Archbishop accused of sexual misconduct to work in Battle Creek parish

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Archbishop Emeritus John C. Nienstedt. Image courtesy Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis.

Archbishop Emeritus John C. Nienstedt. Image courtesy Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WXMI) — The former archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has a new post, in Michigan.

Former Archbishop John Nienstedt will help a pastor in Battle Creek, Michigan, as the pastor undergoes treatment for epilepsy.

The Star Tribune reports Nienstedt’s arrival was announced in the Sunday bulletin at St. Philip Roman Catholic Church.

The Rev. John Fleckenstein wrote that Nienstedt will help him and other priests until the summer. Fleckenstein says Nienstedt has not been formally assigned to the parish.

Nienstedt resigned from the Twin Cities archdiocese in June after the Ramsey County Attorney’s offices filed civil and criminal charges claiming that the church had failed to protect children from clergy sex abuse.

The Diocese of Kalamazoo wrote in a statement: “The Diocese of Kalamazoo is committed to providing safe environments for all people.  As is the case for any priest or bishop ministering in the Diocese, Archbishop Emeritus Nienstedt begins his temporary ministry at St. Philip Parish as a priest in good standing, having met the Church’s stringent standards required to attain that status.  As such he is welcome in the Diocese of Kalamazoo for the several months that he will be available to offer supplemental sacramental ministry to the people of St. Philip Parish.”

Nienstedt has not been charged. The Battle Creek parish is part of the Kalamazoo diocese.

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2 comments

  • snapjudy

    As long as corrupt priests/bishops are allowed to continue
    performing priestly activities, they still have their power and could be a danger to
    the vulnerable. The church officials are contradicting themselves when they
    say, “the Diocese of Kalamazoo is committed to providing safe environments for
    all people.”
    Neinstedt needs to be defrocked.
    Judy Jones, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com, SNAP
    (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

  • Ann Phillips Browning

    So what status, exactly does this Archbishop Emeriti hold in the Diocese of Kalamazoo if he has not “been formally assigned to the parish”? If this assignment has not been made formal, has he undergone the background check required of all Diocese Employees and Priests that have been reassigned? This seems like “double talk” to me. The bottom line to me is, are the children of the Diocese of Kalamazoo safe being around a man who did not protect the children in his previous “assignment”? Would I let my son or daughter go to this priest for confession? Would I want this priest visiting my sick child in a hospital if I or another adult is not around? Sorry to say, I would NOT!