untitledBill Donohue comments on Minnesota Public Radio’s (MPR) latest attempt to discredit St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt:

Those waging war on Archbishop Nienstedt are losing ground, and they know it. In a contrived attempt to keep the flame alive, MPR is now charging that “New Documents Show Falsehoods in Nienstedt Testimony.” But as with previous efforts, this one comes up lame.

The story involves Rev. Kenneth LaVan. Here is the relevant timeline.

  • Some thirty years ago, two teenage girls made accusations against LaVan. About the same time, he was also charged with “boundary violations” with adult females.
  • In 1998 he retired.
  • In 2008 Archbishop Nienstedt is installed.
  • In 2013, after accusations that not enough was being done about accused priests, an outside firm is hired to investigate this issue. In December, Nienstedt is apprised of LaVan’s history and he formally and permanently removes him from ministry.

MPR is saying that Nienstedt should have known about this priest when he allegedly approved a limited assignment for him earlier last year. But inconveniently for MPR, the documents it references never mention child sexual abuse. What Nienstedt approved was a monitoring plan based on the priest’s inappropriate conduct with adult women. Moreover, when MPR finds it necessary to cite the fact that Nienstedt “spent time socially with LaVan,” and that he even wrote a letter to him thanking him for a gift, it shows how utterly desperate it is.

In other words, MPR has no smoking gun. But it does have a bad case of blowing gas.

Contact Morris Goodwin, Senior MPR VP: mgoodwin@americanpublicmedia.org

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