Appeals Court: Archbishop must testify under oath

Jean Hopfensperger of the Strib reports: “Archbishop John Nienstedt must testify under oath about the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ response to child sex abuse charges against local priests, the state Appeals Court affirmed Wednesday. The Minnesota Court of Appeals refused to consider an appeal by the archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona, which were ordered by a court in February to make Nienstedt and a former vicar general, the Rev. Kevin McDonough, testify under oath about abuse complaints.”

At MPR, Madeleine Baran adds: “The archdiocese had also protested the deposition of the Rev. John Brown, who admitted to MPR News in July that he took a ‘quick look’ at boys’ genitals out of ‘pure stupidity’ decades ago. The deposition of Brown, the archdiocese had argued, ‘is not being sought for purposes of this case, but simply to harass and unduly burden this elderly clergyman who has been retired since 1991 — more than two decades ago.’ “

That’s a “no” from the Minneapolis City Council on those Southwest LRT tunnels … Laura Yuen of MPR writes: “The Minneapolis City Council today told planners of the Southwest Corridor light rail project to find a way to divert freight rail traffic from a popular city biking corridor. By a unanimous vote, the council passed a resolution that opposes a plan to bury light rail trains in shallow tunnels along the Kenilworth Corridor. Council members approved it even though Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin reminded them that the $1.5 billion project was at a delicate moment — one that could lead to catastrophe without Minneapolis’ support. That prompted a stern response from Council Member Lisa Goodman.”

Everything has always been and still is first-class in Montevideo. Dee DePass of the Strib tells us: “It’s a pretty good catch for American Surplus and Manufacturing. The Montevideo-based company recently got a $107,500 loan from the state of Minnesota that will allow it to increase production of its ice castles, luxury ice fishing houses decked out with bunk beds, kitchens, even satellite dishes to watch TV. The houses will be manufactured in tiny Pine River, Minn., and allow the company to expand beyond its current factory in Montevideo.” Now just add on a three-vehicle garage and a hot tub and we’re talkin’ fishin’, baby.

Money has changed hands in the Downtown East project. Janet Moore of the Strib says: “Wells Fargo & Co. has solidified plans for its expansion in downtown Minneapolis by paying developer Ryan Cos. $217 million for land and two office towers that have yet to be built near the new Vikings stadium, according to city documents. … Construction of the new office towers, which will be connected by a skyway, is to begin this spring. The buildings are expected to achieve the coveted LEED Platinum standard for environmental sustainability set by the U.S. Green Building Council.”

It is an election year, after allCorey Mitchell of the Strib says: “The Republican-led House of Representatives voted Wednesday to delay the tax penalty Americans will pay under President Obama’s healthcare law if they decline to sign up for coverage this year. The bill passed with support from 27 Democrats, including Minnesota congressmen Rick Nolan and Collin Peterson, backing the legislation.” MinnPost’s Devin Henry has coverage here.

Our moose get a lot of national attention. The latest is Brent McDonald in The New York Times: “Seth Moore, a wildlife biologist in Grand Portage, theorizes that recent years of warmer, shorter winters and hotter, longer summers have resulted in a twofold problem. The changing climate has stressed out the moose, compromising their immune systems. And warmer temperatures have allowed populations of white-tailed deer, carriers of brain worm — which is fatal to moose — to thrive. Still, ‘I’m not necessarily convinced that brain worm is the silver bullet that’s killing all of the moose,’ Dr. Moore said.”

Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib covers that diversity endorsement by the GOP for the House seat held by DFL Rep. Phyllis Kahn: “Over the weekend, local Minneapolis Republicans endorsed Abdimalik Mohamed Askar in his run for state House in Minneapolis. His name might be familiar: he ran for president of Somalia a few years ago. Republican Party chair Keith Downey said he is the first Somali-American the party has backed.”

I’m shocked. John Welbes of the PiPress reports: “After a marathon, seven-week trial, a jury took a little more than a day and a half to convict Twin Cities inventor and Bixby Energy founder Robert Walker of felony fraud, tax evasion and other federal charges. Walker, 71, appeared stoic as the verdicts — guilty on all 17 counts — were read Wednesday afternoon in federal court in St. Paul. His convictions stem from a long-running scheme to defraud Bixby’s 1,800 investors of $57 million over the past decade.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 03/06/2014 - 06:10 am.

    Maybe they had less to hide, less to fear ?

    The attorney for the plaintiff says he’s taken “more than 30 depositions from archbishops and even cardinals across the country”, but then maybe those archbishops and cardinals did not have the extreme reluctance to testify of our Archibishop Nienstedt.

    “We look forward to continuing to work with the courts to resolve the litigation.”, said the Archdiocese. Hmmm. I guess “working with the courts” is to distinguish what they are doing from “working with the victims”.

    • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 03/06/2014 - 07:07 am.

      The only victims the church freely acknowledges are the priests

      I doubt any of those 30 previous depositions were taken without the parties being forced to by some judge.

  2. Submitted by Tom Thueson on 03/06/2014 - 10:34 am.

    Sometimes It’s So Tough to Be Cooperative

    Except for the appeal, the delays, the arguments in opposition, and the initial refusal to speak to the police, the Archdiocese continues to look forward to cooperating with the authorities.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 03/06/2014 - 01:43 pm.

      But it WAS really thoughtful of the Archdiocese to offer…

      …to save the Court the time, trouble, and expense of deciding which accusations were credible.

      You know, as in “Trust Us !! We’ll take care of it, just like we always have. We’ll decide which accusations are worth looking into.”

  3. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 03/06/2014 - 12:06 pm.

    Casting doubt on the Catholic Church

    The way the Archdiocese and the Pope have handled the abuse cases is appalling, not only to those abused, but the general public as well. I’m not sure how the Archdiocese can justify their actions with the word of God. It is beyond my belief the bible says anything about this being the way to treat people. Playing musical chairs with the abuser priest is not a way to effectively handle the abusers and restore parishioners confidence in the church. The Catholic Church is no longer a zone of safety. The Archdiocese wonders why attendance is down in churches, it shouldn’t be a mystery to them. The Archdiocese actions not only taint the Catholic Church but cast doubt on other churches as well.

Leave a Reply