The people behind the stories

Learn more about the people who have led the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for decades, the priests who have been protected by them and the people on the other side of the equation: The attorney who pursues them, the whistleblower who exposed them, the parishioners and fellow priests they've left to pick up the pieces, and the victims they've left behind.

The whistleblower

Jennifer Haselberger

Haselberger served as chancellor for canonical affairs — top church lawyer and advisor to the archbishop on matters of canon law — for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis from August 2008 until her resignation in April 2013.

In July 2013, she approached MPR News with her story of frustration with her superiors in the chancery over clergy sexual misconduct. By the end of 2013, the National Catholic Reporter newspaper had named her its person of the year. "Thank God for Jennifer Haselberger," the paper's editors wrote in their year-end editorial announcing the choice. (MPR photo/Jennifer Simonson)

Twin Cities church leaders

Archbishop Harry Flynn

Flynn served as archbishop from 1995-2008. He led the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' ad hoc committee on sexual abuse, which drafted the watershed Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002 and was known as a healer bishop' for his work in Lafayette, La., after the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted there. He resigned as chair of the University of St. Thomas board of trustees in October. (MPR Photo/File)

Rev. Kevin McDonough

McDonough served as vicar general — the archbishop's second in command — from 1991 to 2008. He's pastor of St. Peter Claver parish in St. Paul and The Church of the Incarnation/Sagrado Corazon in Minneapolis and has long been a leader within the archdiocese. He resigned his position on the University of St. Thomas board of trustees, which he'd held since 1991, in early October. (Getty Images/File 2007)

Archbishop John Nienstedt

Nienstedt was appointed to lead the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2008 after serving as bishop of New Ulm. He made a public apology to parishioners in mid-December for bishops' failings in the clergy sex-abuse crisis. The next day, he said he would be stepping back from public ministry while police investigate an allegation against him -- an allegation he denies. (AP photo)

Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens

Cozzens was ordained bishop Dec. 9, 2013, at St. Paul Cathedral. He was also appointed vicar general, to serve alongside Bishop Lee Piche and Rev. Charles Lachowitzer. Before being appointed auxiliary bishop, Cozzens was a theology professor at St. Thomas University's St. Paul Seminary. (Photo courtesy Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis)

Peter Laird

Rev. Peter Laird

Laird succeeded the Rev. Kevin McDonough — and, briefly, the Rev. Paul Sirba, who is now bishop of Duluth — as vicar general, the archbishop's second in command, in 2009. He resigned at the beginning of October amid grow collapsing controversy over the archdiocese's handling of clergy sexual abuse. (MPR News/Jennifer Simonson)

Lee Piche

Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche

Piche has served as auxiliary bishop in the archdiocese since 2009, and was appointed one of the archdiocese's vicars general. Piche was involved in the decision-making behind two recent clergy abuse scandals facing the archdiocese and in mid-December was appointed to cover for Archbishop John Nienstedt's public duties while he steps back from public ministry. (Alex Kolyer for MPR)

Archbishop John Roach

Archbishop John Roach

Roach served as archbishop from 1975-1995. He was the first Minnesota native to lead the Twin Cities archdiocese, and led the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1980 until 1983. Roach died in 2003. One of his many remembrances points to "lawsuits that exposed Roach's lenient treatment of priests accused of molestation." (MPR News/File photo)

Bishop Paul Sirba

Sirba served briefly as vicar general of the Twin Cities archdiocese, between the Revs. Kevin McDonough and Peter Laird, but became bishop of Duluth in December 2009. At the end of December 2013, he released the names of 17 former priests who he said had been credibly accused of abuse, along with the names of five others with ties to the Duluth area who had also been accused -- all, unlike surrounding dioceses, without a court order. (Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune via AP)

Reginald Whitt

Rev. Reginald Whitt

Archbishop John Nienstedt chose Whitt to create and lead a task force to address the clergy sexual abuse crisis within the Twin Cities Catholic church. Whitt is a Dominican priest, canon lawyer and civil law professor at the University of St. Thomas. He has assembled the members of the task force, and has been given the mandate to guide their work. (Jeffrey Thompson/MPR News)

Law enforcement

County Attorney John Choi

Choi has served as Ramsey County attorney since 2010. He has taken a mostly hands-off approach to the investigation into the Twin Cities archdiocese, insisting that it is a police investigation, and his office will wait until police bring their findings to him to take action. Despite his reluctance to use such tools as a grand jury to further the investigation, Choi said he would seek justice in the case "without fear or favor." (Alex Kolyer for MPR/File 2012)

Police Commander Mary Nash

Nash, a member of the St. Paul Police Department's family and sexual violence unit, is a leader in the department's investigation of the archdiocese. In October, Nash made a public plea for any victims of clergy sexual abuse to come forward and contact investigators. "You rise each day with courage to survive knowing your faith has been tested beyond all belief," she told them. Police later said that the request did elicit a response. (Jennifer Simonson/MPR News)

Police Chief Tom Smith

Smith's St. Paul Police Department has been investigating the archdiocese since the scandal broke. On Dec. 18, he told reporters that the church has been uncooperative in the department's work."It's never good enough when someone tells us no," Smith said. "And as of right now, except for attorneys, and being told no in a specific instance on the investigations before the allegations today, we have not been successful." (Judy Griesedieck for MPR News)

Victims' attorney

Jeff Anderson

Jeffrey Anderson

St. Paul attorney Anderson has been representing victims of sexual abuse in Minnesota and across the country for nearly 30 years. (MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson)