MINNESOTA: Archbishop John Nienstedt Resigns Over Molestation Scandal

“In order to give the Archdiocese a new beginning amidst the many challenges we face, I have submitted my resignation as Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and I have just received word that he has accepted it. The Catholic Church is not our Church, but Christ’s Church, and we are merely stewards for a time. My leadership has unfortunately drawn attention away from the good works of His Church and those who perform them. Thus, my decision to step down. 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. I ask for continued prayers for the well-being of this Archdiocese and its future leaders. I also ask for your continued prayers for me.” – Archbishop John Nienstedt, in a press release issued this morning.

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

The Vatican said Pope Francis accepted the resignations of Archbishop John Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piche. They resigned under the code of canon law that allows bishops to resign before they retire because of illness or some other “grave” reason that makes them unfit for office. Earlier this month, prosecutors charged the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as a corporation of having “turned a blind eye” to repeated reports of inappropriate behavior by a priest who was later convicted of molesting two boys. No individual was named in the indictment. The resignations came just days after Pope Francis approved the creation of a new tribunal inside the Vatican to hear cases of bishops who failed to protect children from sexually abusive priests. Francis’ decision followed years of criticism that the Vatican had never held bishops accountable for having ignored warnings about abusive priests and simply moved them from parish to parish rather than report them to police or remove them from ministry.

PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: The Archdiocese declared bankruptcy in January 2015. Last summer Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt was accused of “sexual impropriety” with priests and other men. Nienstedt then denied allegations that he is gay to a local newspaper. Niedstedt was later grilled by a different local paper about his sexuality. In January 2012, Nienstedt ordered all of Minnesota’s priests to remain silent
if they opposed the coming referendum on same-sex marriage. Later in
2012, it was Nienstedt’s ugly anti-gay public letter that launched NFL
player Chris Kluwe into the spotlight after Kluwe penned a blistering response in a local newspaper. In September of that year Nienstedt declared that Satan loves sodomy. Also in September 2012, Nienstedt was accused of shielding a pedophile priest who is currently in prison. In 2010 Nienstedt ordered that communion be denied to openly gay students. Also in 2010, Nienstedt’s archdiocese sent out 400,000 DVDs to Minnesota voters urging that they support anti-gay gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

  • Ed Burrow

    Bye Felicia…
    Oh, and Fuck Off.

    • PeterC

      Yes, GOODBYE to an evil “church person”.

    • Kieron

      Hopefully, it’s “Bye, fellatio” for this jackass.

  • Wait. The archdiocese sent out 400k DVDs endorsing a candidate by name? And they still have their tax exempt status?

    • Bj Lincoln

      The IRS has been looking the other way for a very long time. The rules are vague at best stating “some” political involvement. For the last 2 years, hundreds of churches have openly defied the IRS by supporting candidates and their causes but the IRS has done NOTHING.
      I do wish the IRS would get their act together and start doing something about it.

      • Given the shitstorm that came at the IRS over teabaggers trying to form nonprofit groups that were clearly for political advocacy groups (that right were denied nonprofit status), the IRS is not going to take on churches. It’s just not gonna happen. I wouldn’t be up for the media lynching that would follow so I can’t expect anyone else to be either.

        • RoFaWh

          Time for a writ of mandamus requiring the IRS to carry out the their statutory duties.

          Personally, I’m waiting for someone with good lawyers to challenge the tax exemptions given religious bodies on the grounds that it amounts to a subsidy for religion and contravenes the “no establishment” clause.

          Two things would happen if such a law suit were successful: one, congregations housed in grossly superadequate buildings would have to pony up taxes on those buildings; many would decide to move to cheaper quarters. Two, taxes on income and such would force churches to maintain and reveal detailed financial records; nothing like the light of publicity to reveal malfeasances, of which there are many, particularly in prosperity gospel and unaffiliated churches.

          One can hope, no?

        • brian

          Stated far better than I could have.

      • brian

        They can’t. We have a black man as president and the IRS is all ready at the top of the RWNJ’s list. They would go ape-shit crazy.

  • BearEyes

    “I leave with a clear conscience”
    Yes, because you have none.

    Since you quit, are you now available to be charged and tried?

  • Joseph Miceli

    So this horrible human being, who covered for kid fuckers and painted gays as degenerates and did his best to marginalize and discriminate against us, he gets to retire? Why isn’t this piece of shit that Christ would fling into Hell like a used chicken bone rotting in jail?
    Seriously, while I despise religion, I do have a lot of respect for the amount of Olympic level mental gymnastics that Catholic church goers must perform these days to hold onto their delusions.

