Archbishop Nienstedt Cleared - Resumes Duties

Prosecutors call the boy's claims 'unlikely.'

When Archbishop Nienstedt stepped down to be cleared of this allegation, I wondered at the precedent. I still do. But in his particular case, I cannot imagine he could have handled it better. He volunteered to step down and has now been cleared. He has been the very model of accountability and transparency. May God bless him.

Archbishop John Nienstedt will return to full duties in the Catholic Church after the Ramsey County attorney’s office found insufficient evidence to support what it called an “unlikely” allegation that he touched a boy’s buttocks after a confirmation ceremony in 2009.

The office began reviewing reports and evidence provided by police in late December and on Tuesday announced that the investigation didn’t support the filing of criminal charges.

Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Richard Dusterhoft, the office’s criminal division director, said in a memo that the scenario described in the allegation “seems unlikely.” The allegation accused the archbishop of using a public moment after the confirmation to “sexually touch a random boy openly in front of another clergy member, a deacon, and numerous other confirmands while the confirmands’ family members were preparing to document the moment’’ with photos, Dusterhoft wrote.

“This case was reviewed by an assistant county attorney with many years of experience prosecuting child sex abuse cases,” Dusterhoft’s memo said. “It is that attorney’s experienced and considered opinion that based upon the evidence as presented by police this case could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and should not be charged.”

*subhead*May God Bless him.*subhead*


  1. It will be interesting to see what sort of impact this conversion has on the worldwide Charismatic/Pentecostal movement. Will it cause folks in that movement to seriously consider Catholicism, or will cause a reaction against it?

  2. Love this. I converted last year after over 20 years as a Baptist. I too started looking into the RCC to understand better, rather than rely on the usual stereotypes and misinformation; I not only came to understand, I came to love it, and I came to stay.

  3. These false attacks on orthodox prelates will continue to ramp up.
    For the Weakland, Bernadin types the real offenses will be ignored.

  4. Welcome home. One can only study Christianity for so long before they hit the realization that Catholicism is the one church our Lord Jesus Christ instituted.

    As for the "charismatic Catholic" thing, not my gig, speaking in tounges, sleeping in the spirit, crazy masses.. but as they say, different strokes for different folks. I'm just happy he and his family are getting the sacraments

  5. It all depends on the language coming out of Rome. Since the 1960s, the general language is that it doesn't matter what religion we are. " Islam - hold fast to the religion of your parents"

  6. You might like the convert who wrote the book. Allen Hunt, "Confessions of a Megachurch Pastor." Here is a relevant link.

  7. Welcome to a beautiful faith. I"m so glad you love it. I do to.

  8. He stepped down from public duties only. We're under fire in St. Paul and because of the scrutiny and the accusations of cover-ups he must've felt his credibility was on the line; note that the basic accusation is that he didn't second-guess his predecessor.

  9. I was impressed by the story until I read..."charismatic Catholics." No thanks. He hasn't really left Protestantism after all.


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