Sasha Aslanian Feature Archive

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced Dec. 17 that Archbishop John Nienstedt voluntarily 'stepped aside from all public ministry' while police investigate a claim that he touched a boy on the buttocks in 2009, an allegation the archbishop denies. (12/17/2013)
A detailed look at the priests named by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as clergy with credible accusations of child abuse against them. (12/06/2013)
A retired priest who admitted to sexually abusing several young boys and a teenager on a South Dakota American Indian reservation now lives less than a block from a school in New Prague, Minn. Three archbishops and other leaders of the Twin Cities archdiocese kept Clarence Vavra's past a secret, moving him 17 times during his 38-year career. Today, Archbishop John Nienstedt acknowledges that "serious errors were made by the archdiocese in dealing with him," and pledges to disclose the names of other priests who have abused children. (11/11/2013)
The former accounting director of the Twin Cities archdiocese said recently that several accused priests receive pension payments higher than normal. Another former church official discovered them, too, over the past few years and had them stopped. The archdiocese says church law requires that offending priests must have 'financial, therapeutic and spiritual support.' The Rev. Robert Kapoun is one of them. (10/09/2013)
Since 2007, at least 23 young Twin Cities men have left for the Horn of Africa, allegedly to take up arms in Somalia's civil war. Authorities believe the men joined al-Shabab, a ruthless and radical Islamic militia group vying to topple Somalia's weak transitional government. Here is what we know about these men. (09/25/2013)
Curtis Wehmeyer's eight years as a St. Paul priest are dotted with episodes of risky, sex-fueled behavior -- and the leaders of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis knew all about it. Last year, the parish of Blessed Sacrament faced a horror: Wehmeyer was convicted for his sexual abuse of two teenage boys. (09/23/2013)
Nienstedt says Minnesota's Bishops support a path to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally. (09/04/2013)
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is hitting the road to persuade same-sex couples from other states to come get married -- and spend money -- in his city. (09/03/2013)
If you're tired of the same old corporate team-building golf outings, you might want to consider taking up a sledge hammer, spray paint and driving a 19-ton excavator. That's the idea behind Extreme Sandbox, a company that lets you do just that. (08/14/2013)
Religious leaders and activists from Minneapolis' black community gathered outside City Hall today to call for an independent investigation of racially charged incidents involving Minneapolis police officers. (08/07/2013)
The largest midnight same-sex marriage celebration happened at Minneapolis City Hall, where Mayor R.T. Rybak officiated more than three dozen weddings. (08/01/2013)
Couples who are lining up to wed when same-sex marriage becomes reality in Minnesota early Thursday are getting some help from Betty Crocker. (07/29/2013)
Parts of Minnesota are seeing the worst armyworm infestation in decades. The worms are damaging crops from the southeastern part of the state up through west central Minnesota and into North Dakota. (07/28/2013)
Smokers will now have to use designated areas, rather than smoking as they walk around the fair. Smoking is already banned in the fair's buildings and entertainment venues, like the bandshell and the grandstand. (07/25/2013)
Minnesota's new marriage law goes into effect Aug. 1, creating new urgency for many faith communities about whether they will perform such weddings, particularly those that have been wrestling with how to address sexual orientation for decades. Among those torn over the issue are Methodists, who have a unique history on the matter in Minnesota. (07/22/2013)