Michael Sean Winters wants St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt to resign. It is he who should resign.
Winters admits that the affidavit of Jennifer Haselberger, the person most responsible for hurling accusations at Nienstedt, is so blemished that “a good defense attorney could drive several trucks through the document.” That would be enough to make any reasonable person reject her testimony on anything. But Winters is not reasonable—he is irrational.
Regarding charges that Nienstedt “engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior” with adults—which the archbishop denies—Winters says he does “not really care” if this is true. I do. Why doesn’t Winters? It’s time he spoke with candor about his reasoning. He says he is concerned about whether Nienstedt violated the Dallas Charter. Fine. And what evidence does Winters offer? Nothing.
So what is Winters’ beef? He accuses Nienstedt of being “aloof” and “deeply conflicted.” If aloofness demands resignation, then Obama should have quit a long time ago, but no one at the National Catholic Reporter is about to call for his resignation. Winters says Nienstedt is conflicted about homosexuality (he has the shoe on the wrong foot), and takes him to task for once condemning the “wanton anal sex” in the film “Brokeback Mountain.” Such graphic words bother Winters. Yet it was the Reporter, in its quest to destroy a Republican operative who once had a one-night stand with a coed, that wrote the book on graphic sex. What it did was so vile it would have made Larry Flynt blush. The hypocrisy is stunning.
This orchestrated attempt to shove Nienstedt out the door, carried out by those who hate the Church’s teachings on sexuality, shows how deep their pathology is. They are acting like a runaway train, and they need to be derailed. In the meantime, it is time for Winters to go.