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Nienstedt Is Here To Stay

St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt, who has been under intense pressure to resign over mishandling of clerical sex abuse matters, now says he ain’t going nowhere:

Archbishop John Nienstedt will announce Thursday that he is not resigning as head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, despite growing pressure for him to step down.

Nienstedt will make the announcement in his column in the The Catholic Spirit, the newspaper of the archdiocese.

“To say that this has been a difficult year is quite an understatement,” wrote Nienstedt.

“In the end, it comes down to this: eighteen years ago, Pope John Paul II chose me to serve the Church as a bishop, an authentic successor of the Apostles … I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here.”

Because it’s all about him. No matter how much he’s lost the confidence and the trust of the people he was sent to lead, he’s bound to soldier on.

The Minneapolis area reader who sent me that link writes:

I want to post “95 Theses” to the door of the Chancery: 1) John Doe #1; 2) John Doe #2, etc etc on up to John Doe #95.

Why do we Catholics put up with this?

I’m not being at all snarky when I say: What choice do you have? There’s absolutely nothing the laity can do except take it. For too many bishops, their motto is, L’eglise, c’est moi. What these bishops don’t understand is that the office of bishop is essential; no particular bishop is. If you’re going to alienate the people in your diocese, do it for the right reasons. But for clericalism, covering up child molestation, and protecting perverts in the priesthood?

The problems in that diocese go so deep. The St. Louis Catholic blogger and theater director Kevin O’Brien has been writing about the role his archbishop, Robert Carlson, played in the Minneapolis mess when he was a bishop there. Carlson covered for a now-laicized priest, Father Mike Kolar, who was raping underage women. Kolar was dispatched to South America, and later requested laicization. He got married, and is today back in St. Paul, drawing his priest’s pension. Read the document trove released in the lawsuit. I found the letter one of Kolar’s alleged victims, a female employee, sent to the Archdiocese talking about how she stabbed and burned and threw acid on her face because she felt so worthless and guilty for having made a priest sin. A gobsmacked Kevin O’Brien writes about the Kolar case here. The documents in the case are here. In the official request to the Pope for Kolar’s laicization, then-Archbishop John Roach tells the pontiff that as a seminarian, a “respected priest of the archdiocese” (it was Msgr. Jerome Boxleitner, well known as a social-justice priest) attempted to rape him. That, says Roach, referring to Kolar’s own testimony, convinced Kolar that he could do whatever he wanted to do sexually as long as it remained hidden. Said Kolar, “That is the way he handled his sexuality; I was thus taught that that is the way I could handle mine.”

In better news, the Vatican has forced a Paraguayan bishop to can the pervy Fr. Carlos Urritugoity, who was thrown out of the Diocese of Scranton in the US over his sicko behavior with boys, but elevated to No. 2 in the Peruvian diocese by its bishop, who had reason to know all of this. That’s seriously good news, and good on Pope Francis for making this happen.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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