    • b

      Why are they free, and not behind bars?? Because they wear costumes and burn incense?? Crazy. Help them get some prison, and all prison delights.

    • Joseph Miceli

      I just sent a nice letter to the archdiocese letting them know my feelings. I’m sure they appreciated it

    • Paul

      Same reason trigger-happy cops get put on “administrative paid leave” as opposed to getting fired or prosecuted.

  • Larry Larson

    The Lord works in mysterious ways! Glory!

    • People4Humanity

      Love the kitteh avatar.

  • bkmn

    Should have happened more than 10 years ago. Lie-Instead is such an asshole.

  • BudClark

    Aaaaaaaaaaand, ANOTHER one bites the dust.

  • joe ho

    can people wonder that religion continues to decline at an accelerating pace throughout the industrialized west? it’s on its way to becoming an essentially third-world phenomenon.

    “religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.”
    –attributed to mark twain

    • no one will care, but let me say: religion was invented by women. the first fool was the first man who believed “this baby is the product of a gawd.”

      the mystery of reproduction seeded, no pun intended, a lot of religious and philosophical thought. it was only very recently that people correctly and scientifically understood reproduction. very recently.

      patriarchal religion is a by-product of what you describe. it really pisses men off, when they can’t be sure “it’s mine.” hence, a lot of ceremony and face paint and music and dancing called “religion.” it distracts nicely.

      • Lars De

        That’s a thought provoking perspective. I never considered that angle before.

      • madknits

        When I was in div school, I took a course called “Contemporary Goddess Thealogy”, and that’s a perspective we covered. Thanks for reminding me.

    • Lars De

      And it’s only become a third-world phenomenon thanks to American fundamentalists who only offer you water if you take their bible too.

  • Revoke their passports and put a warrant out for their arrest. Not another one of these child rapists/enablers should be allowed to flee the country to the Vatican.

    • Paula

      The Vatican would probably give them diplomatic immunity or something. A diplomatic plane will land at MSP and they will secretly get him aboard and that’s the end of it.

      • cheakamus

        Ha! I read that as diplomatic “impunity” — a license to carry on as usual.

  • The Professor

    But gay people are the REAL threat to the family and civilization… right Francis?

  • oikos
    • Gene

      the only real perverts in the world, are child molesters…the only thing worse than a child molester, is someone who would help them cover their crimes in the name of God.

      • Todd20036

        And the only thing worse than someone who would help them cover their crimes in the name of God, is a God who approves of this.

        • Gene

          to a non believer, its nonsensical, of course. But to a believer…I dont think I can think of any Church, anywhere, that would say God approves of such things. Be they Roman Catholic or Evangelical Fundamentalist, they try to hide these crimes, because even by their own rules, they know such criminal behavior (we need to point out its criminal behavior more I think..just calling it abuse is not enough) is utterly forbidden by every modern denomination of the faith. They know better…they are supposed to be the shepherds of society (thus the Staff bishops carry…thats what they stand for) not the wolves. that, when you think about it, makes it even worse.

      • Herald

        The Duggars show the Catholics do not have a monopoly on this. Lots of fundagelicals are in on it too.

        • teeveedub

          That’s true, as do other “religious” folks. But the Catholic church does seem to have institutionalized child molesting and subsequent cover-ups – moving guilty priests from one place to another, cardinals shifting funds around to avoid paying restitution to victims, a collective refusal to open their files to law enforcement. It has become an integral part of the way the RCC does business.

          • Herald

            That is true and the Catholics are able to do it that way because they are organized in an institutional manner. The fundagelicals are for the most part very independent so they cannot do it in a formal institutional manner. Instead they just let the molesters resign and never tell the next church about past crimes.

          • Paul

            Numerous fundy churches have coverup strategies so shrewd they make the Catholic Church look like amateur hour.

            Go to YouTube and watch the 20/20 special on “Independent Fundamental Baptists.”

      • TampaZeke

        You mean, “Someone Duggars who Duggars would Duggars help Duggars them Duggars cover Duggars their Duggars crimes Duggars in Duggars the Duggars name Duggars of Duggars God Duggars”?

      • VodkaAndPolitics

        Meh, I’m pretty comfortable putting the pervert label on people who engage in non-consensual sex regardless of age or species.

        • Reality.Bites

          And rapists.

