Edmund Casimir Szoka (right), Karol Józef Wojtyła, (center), and John Clayton Nienstedt, Jr. 
[The church as costume party: The model of the church that Avery Dulles neglected]
Edmund Casimir Szoka (right), Karol Józef Wojtyła, (center), and John Clayton Nienstedt, Jr.
Francis, the Bishop of Rome, accepted the resignation of John Clayton Nienstedt, Jr. as Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis on June 15, 2015.

This website is designed to elucidate the following:

(1) John Nienstedt was initially a 
center-left Detroit 
priest whom the liberal John Dearden mentored and employed. With Dearden's retirement in 1980, Nienstedt went to Rome to complete a doctorate and to work in the Holy See's Secretariat of State, whereby he learned first-hand what it took to become a bishop under John Paul II's reign; hence, since then, he has adopted hardcore, un-pastoral conservatism, at least in rhetoric and appearance, to ladder-climb. Upon returning to Detroit in 1985, Nienstedt served Edmund Szoka (the anti-Dearden), one of John Paul II's favorite bishops. When Szoka gained further power in Rome, he rewarded Nienstedt (and others who dutifully served him) with the office of bishop, even after Adam Maida removed Nienstedt as Rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 1994.

(2) Given the amount of gossip among clerics and lay persons in the Archdiocese of Detroit about Nienstedt's sexual orientation, Nienstedt possibly thought an offensive against LGBT persons would squelch it or somehow prove to the hierarchy that he is not gay. This assault has become a hallmark of Nienstedt's episcopal service in New Ulm and St.Paul/Minneapolis. Given the obsessiveness and severity of Nienstedt's crusade, persons have charged him with hypocrisy and have leveled allegations of sexual misconduct, especially during his time in Detroit.

Thus far, five persons out of eleven are known to have filed affidavits in the Nienstedt misconduct investigation: (1) Joel Cycenas, a former Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis priest and friend of Nienstedt, (2) Lawrence Ventline, a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit (see below), (3) Eugene Tiffany, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, (4) Gary Michalik, a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, and (5) James Heathcott, a former seminarian at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. 
--See Minnesota Public Radio story http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/06/19/nienstedt and Star Tribune's story 

(4) Nienstedt gambled on a continuation of popes like John Paul II and Benedict XVI. With Francis, Nienstedt is panicky: what was taken for granted has been turned upside down for him. Given Nienstedt's public hardline focus and demeanor, he cannot plausibly return to his original center-left position that he held as a young priest. His betrayal of Dearden cannot be undone; it is final. There is no more ladder-climbing left for Nienstedt since Francis is uninterested in careerist clerics. Nienstedt can only cling onto what he has contrived: a house of cards.

From: Canonical Consultation and Services, L.L.C. by Jennifer Haselberger (former Chancellor for Canonical Affairs of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Accusations Against Archbishop Nienstedt: A War of Words?

'[O]ne of the allegations/affidavits/reports that has been made as part of this investigation is that the Archbishop [i.e., John Nienstedt] has also been known to go 'cruising' (and I am not referring to the type of cruising one does on a ship in the Caribbean) and, on one occasion, purchased 'poppers' (and not the exploding candy preferred by elementary school students) and followed another gentleman to his car for, well, the type of activity that men purchase 'poppers' for, only to discover when the interior lights of the car went on that the other individual had been a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Detroit. What was reported to me was that when the Archbishop recognized the individual, he made a statement to the extent that he 'couldn't do this' and left the car. Again, this is only one of the reports that I have heard about, which leaves approximately a dozen more accusations of various types and from other individuals at other times."

From: Religion: Roots & Relationship by Lawrence Ventline (Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit; ordained 1976)

Friday, July 18, 2014 
A Bishop Is Called to Task 

The New York Times called for a bishop [John Nienstedt] to resign in its op/ed pages today.

Investigations seem to be uncovering disturbing truths, let alone allegations.

A local [Detroit auxiliary] bishop doesn't think he will resign, however.

Pressure on him [Nienstedt] presses on daily.

How can he endure the ache and push to surrender?


Some time ago, I called his office and wanted to ask this bishop [John Nienstedt] to do a courageous thing [come out of the closet].

His affect seemed flat.

I didn't have the heart to tell him then.

Weeks later, I called his office again asking his priest secretary to give him a message.

He replied that he would.

I trust he did.

Media is all abuzz about this story.

Honesty is the best policy.  Whoever one is, she or he is set free by the truth [that he is gay].

In all humility, I know.

God is in all this always.

The bishop will do the right thing, I hope, sooner than later.

Let's pray he will as his parishioners applaud his accepting who their Shepherd is leading them.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 
Out of the Shadow

Teachers, sports players, clergy, among others need to be transparent about their sexual orientation.

Given that gays, for example, are persecuted, and more, staying closeted is one's lone option.

However, issues will emerge if one chooses not to come out of the shadows of her or his life.

It breaks my heart, for example, to witness the overwhelming sexual abuse and boundary violations of clergy these past five decades, and beyond, I'm sure.

A bishop [John Nienstedt] was recently alleged with abuse and stepped down, according to policies of the diocese, does not perform public ministry, but, works in his office daily, for example.

It seems to me that if this bishop [John Nienstedt], like Bishop Gene Robinson who came out as a gay man, among other clergy came out, the cycle of the abuse would be stopped.

Life is like that. 

Until one's life is fully embraced, violence to one's self, one's soul, and others occurs, sad to say.

One needs to embrace her or his sexuality in order that inappropriate, even criminal behavior does not erupt when clandestine acting out occurs readily.

Like a big beach ball that is pressed into a bath tub full of water finds a way to buoy up out of the water, so does one's behavior erupts.

Life is like that.

To accept and acclaim one's sexuality is critical to health and wellness.

I was saddened to speak on the phone recently with a bishop [John Nienstedt] who needs to embrace who he is in order to stop the inappropriate, even criminal behavior.

Institutional and personal denial  of one's orientations exacerbates problems, when 'don't ask, don't tell' is the choice.

God help this brother pastor [John Nienstedt], and others, who fail to step up and celebrate their sexuality, whether straight, gay or otherwise.

I know.