Court-Appointed Official Says Vatican Failing on Accountability in Nienstedt Case

A court-appointed official for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is alleging that the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops is failing to comply with new protocols for bishop accountability created by Pope Francis with regard to a potential investigation into former Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Nienstedt led the archdiocese from 2008 until resigning under fire in 2015 after charges of failing to protect children from sexual abuse. In addition to allegations that he actively covered up for abusive priests, Nienstedt has been the subject of investigations regarding his own misconduct.

According to documents obtained by Crux, on July 17, 2019, Thomas Johnson, who serves as ombudsman for clerical sexual abuse for the archdiocese, submitted a formal complaint against Nienstedt to Archbishop Bernard Hebda outlining two instances in which he argues Nienstedt should be subject to a Vos Estis Lux Mundi investigation, referring to an apostolic letter issued by Francis in May 2019 for bishop accountability.

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