        • Gene

          good point on the non consensual sex observation. ALL such things are heinous, and an adult victim of such crimes is just that, a victim deserving justice and care. But there is just something about abusing a child…someone without the emotional resources to fight back…the physical ability to try to do so…the life experience to know “I am not the guilty party here” (abused kids are often made to feel guilty by their abusers)…etc….hell, friends who have been assaulted as adults tell me of the horror (physical AND emotional) of it, but, one woman said it best “I was a woman when this happened, and it damaged me for a long time, but, my foundations of ME were long in place. How does a little girl (or boy I will add) deal with all that? I just can’t imagine it”. I agree

          • VodkaAndPolitics

            Yes, Child molesters are the worst, no doubt.

          • Joseph Miceli

            “…abused kids are often made to feel guilty by their abusers…”
            Yep. Just ask the nice people at Quiverfull.

    • TampaZeke

      Damn oikos, where do you find this stuff? You’re like a god to me!

  • RCChicago

    High time. Good riddance.

  • Ninja0980

    Good riddance you miserable POS.

  • Kieron

    ” My leadership has unfortunately drawn attention away from the good works of His Church and those who perform them.”

    And those who do bad acts? What of them? Scapegoats or scot-free?

  • Blake Jordan

    So is the loss of cushy jobs their only punishment?

  • i can’t even.

    ok, fellows, let’s all count the number of times we had to sign or affirm an “i will not rape children” clause for a job. come on, i know some of you had to have done so, right? what? no?

    i apologize. i covered up for a child rapist so i could live in a big fancee house with a lot of servants, and not work for a living. i had a couple of teens myself. conservative politicians love me, did i mention that? anyway, i’m moving to Italy. don’t call me. my butler will handle the checks.

    did i mention i own law enforcement? ha ha, go have that abortion. i’ll sick them on you, you whore.

    • People4Humanity

      Don’t hold back, chicago dyke. Psychologists say it’s damaging to do so. Tell us how you REALLY feel!

    • bambinoitaliano

      That’s the thing about believing in god, you get to choose which one to follow and which one you conveniently disregard. Even it’s the same rule, one still can flip flop at one’s will. Look at all the self qualified spoke persons for god. No background check , no education require.

    • RoFaWh

      A simpler way to understand this: in all organizations, it’s mostly assholes who get promoted into management ranks. Nienstedt is management.

  • fuow

    It’s a pity christians place more emphasis on Paul than Jesus. If they had paid attention to that long-haired, sandal-wearing Jewish carpenter, they might have actually learned what happens to people who abuse children. Millstones and so on and so forth.
    But, heh – only Paul matters, so what the fuck – just rape, and abuse away, you christians.

    • I’ve said the same damn thing. I call them Paulians or Paulites. They do give much more weight to Paul’s words than Jesus’, especially when it’s convenient, as in, Jesus never said a word about homos.

      • fuow

        Yup. It’s fun to read their apologists (mean it in the proper sense, so fuck off know-it-all christers) and see just how little their sect has to do with the justice and compassion their namessake had to offer.
        But then, Jesus was a Jew. Big difference.

    • Joseph Miceli

      Paul…still fucking up Christianity almost 2,000 years later.

      • All things considered, a lot of the “bad” parts of Paul’s letters might well be post-letter accretions that ended up being frozen into the official text. (The same thing I think about the gospel infancy narratives, a lot of the miracles, and the resurrection – plus, Jesus the son of the Father, and Jesus Bar-Abbas were likely the same person . . . ). Even Paul has some good things in there – grains of corn in the dungheap.

      • I blame Augustine of Hippo more.

        • Joseph Miceli

          Maybe, but then we’ve already established that you are smarter than me. :). Hope you are having a good Monday!

          • Three years in a Roman Catholic seminary doesn’t make me smarter. 🙂

            I’m only picking nits, one can certainly find enough in Paul’s letters (whether or not those parts were actually written by him) to criticize!

          • Joseph Miceli

            Joann, trust me on this. Every time you address an issue I learn something that I didn’t before because you see more than I do. You are most certainly more insightful than me. I win on being bitchier, though.

  • Alpha 50327

    ‘Pray for me.’ Are you fucking kidding me? I hope you almost die in fire you pederast shielding sack of shit.

    • fuow

      Yes, slow roasted to death would be a minimal punishment for what he permitted.

      • Kieron

        He meant to say “Pay for me.” Because that is what we will be doing, sad to say.

    • D. J.

      ‘Prey for me’………Fixed it.

  • Bj Lincoln

    So because he retires, he will receive retirement benefits?

