Early reporting on Nienstedt accusation

Here at MinnPost, Briana Bierschbach covers the announcement of Archbishop John Nienstedt temporarily stepping down after being accused of inappropriate contact with a minor.

Elsewhere … For The National Catholic Reporter, Brian Roewe says: “Upon consulting with Carlo Maria Viganò, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, Nienstedt decided to step down from public ministry effective immediately while the investigation is ongoing, according to the archdiocese. … Nienstedt explained in the letter his typical procedure for photo shoots like the one in question, saying he normally stands with one hand on his crozier, or staff, and the other on the right shoulder of the newly confirmed or on his pallium. ‘I do that deliberately and there are hundreds of photographs to verify that fact,’ he wrote. While the investigation plays out, Nienstedt said he will use the time to pray for Twin Cities Catholics and the accuser and asked for Catholics to pray for him.”

At MPR, Tom Scheck, Laura Yuen and Mike Cronin add: “One of Nienstedt’s fiercest critics says he hopes the investigation is resolved quickly. ‘I feel very sorry for the archbishop. I hope this is just a misunderstanding or some misinterpretation. It’s certainly very sad for him,’ said the Rev. Michael Tegeder, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini church in Minneapolis. Tegeder said clergy routinely interact with parishioners at Confirmation and First Communion events. He said the interaction could have been in the spirit of a football celebration, in which players congratulate each other. Tegeder said he’s still pushing for Nienstedt to step down, regardless of the police investigation. Tegeder said he’s troubled by the way the archbishop has handled the clergy sex abuse crisis, his stance on the recent marriage amendment battle and some of his financial decisions, Tegeder said. ‘That’s the reason I would still hope he could step down and also just for his own good’, he said.” Conventional wisdom would suggest this “stepping down” will more than temporary.

On his blog, Nick Coleman was saying:Perhaps the archbishop’s Edina ‘apology’ is best interpreted as just a preliminary to his resignation. Boil it down and you get: ‘I dropped the ball on the church’s most persistent and damaging problem in order to pursue a deliberate political agenda aimed at crushing dissent in my church and exerting influence in the political affairs of the state. I am no longer worthy to lead this archdiocese. I quit.’ He should quit. Now. Many leading Minnesota Catholics — including influential donors — have already said so, privately and — increasingly — publicly. John Nienstedt has done tremendous damage to the Church here, he is out of step with the new Pope, Francis, who has indirectly rejected Nienstedt’s entire agenda, and he has, essentially, admitted his incompetence in his primary role as guard of his flock.”

We’re No. 15 … in beer impact! Nick Halter of The Business Journal writes: “A study released Monday ranks Minnesota No. 15 on a list of states with the largest economic impact from craft beer. Craft brewing had a $742 million economic impact on Minnesota in 2012, according to the Brewers Association, a national organization that supports small and independent breweries. On a per capita basis for residents over 21 years old, Minnesota ranks 13th on the list. The craft beer industry employs nearly 8,000 people in Minnesota, according to the study. … Wisconsin edged out Minnesota. Our neighbors to the east ranked 11th per capita and 13th in total output.”

10 percent is still bad, but an improvement overall. Jim Buchta of the Strib reports: “One in 10 Twin Cities homeowners with a mortgage owe more than their house is worth, but that’s a significant improvement compared with earlier this year. That’s according to the latest data from CoreLogic, which says that because of higher home prices, nearly 791,000 more residential properties nationwide returned to a state of positive equity during the third quarter of 2013, and the total number of mortgaged residential properties with equity currently stands at 42.6 million. … In the Twin Cities metro, 9.9 percent, or 55,773, of all homes with a mortgage were in negative equity as of the third quarter 2013 compared to 13.3 percent, or 72,911 properties during the previous quarter of 2013.”

It took about nine hours longer than I was betting … Pat Pfeifer of the Strib reports: “In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, Roger E. Holland was found guilty of murder in the death of his wife, Margorie Ann Holland, and their unborn child in their Apple Valley townhouse. A jury convicted him on all counts: two first-degree premeditated murder charges and two of second-degree intentional murder, according to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office. The jury deliberated about 10 hours before returning its verdict just before 1 a.m..”

Saving any or all of the Metrodome seats isn’t getting any easier. At MPR, Tim Nelson says: “The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority has issued a request for proposals, looking to outsource the salvage work it’s going to take to save the tens of thousands of seats sought by fans and other sports facilities. … The MSFA is telling would-be seat sellers they have to demonstrate “substantial relevant experience.” Oh, and the winner will have to put up a $2 million “performance bond” to guarantee the work will get done. That’s reportedly scared off a couple of bidders already. … Also note: The terms above are for bulk purchases of the seats. Individual requests for seats will have to go to the winning bidder for the seat removal contract, and the MSFA expects that a formal request process for the public will be part of any final arrangements. It isn’t clear if fans will be able to request seats from a particular location.” I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my four Met Stadium seats.

And who doesn’t love re-doing an online application? Christopher Snowbeck at the PiPress says: “About 1,000 MNsure users are being told they must redo their applications — quickly — in order to obtain federal tax credits to discount their health insurance costs next year. The consumers initially were told they wouldn’t get tax credits because of problems in the MNsure system that were first disclosed in November. … Meanwhile, officials confirmed that MNsure call center callers who are put on hold are automatically disconnected after 60 minutes.” Now THAT is a hangin’ offense.

Speaking of a special place in hell … The Duluth News Tribune reports: “A 19-year-old woman used her 2-year-old child to hitch a ride from a 77-year-old woman, then pulled the woman from the car, threw her to the ground and stole her car and purse, police said. Taylor Brianne Griffin is being held at the St. Louis County Jail on preliminary charges of first-degree aggravated assault, auto theft and child endangerment. According to police, Griffin approached the 77-year-old at the Hermantown Walmart around 2 p.m. Saturday. Griffin allegedly told the woman that she was stranded there and asked if she could get a ride home to West Duluth for money. The alleged victim told Griffin that she felt bad that the child was outside in the cold, and said money wasn’t necessary.”

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