Yesterday, SNAP issued a statement about Archbishop Nienstedt's involvement with the Napa Institute, meeting this week at a luxury hotel in the Napa Valley.

The institute claims its mission is to 'equip Catholic leaders to defend and advance the Catholic faith', and other notable attendees at the conference include Carly Fiorina, Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Alexander Sample, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Bishop Michael Barber, and Bishop Robert Vasa.

Nienstedt's involvement with the Napa Institute is just the latest instance of his continued involvement in Church leadership since his resignation. As has already been mentioned, Nienstedt remains the Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Pontifical North American College, and also continues on the Board of Trustees for the Catholic University of America.

Somehow, this does not seem consistent with a Church committed to holding bishops accountable.



07/09/2016 9:12pm

Neinstedt should be defrocked by Pope Francis. Anything less continues the cover-up.

07/10/2016 6:30pm

If Nienstedt had a working moral conscience, true love for the Church, any regard for victims / survivors of clergy sex abuse -- just basic human decency - - he would've excused himself long ago.

Church Fathers are called to be 'irreproachable' 1Tim 3 >> Nienstedt's stains are Off The Charts - to the degree that Pope Francis gave him (and Piche) an ultimatum:

Either resign - or be removed. But get out of office - this is Scandalous with a putrid stench...Leave.

The next natural step would've been to lay low -- enter into a permanent mode of Prayer and Penance -- i.e:

'Clear the deck - and allow Healing to begin. We're broken.'

(And get healing for yourself -- you're really messed up.)

**This isn't hard - but Nienstedt's made it hard: for the Archdiocese, state of MN - and beyond. And will go down in the books as such.

Protracted pain.

(And why?)

Continued prayers. And trusting God is seeing this thru to thee very end.


07/10/2016 10:27pm

What truly can be done to get the right person's attention to stop this nonsense?

07/11/2016 11:38pm

Is there a "right person" in church authority? Perhaps this is the problem. They are all on the same (wrong) page.

All credibility is gone. Unless individuals like Niensted are dealt with, the church is doomed. Sad thing is, there are so many of us yearning for better yet powerless to do much but withdraw our support.

Carolyn Disco
07/11/2016 11:23pm

Nienstedt's positions of authority remain an insult to survivors and laity. One must assume either a level of tone deafness, or a deliberate indifference on the part of officialdom.

Accountability is simply nonexistent, and those who struggle for justice are left to pound sand. Such indifference is a mark of corruption. Welcome to the powerlessness of Catholics to effect needed reforms. I believe Nienstedt's mere presence, much less influence, turns what he touches to ashes.

The report of the Greene Espel law firm's investigation of his personal record of conduct must come to light somehow. What is hidden WILL be revealed, in keeping with scriptural notice.

Here's some of the story:

"Forsgren and Wallace-Jackson, the two Greene Espel attorneys assigned to the investigation, had no special training in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

However, they quickly learned of allegations of misconduct that stretched back decades. The lawyers didn't just listen. They asked people to submit sworn affidavits, and 11 agreed."

Read the entire piece and weep, at

07/12/2016 5:46am

Does Nienstedt still have any official association with archspm? Did this have to be approved by the local bishop in Napa? And what about Bishop Hebda? Did he have to approve this?

That Nienstedt still doesn't get it is sad, but of greater concern to me is whether or not Hebda gets it.

07/12/2016 8:52pm

How many priests in our Diocese have left ministry because of Nienstedt?

07/12/2016 9:46pm

This news is no longer is no longer surprising, but rather an ongoing tragedy that has become expected, which is so sad for me. We must insist on the release of the Greene Espel findings! Keep praying for the seminarians and others who were abused by the former Archbishop and those he befriended. Thank you for your work Jennifer...please have no doubt many are grateful for your past courage, and appreciate the ongoing updates.

07/18/2016 12:37am

Thank you.

07/20/2016 6:17pm

@Natalia: "enter into a permanent mode of Prayer and Penance"

We need as an Archdiocese to have a "home" for wayward priests and bishops that is not "luxury apartments" or a hotel. It should be a church "penitentiary" where true prayer and penance can happen under lock and key. They only get out when and if they renounce all ties to the church, accept laicization and agree that the archdiocese owes them nothing for all their years of service, no retirement funds, no stipends, no payments, no nothing forever and ever.

Maybe Kevin McDonough's family could fund the place and he could be its first penitent. Yeah, like that's going to happen.

07/21/2016 9:47am

Ben, the idea is just, but those who need to be and those should make it happen are not just.

07/29/2016 12:12pm

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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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