when you are aware of it you are just as guilty…..one would assume people who have devoted their life to god,morality and ethics would practice what they preach but then again i guess those rules only apply to unholy queers who are mature and consenting in their decision to be together…….. I don't like bashing religion institutions but seriously the catholic church needs to clean house and get their shit together

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