    • Gustav2

      And do we get their passports before the fly off to Rome for the ‘tribunal?’

  • Reality.Bites

    If he wants to give the diocese a new beginning he needs to write a long letter admitting his crimes and then kill himself.

    • fuow

      Oh, no – I hope he lives in full mental clarity to enjoy many, many more years.
      In prison. Where, as we all know, child molesters and their enablers receive the most concerted attention.

      • People4Humanity

        That is why prisons are called
        “corrective institutions.”

      • Reality.Bites

        That’s not going to happen though.

  • Ninja0980

    This asshole should be thrown in prison, not getting a cushy retirement.

    • fuow

      I had something from the Spanish Inquisition in mind for him. Prison is too easy.

      • bdsmjack

        Orange is the new red and cloth-of-gold brocade.

    • Paula

      He will be retiring to his 16 bedroom, 10 bath mansion, somewhere. All paid for by the families of the victims of molestation.

  • bambinoitaliano

    Of course in our day to day life we see molestation as a challenge(sarcasm). For someone who claim to be closer to god and understand his scriptures, it’s a challenge when it comes to molestation? Running a whore house is still illegal in many states but this asshole is in the business of operating a child molestation station get to walk away scot free. Makes FIFA corruption look like a mickey mouse operation by comparison.

    • Necessitas

      Now that’s he’s retiring and his face is all over the news, hopefully some of his victims will have the courage to come forward and have him prosecuted. It’ll probably be his line about having a clear conscience which will motivate them to do so. Here’s to hope.

      It’s easy for someone to have a clear conscience when they so obviously have no conscience at all.

  • “…Pope Francis approved the creation of a new tribunal inside the Vatican to hear cases of bishops who failed to protect children from sexually abusive priests.”

    I’d like to know why the hell these Romish “courts” are given any honor, respect, or deference in this country. If the clerics in this story were imams and being spirited off and dealt with in sharia courts the people would be burning down mosques in outrage.

    You want to hold a church trial? Fine. As soon as the guilty are released from civil prison you can have your church trial but civil law MUST come first!

    • BobSF_94117

      But it’s an extra-special Vatican tribunal. Heck, it’s probably even a Tribunal (capitalized). You know that something that’s taken over a decades and a half to think about must be really something…

      I wonder if there’s going to be a commemorative coin!

      • Probably. And this popery smells like shit just like the last one.

    • Mark

      Just like police forces who “investigate” their own officers’ alleged misconduct. Or the FBI “investigating” killings committed by FBI agents. (100% of the latter have been exhonorated.)

  • “The Catholic Church is not our Church, but Christ’s Church, and we are merely stewards for a time.” – Yes, yes, blame it all on Jebus! “We were just hanging around, basking in Jebus and stuff, and he let these horrible things go on for centuries. And we said, well we’re just borrowing the place, whatev, Jesus, but you’re really distracting from our good works.”

  • DaveW

    Boo boo. No more pointy hat. Should be in jail though

  • “I leave with a clear conscience.” – well, yeh, because you’re a fucking sociopath!

    • TrollopeReader

      It’s so clear because it is 100% missing. You never had a conscience, dude.

  • William

    The archbishop deserves a new title: inmate.

    • David Walker

      The congregants deserve a new chant: neener neener neener.

  • People4Humanity

    The Holy See’s finest barristers drew up
    that non-apology non-confession.

  • Bill_Perdue

    He and the papal nuncio should be arrested and the assets of the roman cult in the US seized without compensation to pay their victims and advance the fight against HIV.

    An arrest warrant should be sworn out against the current and former popes and enforced it they ever enter the US.

    Then – Tax, Prosecute, Persecute.

  • zhera

    And as always, no request for prayers and thoughts for the victims of sexual abuse. This guy is so fucking arrogant!

    • D. J.

      I would like to know how much advice the Duggaring Duggars are getting from Cannon Lawyers (men like Tommy Peters’ father), regardless that they are Protestant?
      While Caleb Moore has never been accused of Duggaring, I notice that whenever CALEB needs a lawyer, the Moore’s don’t hire the likes of ADF.
      THEY hire REAL law firms with REAL lawyers ($$$$) to handle their “personal, private matters”.
      How is it that for them (The RCC, the DUGGARS and the MOORES), something that generates Police Reports, Arrest Records, Public Investigations and causes Grand Juries to be convened are considered “private matters” rather than Matters of serious PUBLIC business.
      Church Tribunals and meetings with Church Elders are not substitutes to be interchangeable with Courts of Law.

