Skip to Content

Assertion: Archbishop Nienstedt was shown child-porn photos

Worse and worse … . Today Madeleine Baran and Mike Cronin at MPR report: “Upset that her superiors had refused to take action, a former church official reported to police that leaders of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis had kept secret for eight years images of pornography — some of it appearing to show children — belonging to one of its priests. Jennifer Haselberger, the archdiocese's former chancellor for canonical affairs, marched the images she'd found into the offices of one church leader after another in May 2012. But none responded. The last straw for Haselberger came after she provided Archbishop John Nienstedt with copies of some of the images she had discovered in the archdiocese's files on the Rev. Jonathan Shelley, 52. She said the photos appeared to show boys performing oral sex. The Rev. Peter Laird, the archdiocese's vicar general at the time, Nienstedt's deputy, ordered her to hand over the pornographic images.”

In the Strib story on the resignation of Archbishop John Nienstedt’s  “top lieutenant,” Jeff Strickler writes: “St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, a leading plaintiffs’ lawyer in pursuing cases against the archdiocese over child abuse, said the police report implies that the archdiocese destroyed evidence. The police report says that the archdiocese seized the evidence about the child pornography and kept it in a vault. When another diocesan official, Jennifer Haselberger, discovered the evidence, [the Rev. Peter] Laird told her to put it back in the vault, she told police. Haselberger, who has since resigned, brought the matter to police attention. When the police went to the vault, the evidence of child pornography that they were told would be there was missing. … The pornography allegations made public Thursday date to 2003. But most of the police report focuses on events that have taken place in the last few months after officers were contacted by Haselberger.”

Just as no one’s perfect, no one is wholly imperfect. An AP story says: “A Minnesota man imprisoned for drug dealing is among 22 Americans recently named Carnegie Heroes. Pierre Johnson said he's grateful the Carnegie selection board was able to look beyond his criminal record and give him a chance. Johnson received the award for his bravery in rescuing a 91-year-old woman from the second floor of her burning home in Brooklyn Park in May 2012. The following month, Johnson pleaded guilty to selling cocaine. On Oct. 15, Johnson is expected to be released from the Willow River Correctional Facility, an intensive boot camp program, where he served time for his drug dealing.”

In the end, the NSA probably gets a taste … Jim Adams in the Strib says: “An online listing of bikes, iPads, computers and other items sold to Minnesota and Wisconsin pawnshops has proved to be a treasure trove of tips for police trying to catch thieves and recover stolen property. Last year, 260 police agencies using the Automated Property System (APS) recovered an estimated $1.2 million worth of goods, according to John Elder, head of the APS unit at the Minneapolis Police Department, which developed and runs the 16-year-old system. APS ‘has become a very important tool for solving all kinds of crime,’ Elder said.”

A day-care provider agrees with the Strib … and not AFSCME … on day care unions. Writes Hollee Saville: “Using words like ‘injustice,’ ‘shocking’ and ‘venomous’ does not change the facts. If those communicating on behalf of AFSCME take this many liberties in a newspaper commentary (‘Child-care providers deserve a union vote’, Oct. 1), why would anyone believe that the union will follow through on its promises ­— most of which remain unfulfilled for providers in other unionized states? The only thing AFSCME can guarantee is that providers will be paying more and that, in turn, families and taxpayers will likely pay more. Those who claim that unionization will improve the quality of child care also are distorting history — incongruously invoking the women’s suffrage movement — as they make their case.”

The GleanOn MNsure’s start-up glitches, Stribber Jackie Crosby writes: “Frustrations with identity verification continue to be among the chief complaints as Minnesotans log on to the state’s new health insurance exchange, known as MNsure. The problem rests with high traffic volumes at the federal level, MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov said Thursday. Some adjustments have been made with the federal system, including giving users six chances before getting locked out (up from the previous three) and allowing people a second try within 24 hours (instead of a week). ‘We know people are frustrated,’ Todd-Malmlov said. ‘It is intermittent.’ Todd-Malmlov noted that ultimately the high traffic levels, while causing hiccups, reflect high public interest.”

If everyone showed this kind of interest when they were at full function, we might not have the story we have today. Marianne Combs at MPR writes: “When word got out that the departing Osmo Vanska would conduct two already scheduled concerts with the locked out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, all remaining tickets flew out the door. So they added a third concert for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Ted Mann Concert Hall. According to MPR’s Euan Kerr, those tickets – all 1,126 of them – sold out in 30 minutes.”

Love this stuff. Dave Peters, also at MPR, writes: “The Minnesota Data Opener, a project of the Minnesota Demographer’s Office, is calling on all data nerds, artists, students, policy wonks and concerned citizens to submit a visual entry (chart, video, photo, web application, or data visualization) that helps Minnesotans understand a problem or challenge for rural Minnesota. When it comes to rural Minnesota, many see a decline, while others see a period of rural change coming with many positives. The challenge for the 2013 Data Opener is to go beyond lamentations and wishful thinking to ask ourselves ‘What can data tell us about our changing rural landscape’? … University of Minnesota extension sociologist Ben Winchester wrote a good survey of rural Minnesota demography early this year, which you can find at the Data Opener site.”

