Archbishop John Nienstedt apologies for priest sexual abuse, sort of

Categories: Religion
Nienstedt.jpg
Archbishop Nienstedt said he was ignorant, but not guilty of some sort of coverup.
During remarks made at Our Lady of Grace Church in Edina yesterday, John Nienstedt, archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, apologized for not doing more to root out sexual abusers from his church and for taking inadequate measures to prevent priests from engaging in sexually abusive behavior.

RELATED: Archdiocese reveals names of priests accused of sexual misconduct

But Nienstedt's apology was measured, as he made sure to mention that he thought the Catholic church sex scandal was a thing of the past when he became archbishop in April 2007.

"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," Nienstedt told reporters during a brief news conference between the two masses at which he spoke (via the Star Tribune). "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."

Nienstedt delivered the same remarks at each of the two masses. He told parishioners he's "here to apologize for the indignation that you justifiably feel. You deserve better."

"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," Nienstedt continued, adding that "progress is being made in reducing the incidence of such terrible misconduct. There is reason, even now, to be hopeful."

But one local Catholic official -- Reverend Mike Tegeder, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Minneapolis -- said Nienstedt's public apology isn't enough.

"The fact that he says he just accepted what he was told seems to be a question of his leadership," Tegeder, who has previously called for Nienstedy to resign, told the Strib. "That's not an excuse. He had the responsibility to really search that out."

The Twin Cities Catholic sex scandal files:
-- Archbishop John Nienstedt reportedly under criminal investigation
-- Rev. Keating sex scandal: Read creepy emails 44-year-old seminary student sent girl, 14
-- Woman says she sought spiritual guidance from Maplewood priest, got seduced instead
-- St. Paul police reopen child porn investigation aimed at priest Jon Shelley
-- Priest reportedly approached young men at Barnes & Noble, asked, "Are you fucking horny?"
-- Archbishop John Nienstedt blames the devil for sodomy, condoms and marriage equality


-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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20 comments
George Adam
George Adam

Would it not be fair to assume he is innocent until proven guilty? Just sayin'

Emily Summers Leabch
Emily Summers Leabch

It makes me sad that the Catholic Church has just gotten such a wonderful Pope and his efforts are being overshadowed here by this. I am no longer Catholic, but my hopes for the overall church are high and if the church here in Minnesota could follow the example being set in Rome it would be a lovely change of pace. If all the good that is being done by the majority of priests and nuns and lay people in the church could just come to the forefront without suspicion being cast upon those doing it, it would be a good day.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

He better go to jail for covering up sex abuse.   What an evil person.  

Steve Anderson
Steve Anderson

We need to see less of these guys in their clerical robes and more of them in orange jumpsuits.

Mary Kesslar
Mary Kesslar

I won't even watch it. Puke stained sorry excuse of a man....

Ran Dazzle
Ran Dazzle

is he really that stupid? ask yourselves before you put that check in the bowl which is all hes trying to save

Joshua Warren
Joshua Warren

Nievity at it's finest... what a liar liar pants on fire

Jason Thor Carle
Jason Thor Carle

So that's why he actively covered it up? I bet he's doing it too...

John Roger Bergman
John Roger Bergman

This may be something worthy of that "hell" they speak of. Hopefully someone expedites his visit.

Lenny Grossman
Lenny Grossman

King Perv!...This Asshole has Lie written all over his face!

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

I don't understand the line, "here to apologize for the indignation that you justifiably feel." He's apologizing for their being indignant, not for the rapes and the molestation and the lies and the cover-ups that are the causes of their indignation? I realize that he may just be an extremely clumsy public speaker, but this still feels a bit like non-apology apology doubletalk.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

He's a bald-faced butt-covering liar.

Jacen Solo
Jacen Solo

The guy represents one of the most corrupt and blood thirsty organizations to ever grace the earth. His word is shit.

theoko
theoko

What he appears to be guilty of is inadequately investigating sexual abuse in the Catholic church, and he has basically confessed to it.  His lack of due diligence in rooting out his institution's abuse of its members trust- and their children- is damning.  What other proof are you looking for? 

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