  • raybob

    One down …

  • Paula

    “They resigned under the code of canon law that allows bishops to resign before they retire because of illness or some other “grave” reason that makes them unfit for office.”

    What the hell kind of standards are these people held to? He encouraged open discrimination and hatred towards a group of people, he covered up the rape of children, and who knows what else.
    Did he need to be caught eating babies or duggaring them himself? He is a hero to many people. I just don’t get it.

  • Toasterlad

    If I believed in prayer to any degree, I’d be out in the streets exhorting people to pray for the victims of your horrible cult, as well as for your slow, painful demise, you fucking monster.

  • Ian

    Prayers for you and $2 will almost buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Fuck. Right. Off.

  • Kissmagrits

    The molestation cycle starts with RCC religious dogma and declarations that we’re all born in sin and broken when we arrive on the planet. Then, the priest assures us that he can “fix” us, so we give him our innocent trust. But, not long after, some peculiar blessing ceremonies begin if the padre is into kids. What a perfect set up!

    And now there’s increasing evidence that Protestant and Jewish sects have kiddy diddling impulses and it’s just beginning to catch up with them. Won’t be long now – in less than five years the lid is going to come completely off.

  • StraightGrandmother

    There are more coming. I follow closely Catholic news, saw this tweet over the week-end and saved it.

    • Smokey

      The problem for the Vatican is the need to protect the belief that the sacrament of the priesthood creates an “indelible” mark on the soul. So even the most vile among them are merely relieved of following their vows – they always remain priests. Add in the idea that bishops are at the top of the sacerdotal heap, only responsible to their “brother” bishop the pope, and you have a formula for real inaction when it comes to any malfeasance. Of course they don’t realize that their desire to not tarnish the hierarchy and their supposed authority harms the “brand” even more.

  • TampaDink

    Has John already chosen a decorator for his snazzy new apartment in Vatican City? I hear that he’s got an amazing view of the square & the building security includes protection from extradition.

  • jomicur

    No rights for gays! But plenty of protections for child-rapists! Yaay Jesus!

  • Harley

    Yes Archbishop John Nienstedt, I will pray for you. I will pray that you get anal cancer that spreads to your bones and you have the most painful death any human can experience.

    • Johnson

      Never wish bodily harm on even the most
      Evil person, KARMA will already take care of that!

      • Reality.Bites

        Karma, like Catholicism, is a fiction invented to scare idiots.

  • Tor

    It’s nice to wake up to good news.

  • Jim E.

    This just in: With sainthood no longer viable, the common conjecture is that His Grace will move to California to create the John Nienstedt wing of the Richard Milhous Nixon Institute for Reputation Renewal. And, of course, write a book.

    Bishop Piché will be assigned to the Abbey at St Johns, where he will oversee vespers,compline and the bakery.

  • Michael Hampton

    “I already hid our money from those greedy grabbers who got molested by the priests that I protected from prosecution, so I think my work here is done.” – John Neinstedt

  • Curieux Bleu

    Congrat’s, EX-ARCH-BISHO-PRICK HOMOCON ENABLER of Clerical Pedophilia and Protector of Same Sexual Predators. Of course I am sure you all claim you are Str8 yet “celibate” Of course your priests could have gone to adult whorehouses of either persuasion, because, “celibate” or not, humans are sexual creatures craving INTIMACY.

    But your “shepherds” groomed and raped innocents.

    Even if those altar boys knew they would grow up gay, there is no excuse for that of which you robbed them. You had the power and they had none.

  • BobSF_94117

    So…. another way of looking at this is the Vatican sacked the bishop who failed to protect the diocese and its assets…

  • coram nobis

    “Prayers for me?” How about the victims in the archdiocese, while you looked the other way? How about the parishioners, poor souls, who put money in the plate only to see the archdiocese go bankrupt on your watch? How about the music director, sacked on your orders, because he got married?


    Oh, and you might want to stay away from Rome right now. Court is in session, as the former archbishop from the Dominican Republic is about to find out.

    • 2guysnamedjoe

      Used to be that the Big Hats in the RCC would get transferred to the Vatican whenever the D. A. started breathing down their necks (e.g., Cardinal Law of Boston). Now where will they hide out?

  • anne marie in philly

    douchebag belongs in jail for child rape! along with the duggars!

  • JCF
  • Big surprise he was a child rapist. It’s such a total fucking fake stereotype that gays become priests to become pedophiles. Everyone knows gays become nuns who like to host parties, duh!