Archbishop John Nienstedt, who waged war against the gay community, has resigned after his archdiocese was charged with the coverup of child sex abuse by a priest.
John Clayton Nienstedt early this morning resigned from his role as the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Pope Francis is said to have accepted his resignation, along with that of one of his deputy bishops.
After a lengthy investigation, earlier this month prosecutors charged the Archdiocese in a 43-page criminal complaint with failing to protect children from a pedophile priest. Those charges included six gross misdemeanor counts that church officials "downplayed or ignored reports of a predatory priest and protected clergy at the expense of children, leading to the abuse of at least three young victims," according to reports.
That was merely one case, but the Archdiocese had been forced to release the names of dozens of priests accused of child sex abuse over several decades.
"I leave with a clear conscience knowing that my team and I have put in place solid protocols to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults," Nienstedt said in a statement this morning.
As Archbishop, earlier Nienstedt had been best-known for his long and dark history of not only opposing marriage equality, but of actively investing a reported $650,000 of the Roman Catholic Church's funds to prevent same-sex couples from marrying.
Before the 2010 election, the 67-year old Archbishop of Minneapolis and St. Paul spammed 400,000 Minnesota homes with unrequested anti-gay DVDs in a failed attempt to get voters to ban same-sex marriage. Not only did his efforts fail, but lawmakers actually later ushered in marriage equality.
Undeterred, in 2013 Nienstedt claimed that “Satan” is “the source” of same-sex marriage. He also told the mother of a gay man she could go to hell if she did not embrace the Church's teachings on homosexuality.
Last summer, as Commonweal Magazine reported, Nienstedt's own diocese was investing him for sexual misconduct with other men, including priests, having received ten signed and sworn letters of accusation.
Nienstedt denied the allegations, claiming, “I have never engaged in sexual misconduct and certainly have not made any sexual advances toward anyone." He also artfully spun the charges in a statement, according to the Atlantic Wire, "The allegations do not involve minors or lay members of the faithful, and they do not implicate any kind of illegal or criminal behavior."
Image: Screenshot via MnCatholic/YouTube