|Archbishop Nienstedt - Self-Loathing Closet Case?|
I have often said that the more loudly one is homophobic and dripping in anti-gay animus, the more likely it is that we will hear that the extreme homophobe has been outed or implicated in the types of same sex relationships they purport to decry. Here in America, few have surpassed Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt in anti-gay hysteria and the the condemnation of self-accepting gays and their same sex relationships. Now, it turns out that Nienstedt is under investigation by his own diocese for his own possible same sex relationships. The irony is most sweet and I for one hope that Nienstedt ends up being exposed for exactly what he condemns in others. The hypocrisy of the man would be shown to be complete. The National Catholic Reporter has details. Note how Nienstedt defends himself by saying that the allegations did not involve minors. Isn't that just special! Here are highlights:
A Catholic archbishop in Minnesota who has been one of the hierarchy's most vocal opponents of gay rights is himself the target of an investigation into allegations that he had a series of sexual relationships with priests, seminarians and other men, it was reported Tuesday.The investigation of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt is being conducted by a prominent Minneapolis law firm hired by the archdiocese after church officials received numerous allegations against Nienstedt.The archdiocese confirmed the investigation, which was first reported by Commonweal, a Catholic magazine based in New York."The allegations do not involve minors or lay members of the faithful, and they do not implicate any kind of illegal or criminal behavior," Nienstedt said. "The allegations involve events alleged to have occurred at least decade ago, before I began serving in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis."Commonweal's story cites Jennifer Haselberger, former top canon lawyer for Nienstedt, as saying she learned of the investigation when she was questioned by attorneys from the firm that the archdiocese hired, Greene Espel.Nienstedt came under fire last September for allegedly failing to report or discipline clergy suspected of molesting children after Haselberger, who had resigned her post in frustration in April 2013, began leaking internal church documents that appeared to detail efforts to shield abusers.One of Nienstedt's top aides, the Rev. Peter Laird, quit, and it later emerged that Laird did so after Nienstedt rebuffed his suggestion that the archbishop should resign.But late last year, the archdiocese began receiving an unrelated series of allegations that Nienstedt – who was ordained a priest in Detroit before becoming a bishop in Minnesota – had a string of improper relationships with men or had made unwanted advances on others.[I]nvestigators have received about ten sworn statements alleging sexual impropriety on the part of the archbishop dating from his time as a priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit, as Bishop of New Ulm, and while coadjutor/archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis," Haselberger told Commonweal.She added that "he also stands accused of retaliating against those who refused his advances or otherwise questioned his conduct."Nienstedt has earned a reputation as a leading culture warrior in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and his signature issue is homosexuality. . . . Homosexuality, he has written, "must be understood in the context of other human disorders: envy, malice, greed, etc."
I hope the allegations prove true. About the only thing that could make the situation more delicious would be to learn that among those with whom Nienstedt had relationships are Ken Cuccinelli and Rick Santorum, two other tortured, self-loathing closeted gays.