New archbishop is a great organizer and planner!

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When the best your coworkers can say is that you're "capable," you may not be right for the job. That "c"-word is the adjective current Archbishop Harry Flynn bestowed on comer John Nienstedt, currently the Catholic potentate of New Ulm. To be fair, in the Pi Press's revealing story, Flynn used the intensifier "such a"--as in "such a ninny," but with the words "capable bishop" used instead.


Reverend Philip M. Schotzko of St. Peter chimes in with exceptional enthusiasm that, "he considers him 'a good organizer and planner and administrator.'"

He did not add, "Bishop Nienstedt is punctual, keeps his fingernails immaculate, and has fantastic handwriting--God has graced this man with the gift of legibility."

In case you missed the coverage, here are some things that Twin Cities Catholics can look forward to after Neinstedt gets his promotion:

No more sleepovers: The Pi Press's David Hanners writes, "As bishop in New Ulm, Nienstedt prohibited cohabitating couples from being married in Catholic churches."

No fellowship during business hours: Nienstedt has written chidingly about parishioners who chat with their neighbors before the start of mass.

Everyone is born straight: In a March 2007 pastoral letter, Nienstedt asserted, "Many behavioral scientists tell us that our unique sexual identity does not begin to be formed until eighteen months and continues until three years of age."

The sexual abuse scandal in the clergy is often a problem of false accusations: "What is of immediate concern, I believe, is a social climate that presumes every unsubstantiated charge is necessarily true. I remember well the months after the late Cardinal Bernardin was publicly accused. Day after day, the press followed him wherever he went. The pressure must have been enormous. Then came the hour when his accuser confessed that he was mistaken. All's well that ends well, but what about the suffering needlessly endured in the meantime?"

Though shalt not transgress through your Netflix queue. In February of 2006, Nienstedt wrote that he does "not recommend for your viewing" the arthouse hit "Brokeback Mountain." Auditioning for a guest column in "Ain't It Cool News," the New Ulm theologian summarizes the plot as follows: "The story is about two lonely cowboys herding sheep up on a mountain range. One night after a drinking binge, one man makes a pass at the other and within seconds the latter mounts the former in an act of wanton anal sex."

The Most Reverend Nienstedt apparently screened it so that you wouldn't have to watch in sin. Now that's a capable bishop!


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