Joe Soucheray skeptical of allegation Archbishop Nienstedt touched a boy's butt

Categories: Media, Religion
SouchNienstedt.jpg
Souch: "If somehow the touching of another is a crime, then there are people in all walks of life who will hang side by side."
John Nienstedt, archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, took leave from his duties last Tuesday after being hit with an allegation he touched a boy's butt during a confirmation ceremony photo shoot in 2009.

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In a statement released that day, Nienstedt vehemently denied the accusation (details about it remain scant at this point), but the timing couldn't have been worse -- just days earlier, Nienstedt offered up a wishy-washy public apology 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.

So, needless to say, Nienstedt has seen better days. Nonetheless, he hasn't been totally abandoned by Twin Cities Catholics.

Enter Joe Soucheray. Soucherary, a conservative 1500 ESPN radio host and oft-controversial Pioneer Press columnist, offered up a qualified defense of Nienstedt in his weekend column, entitled, "Nienstedt allegation is difficult to believe."

Souch begins by noting that confirmation ceremonies are "clamorous affairs because everybody has a camera these days and everybody wants a chance to get a photo or a bit of video stream with an archbishop posed with a new young soldier of the faith." So who's to say who's touching whose butt in the midst of such chaos?

Here the crux of Souch's case:
It might be foolhardy to say that I am not buying it -- the alleged touching -- because we have been surprised at nearly every turn [as the scandal has unfolded]... [But] [c]ome forward, young man, and tell us exactly what you mean when you charge that the archbishop inappropriately touched you. What exactly is an inappropriate touching of the butt -- a pat, a slap, a brushing against? A brushing against is entirely plausible giving the clamorous nature of the post-confirmation excitement.

This nebulous idea of touching elevated to an actionable sexual deviancy would mean that the pope, who has been hugging people right and left, is committing a foul every time he takes the face of the deformed in his loving hands and gives them a kiss. Good Lord, the pope has been holding children...

[Nienstedt doesn't] deserve this inelegant and quite possibly preposterous charge made against him in the days before Christmas. By all accounts he has no record of such behavior, certainly denies this charge, and he immediately took himself out of service to get this squared away.
As the investigation into Nienstedt continues, we'll see if Souch's skepticism is vindicated. But given all the unsavory things we've learned about the local Catholic bureaucracy in the last few months, it doesn't seem very wise to give church higher-ups the benefit of the doubt at this point, does it?

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

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22 comments
mohanlon3
mohanlon3

Hey Souch, Jack Nicholson's stylist from the 80's called and said "Stop it!'

mrgasso
mrgasso

I don't buy these allegations for a minute. I'm not Catholic nor Conservative. There's something more Sinister at work here.

Jon Marchand
Jon Marchand

I think Joe Soucheray does. And in his universe, that's all that matters.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

Anyone who rocks the Fonzie style while sporting a sweet authority be damned look on his face can't be wrong...right?

Victoria Cameron
Victoria Cameron

Does anyone think Joe Soucheray is particularly relevant?

Bill Boudewyns
Bill Boudewyns

Just another old white conservative guy minimizing serious allegations, essentially blaming the victim. Why would this scumbag feel the need to weigh in?

Aaron Michael Scherbel
Aaron Michael Scherbel

Soucheray is the reason I stopped visiting the Pioneer Press website about a year ago and picked up a paid online subscription to Star Tribune. Best decision I made all year, far better and way less FOX-News-ish.

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours topcommenter

I'm on the side of believing the Nienstedt is a big ol' ass grabber. If you're the type of guy who likes the grab/pat/fondle the ass of a youngster, doing it during a photo session in a house of worship -- surrounded by other newly minted soldiers of the lord, and their families -- is the dream scenario. You want a lot of potential witnesses in the room. #TweetsAreYours

Andrew Berg
Andrew Berg

Sir Mix-A-Lot wrote a song about this and made millions. Double-standard.

Christopher Smith
Christopher Smith

Erik Seavey. I am less concerned about those two in society than I am of you in society. Did you actually write "He's probably a kid rapist too?" Or was your account hacked. If you wrote that you are quite the nasty human being.

TruDat
TruDat

I'm with Souch on this one.  And, if the allegation turns out to false I'd like to see the 'victim' charged with slander. What a wuss, someone touched my butt, he should be embarrassed. This diminishes the real crimes.

Kinnell Tackett
Kinnell Tackett

The world is a better place now that we have his opinion. I can now rest easier.

Cat Lemke
Cat Lemke

I agree. I can't even count the number of butts I've accidentally smacked, grabbed, or caressed - only another klutz would know.

Oscar Quella
Oscar Quella

Soucheray has always been a twat and if I could think of a good zinger about his stupid forehead he'd be so burnt!

ajlalk3
ajlalk3 topcommenter

@TruDat So when you were a kid, you were perfectly cool with respected religious figures grabbing your ass?

TruDat
TruDat

@ajlalk3 @TruDat

I wasn't a pathetic snivelling little wuss when I was 13, like this guy was. I would assume it was an accident or I would have punched him. (and, yes, I went to a Catholic school)

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