New York Times story airs allegations against Nienstedt and local church leaders

A New York Times story brings to a national audience the latest news on scandals at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, including the report earlier this month that Archbishop John Nienstedt had authorized an investigation into allegations that he had sexual relationships with seminarians and priests.

Nienstedt has denied any wrongdoing, but says he called for the investigation to clear up the matter.

The Times says calls for Nienstedt’s resignation are increasing, and notes the release Tuesday of a deposition from whistleblower Jennifer Haselberger, a former archdiocesan chancellor, who said there was a cavalier attitude among top church officials toward priests accused of sexual abuse.

The story also quotes Tom Horner, “a prominent Catholic public relations consultant and former Independence Party candidate for governor,” on the archbishop’s standing in the local church community:

“His ability to lead going forward has become severely compromised. He became such a polarizing figure that he now has very little reservoir of good will to draw from as he faces questions about his own activities and how he has managed abuse cases.”

The story notes Minnesota Public Radio’s extensive reporting on abusive priests and the way they were handled by church officials.

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