Ex-Archbishop Nienstedt heads to Michigan church

Former Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt will be working out of a Battle Creek, Michigan church while its pastor heads to Minnesota for epilepsy treatment at the Mayo Clinic’s St. Mary’s campus. Nienstedt resigned last June after the Ramsey County attorney’s office filed civil and criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for failing to protect children from sexual abuse.

“Archbishop John Nienstedt, retired Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul will be joining us to assist in various pastoral ministries during this time,” Father John Fleckenstein wrote in the Sunday bulletin at St. Philip Church. “He will celebrate some of the weekend and weekday Masses, visit the sick in the hospital, visit the sick and homebound, and celebrate Mass for the nursing home and assisted living facilities. He will also celebrate some Masses on Sundays around the Diocese when there is a priest who needs to be away.”

Nienstedt has not been formally assigned to the parish, and is only expected to stay at the Michigan church until summer, but the move was still met with strong resistance from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

“This is a stunningly reckless and callous move,” said a statement from David Clohessy, SNAP’s national director. “We call on Pope Francis to reverse it and all of Minnesota's and Michigan’s bishops to denounce it.”

Nienstedt plans to move to a new ministry in about 6 months. During his time at St. Philip, he will be living at the St. Clare House at St. Joseph’s.

RAW VIDEO - One-on-one with Archbishop John Nienstedt - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSux3Xi_Gj0