Throughout the day today several people have contacted me regarding the most recent bulletin of Saint Olaf's parish in Minneapolis, and in particular the pastor's column. If you have not read it, you can access the bulletin by clicking here.

Father Patrick Kennedy, the author, has a unique perspective on the situation in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. First, his parish shares a skyway with the law firm of Greene Espel, which was the firm originally selected to complete the investigation into the conduct of Archbishop Nienstedt (it appears that the Archdiocese subsequently removed Greene Espel from this assignment). Second, his father, Alois Daniel Kennedy, was a founding partner of the law firm of Meier, Kennedy, & Quinn, which until recently represented the Archdiocese in every lawsuit involving allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. Finally, he is recently returned from a sojourn assignment in the Diocese of Tucson, a diocese that went through a very successful Chapter 11 process under the leadership of Bishop Gerald Kicanas.

I agree with much of what Father Kennedy says in his column, especially regarding the need to involve more of the presbyterate and laity in conversations about the future of the Archdiocese. However, I think he is missing some important information vis-à-vis his idea of rapprochement between the Archdiocese and myself. I will write a longer post on this tomorrow, but in the meantime I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for the olive branch he recommends.



01/28/2015 2:19pm

Hello Jennifer:

I read the blog posting and the St. Olaf bulletin. I do not appreciate the way he frames the olive branch suggestion. First, what you did was a gift to the church and more than necessary. He's got it backwards...we need, if not actual please for forgiveness and truthtelling, an "olive branch" from the leaders of this diocese. Even Fr. Kennedy remains entrenched in the notion that the Church has been attacked from outside itself i.e. Jeff Anderson and yourself! NOT TRUE...again was the Church and its clerical culture that not only abused and harmed youth but also betrayed its trust with all of us. Kennedy doesn't get it right here...what you have done was for the benefit of the Church and I don't see where you are supposed to wait upon an "olive branch" when what you have been seeking is plainly obvious to anyone with a conscience.

Again, thanks Jennifer.

01/28/2015 2:59pm

I too took offense at the framing of his olive branch suggestion. The Catholics i know would not react by saying "Look what she's done to us!" We say look what she has done FOR us! He fails to acknowledge that the new approach with and from Jeff Anderson is a direct result of Jennifer Haselberger shining a light on what was really going on in the Chancery. I have no doubt that without her courageous act in doing so that it would have been business as usual. Obfuscation, obstruction, demonizing the victim would continue. Actions past and current give us no reason to believe otherwise. So yes, perhaps an olive branch and a great big thank you are in order, but as Jennifer said, I won't hold my breath.

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    Jennifer Haselberger is a canon lawyer who served as the Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis until April of 2013, when she resigned in protest of the Archdiocese's handling of sexual misconduct by clergy.

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