Anti-gay Archbishop resigns over allegations his church covered up child abuse
A Minnesota Archbishop who described homosexuality as “evil” has resigned over allegations that his church covered up sexual abuse.
Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis – a notoriously homophobic Catholic Archbishop – has decided to quit, after in criminal sex abuse charges were filed against his Archdiocese.
The Archbishop – who himself has faced a church investigation over allegations of same-sex ‘sexual touching’ last year – tendered his resignation after the Archdiocese was accused of failing children abused by paedophile priests.
Archbishop Nienstedt is well known for his homophobic views.
In September 2013, the Archbishop wrote that Satan was responsible for the passing of Minnesota’s equal marriage laws, as well as for pornography, sodomy and contraception.
In 2012, he penned an open letter asking Catholics in Minnesota to vote against equal marriage, dubbing it “a man-made social experiment” that would harm children.
Also in 2012, he warned a mother seeking acceptance for her gay son that her own “eternal salvation” was at stake if she did not encourage her son to accept Catholic teachings on homosexuality.
He previously “stepped aside from all public ministry” in 2013 while police investigated a claim that he touched a boy on the buttocks – but he returned to his post when no charges were filed.
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In his statement this week, the Archbishop claimed: “In order to give the Archdiocese a new beginning amidst the many challenges we face, I have submitted my resignation as Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and I have just received word that he has accepted it.
“The Catholic Church is not our Church, but Christ’s Church, and we are merely stewards for a time. My leadership has unfortunately drawn attention away from the good works of His Church and those who perform them.
“Thus, my decision to step down. I leave with a clear conscience knowing that my team and I have put in place solid protocols to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.
“I ask for continued prayers for the well-being of this Archdiocese and its future leaders. I also ask for your continued prayers for me.”
It is incredibly rare for Pope Francis to accept the resignation of an Archbishop.