Archdiocese Remains Under Scrutiny after Recent Resignations

Archdiocese Remains Under Scrutiny after Recent Resignations

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said last week he’d continue to investigate the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis after Archbishop John Nienstedt resigned.

Choi has filed criminal charges against the archdiocese as a corporation. No individuals are charged, though Choi hasn’t ruled out that possibility.

Court documents show church leaders missed several opportunities over the years to report or disclose information about Curtis Wehmeyer, a former priest convicted in 2012 of molesting two boys.

The documents say Nienstedt named Wehmeyer a pastor, despite warnings. They say Bishop Lee Piche seemed to disregard a report that Wehmeyer was found in bed with a boy, a report Piche told police he didn’t remember. Authorities say the Rev. Kevin McDonough repeatedly said Wehmeyer wasn’t a danger.

Meanwhile, Sunday June 21 was the first Sunday since Nienstedt resigned last week. Many who attend mass said they look forward to a time of healing and renewal.

“There has been a lot of hurt in the Catholic Church. I don’t know how to fix that immediately, sometimes change can facilitate that.” Nate Hilderand said.

Charles Reid, a professor of canon law at the University of St. Thomas law school, said there needs to be healing within the church.

“We have gone through a grave period of time,” Reid said. “We’ve had victims who have been grieving, harmed by acts of sex abuse.”

Archbishop Bernard Hebda of New Jersey will temporarily fill the role of archbishop, serving as an apostolic administrator for the Twin Cities until a replacement can be found.


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