St. Paul/Minneapolis archbishop accused of inappropriate touching

ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Minnesota's Archbishop John Nienstedt denies he inappropriately touched a young boy but says he will step down from his post while the matter is investigated.

An allegation last week that Nienstedt , head of the archdiocese of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minn., touched a boy on the buttocks during a public photo session following a religious ceremony in 2009 was vehemently denied Tuesday in a letter posted on the archdiocese's website.


"I do not know the individual involved; he has not been made known to me. I presume he is sincere in believing what he claims, but I must say that this allegation is absolutely and entirely false. I have never once engaged in any inappropriate contact with a minor and I have tried to the very best of my ability to serve this archdiocese and the church faithfully, with honor and due regard for the rights of all, even those with whom I disagree," Nienstedt said.

The archdiocese said Nienstedt will "voluntarily step aside from all public ministry while this matter is being investigated."

Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche will temporarily cover the Nienstedt's public duties.


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