Minnesota Church Hires Catholic Priest Linked To Sex Abuse

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Catholic Priest

A Catholic priest who had been forced to resign after clergy in his church were charged with sex abuse, has been appointed assistant priest at a church in Minnesota.

The then Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis resigned from his position, amid the clergy sex abuse scandal last year.

Press TV reports:

Saint Philip Roman Catholic church in Kalamazoo announced this week that it had appointed John Nienstedt, the former archbishop of St Paul and Minneapolis, to assist the parish while its head pastor dealt with medical issues.

Nienstedt resigned in June 2015, days after Ramsey County attorney John Choi filed criminal and civil charges against the archdiocese.

Choi had alleged that the archdiocese “time and time again turned a blind eye” to sex abuse by the clergy. It was the first time a US archdiocese had faced sex abuse charges in the past ten years.

The criminal charges are pending at the Ramsey County civil court.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (Snap) called on Pope Francis to reverse the decision and asked Michigan bishops to denounce Nienstedt’s appointment.

“Shame on Kalamazoo Bishop Paul Bradley, Twin Cities Archbishop Bernard Hebda and on every single Catholic priest, employee and parishioner who silently approves or accepts this dangerous decision without protest,” Snap said in a statement.

“This is a key reason clergy sex crimes, misdeeds and cover ups continue in the church: because those who commit these heinous acts are still usually protected – and sometimes promoted – regardless of how much harm they cause,” the statement said.

Approximately 6,900 US Roman Catholic priests were accused of sexual abuse with at least 16,900 young victims between 1950 and 2011, according to data from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Niamh Harris
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