Earlier in the week, Archbishop John Nienstedt was dealing with the release of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis list of accused priests. The list is already under fire as being incomplete and possibly including names of priests who are currently active or at least still in the public. He took to the pulpit and preached. In a homily that was released a day early and reported by the Minneapolis Tribune he wrote:
“The negative news reports about past incidents of clerical sexual abuse in this local church have rightly been met with shame, embarrassment and outrage that such heinous acts could be perpetrated by men who had taken priestly vows as well as bishops who failed to remove them from ministry,”
“When I arrived here seven years ago, one of the first things I was told was that this whole issue of clerical sex abuse had been taken care of and I didn’t have to worry about it,” he told reporters. “Unfortunately I believed that. … And so my biggest apology today is to say I overlooked this. I should have investigated it a lot more than I did. When the story started to break at the end of September, I was as surprised as anyone else.”
The early release was a good way to get the message out to many more than would be sitting in the church in Edina. However, concerning the comments after raise some additional questions because he was previously the Bishop in the New Ulm Dioceses, their list has not yet been released. Will he be surprised about that one also? If the Minneapolis St Paul list hadn’t been released yet, how was he told it was taken care of? Was the real way it was taken care of that they had been successfully defending the cases with the statute of limitations?
Then later in the week, he was forced to take a leave because he had been accused of inappropriately touching a boy. There are differing opinions on how much cooperation there has been with the police in the investigation. We will continue to watch as the story unfolds.
The one pattern which is emerging is that the more current the issue, the less forthcoming the Church seems to be. The LA Times looked at the problems Archbishop Roger Mahony has dealt with and the effect his inaction has had.
Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.