Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt defended his decisions on several abuse cases, but said he was caught off guard with the immensity of recent news reports about his actions. "I, in a sense, didn't see the forest for the trees," he said.
The documents are part of a massive lawsuit filed by a man who says he was sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas Adamson in the 1970s. The man has accused the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona of creating a public nuisance by keeping information on abusive priests secret.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona had asked the judge to dismiss the case.
A detailed exploration of the roots of the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Twin Cities -- in documents, audio, photos and video -- from the cover-up tactics that Archbishop Harry Flynn fine-tuned in the bayous of southern Louisiana to the secrets kept in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
In her sworn statement, the former archdiocese chancellor also accused top church leaders of a "cavalier attitude" towards the safety of children, and contradicted sworn testimony by former top church deputies Peter Laird and Kevin McDonough and archdiocese attorney Andrew Eisenzimmer.
Whistleblower Jennifer Haselberger, whose revelations of a clergy sexual abuse cover-up have rocked the Twin Cities archdiocese for the past 10 months , disputed the sworn testimony of Archbishop John Nienstedt in a damning 107-page affidavit filed as part of an abuse lawsuit Tuesday.
The call for change among lay Catholics is rising after an MPR News documentary showed how three Twin Cities archbishops kept quiet about priests who sexually abused children.
When clergy sex abuse threatened to become a scandal in the Twin Cities, the archbishop in charge covered it up. So did the next archbishop, and the next.
Twin Cities church leaders in 1987 were confronting allegations the Rev. Joseph Wajda was sexually abusing children. In at least one instance, though, the archbishop wanted to fight back.
Archbishop John Nienstedt, who has led the archdiocese's response to the clergy sexual abuse scandal for nearly a year, confirmed in a statement Tuesday that he ordered a private investigation into unspecified allegations against himself.
A Minneapolis law firm has been secretly investigating the private life of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt for the past six months. Nienstedt acknowledged that he authorized an investigation into allegations made against him.
The Rev. Jerome Kern testified that he would grab boys while swimming or wrestling. He said he didn't consider it to be sexual abuse at the time — and that no one from the archdiocese told him it was harmful or illegal. "I was always a teaser, and I liked to tease, you know."
St. Louis archbishop Robert Carlson — who served in the Twin Cities for 24 years — testified last month that he wasn't sure whether he knew it was illegal for priests to have sex with children when he served as chancellor of the Twin Cities archdiocese in the 1980s, according to a transcript released Monday.
Former Twin Cities archbishop Harry Flynn said at least 134 times that he could not remember how he handled clergy sexual abuse cases during his 13-year tenure, according to a deposition made public today.
The announcement comes amid an internal investigation into whether Don Briel, director and founder of the Center for Catholic Studies, or others at the university knew that an archdiocesan board had recommended that the Rev. Michael Keating, a professor of Catholic Studies, not mentor young adults.