ARCHBISHOP NIENSTEDT EXONERATED
Bill Donohue comments on the decision by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office not to file charges against St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt; he was accused in December of “inappropriately touching” a young man in 2009:
On December 18, I issued a news release saying the following:
“Archbishop Nienstedt has been the subject of a non-stop crusade orchestrated by ex-Catholics, and Catholics in rebellion against the Church, simply because he stands for everything they are not: he is a loyal son of the Catholic Church.
“Now—out of the blue—comes an unidentified male who claims he was touched on his buttocks in 2009 by the archbishop while posing for a group photo. Nienstedt denies the charge, adding that he has never inappropriately touched anyone. Moreover, he has not been told the identity of his accuser.”
The police identified and interviewed everyone who was in the photograph when the archbishop allegedly touched the boy’s buttocks. No one at the Confirmation ceremony reported seeing anything like this happening. The photo shows Nienstedt standing behind the boy, one step up, meaning that he would have had to bend down to touch the boy’s behind. To top things off, the photo shows Nienstedt with one hand on his crozier and the other on the boy’s left shoulder. The police asked if anyone recalled a touching episode meant as a joke, or saw any touching between people, or remembered if someone was startled during the photo session. The answer to all three was unanimous: No.
What happened to Archbishop Nienstedt was not a mistake. It reflects a deeper problem: We are living in a culture of hate—hatred of all matters Catholic—led by those whose goal it is to take down a bishop. Every bishop is a potential target, but none more than those who are seen as being inimical to the “progressive” agenda.