One keeps hoping these horrible stories will eventually cease, but apparently not, as this one from the National Catholic Reporter indicates.
Catholic archbishop in Minnesota who has been one of the hierarchy’s most vocal opponents of gay rights is himself the target of an investigation into allegations that he had a series of sexual relationships with priests, seminarians and other men, it was reported Tuesday.
The investigation of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt is being conducted by a prominent Minneapolis law firm hired by the archdiocese after church officials received numerous allegations against Nienstedt.
The archdiocese confirmed the investigation, which was first reported by Commonweal, a Catholic magazine based in New York.
Nienstedt, 67, said in a separate statement that the allegations “are absolutely and entirely false.”
“The allegations do not involve minors or lay members of the faithful, and they do not implicate any kind of illegal or criminal behavior,” Nienstedt said. “The allegations involve events alleged to have occurred at least decade ago, before I began serving in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.”
Commonweal’s story cites Jennifer Haselberger, former top canon lawyer for Nienstedt, as saying she learned of the investigation when she was questioned by attorneys from the firm that the archdiocese hired, Greene Espel.
Nienstedt came under fire last September for allegedly failing to report or discipline clergy suspected of molesting children after Haselberger, who had resigned her post in frustration in April 2013, began leaking internal church documents that appeared to detail efforts to shield abusers.
One of Nienstedt’s top aides, the Rev. Peter Laird, quit, and it later emerged that Laird did so after Nienstedt rebuffed his suggestion that the archbishop should resign.