Archbishop John Nienstedt has ordered an outside review of all clergy files, while acknowledging "some serious mistakes" over the last decade in how the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis handled allegations of clergy sexual abuse.
Nienstedt's comments and action plan were published Thursday in a column for The Catholic Spirit, titled, "My pledge to restore trust."
"Having seen so many reports in the media and read the letters and emails of so many Catholic faithful as well as the general public, I am aware that there is real fear that some priests in ministry today constitute a danger to children. I could never knowingly allow such a situation," Nienstedt wrote. "In order to demonstrate this fact, I have ordered a review of all clergy files by an outside firm. We need to ascertain the facts, and this will lead us to prudent and ongoing disclosure."
The archdiocese has been under a heat lamp since whistleblower Jennifer Haselberger went to the Ramsey County attorney's office with claims that church leaders mishandled and covered-up allegations of abuse by priests.