I’m starting to think no one paid attention to what was actually in that stadium contract … Kevin Cusick of the PiPress says: “Minnesota Vikings fans turned to social media to comment of the details of the stadium agreement approved Thursday, much of it critical of personal seat licenses, also called stadium builders licenses. ‘Seat licensing fees after we gave you public money to make your team worth significantly more money. I don't care how many communities have accepted this from their billion dollar owners but it doesn't mean we have to just because someone else has,’ Adam Sheperd commented on Vikings.com. ‘I have been a season ticket holder for 10 years now and I have never been so disappointed. Just ripping us off.’ ‘Season ticket holder for 30 years, no way in hell I'm paying upwards of 2500 dollars on 4 seats. Take your SBL's and shove them’, Matt Mattern wrote on Vikings.com. ‘I'm done’. Some of the venom was directed at Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton. ‘The 'Peoples Stadium' my aunt Matilda. Only those with a South Dakota trust fund could participate,’ Jay Schuster commented on TwinCities.com.” Heh. I always love a good South Dakota reference.

Even semi-geezer Prince hipsters are experiencing angst over Saturday night’s show at Paisley Park … Reed Fischer at City Pages writes: “You can cut the anticipation surrounding Prince's upcoming show at Paisley Park with a purple sword. Hand-clenching Minnesotans want to make sure they get the most out of such an experience. Thus, "How can I do this thing right?" was the overall feeling lurking in the comments section of yesterday's announcement of a Purple One/New Power Generation/3rdEyeGirl performance on Saturday. … Tickets R a $50 Donation @ the Door No advance tickets are available for this event. Planning to hold a crisp Ulysses Grant or any combo of smaller bills on your person is the wisest way to guarantee your admission. If you could only scrape 48 bucks together from all the change under your couch cushions, don't sweat it too hard. … Leave Ur Curse Words Elsewhere This is probably not as heavily monitored as the recording devices, but it's still a concern. Prince is a religious man, and showing respect to the spirit of his dwelling means dropping some innuendo, but no f-bombs.” What would Johnny Rotten say?

Get MinnPost's top stories in your inbox

Related Tags:

About the Author:

Comments (5)

Could Someone Spare the Time

to write us an article regarding the truth of the charges and counter charges regarding unionizing MN daycare providers? Perhaps I'm missing something, but it always seems to be implied that EVERY provider in the state would be forcibly unionized by this bill, should it take effect.

Is this the case?

Meanwhile, when someone purporting to speak for all daycare providers, as Ms. Saville seems to be doing, makes the types of charges she's making,,,,

which sound entirely TOO much like free market, "all unions are evil," cheap labor talking points,...

it would be useful to some of us to have MNPost do a little research so that we might discover who it is that's providing us with a bit of truth,...

and who it is that's shilling for a special interest group with the aim of serving the interests of his/her keepers and NO interest in serving the general good.

As far as I'm aware

The unionization effort would apply only to those providers who accept children whose parents receive state subsidized assistance with child care payments. If the provider does not, they are not recognized as a state employee and as such cannot be covered by afscme. This is at least the explanation provided to me by my our child care provider. Far be for me to suggest the anti union folks might blow it out of proportion mind you. One would think any increase in cost could be mitigated by appropriate legislative action to increase the level of the subsidy. Any increase in cost to the non subsidized parents should be mitigated by the marketplace, I would think.

destroying evidence is a crime...

Right? A felony, right? So they have a person willing to say that top officials destroyed evidence to hide a crime. Aiding and abetting, right? What is the archbishop hiding in his drawers? Or am I wrong and this is really about religious freedom? No wonder women can't be priests; they wouldn't be able to stand this level of evil.

Investigate with a grand jury

A full and aggressive law enforcement investigation into clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Twin Cities is crucial. Every single current and former Catholic employee who ignored, concealed and enabled child sex crimes – from archbishop to administrator – must be exposed, removed, and prosecuted.

We again beg Twin Cities prosecutors to LAUNCH A FULL-SCALE GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION into the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese to that the vulnerable can be protected, the wounded can be healed, the truth can be exposed, cover ups can be exposed and more wrongdoing be prevented.

Bob Schwiderski, Minnesota SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
952-471-3422 or skibrs@q.com

It is a crime

Not only is destroying evidence a crime, if in fact the pictures were child porn, everyone possessing it was committing a felony. Those who kept it in the vault, those that copied it to discs - all committed felonies. Why an attorney was taking this to church officials at all instead of the police is beyond me. The police should have been her first stop - not her last.