Judge Rules One of America’s Most Vocal Anti-LGBT Catholics Must Testify About Abuse
On Sunday afternoon, Ramsey County District Judge John Van de North confirmed that Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt, one of the nation’s most vocal and vociferous Catholic anti-LGBT voices, must testify about covering up child abuse within the church in Minnesota. Sunday’s ruling, which mirrored his decision early last week, came in response to the Twin Cities archdiocese’s appeal to stay the testimony.
Former Vicar General Kevin McDonough, who recently resigned in light of the cover-up, will also be forced to testify before March 13. The judge also reconfirmed his ruling that the church must turn in a list of all priests accused of child and sexual abuse since 2004, though such names will remain under seal. The archdiocese released a partial list in late 2013, but had refused to release the entire list.
The church’s failed attempt at a stay represented, according to Minnesota Public Radio, a “more aggressive legal approach” than those yet fielded. It also offered its most public legal failure to date in the state, and it remains unclear whether any mechanism for appeal remains.
The ruling stands as a boon to both those seeking recourse for decades of sex abuse within the Catholic Church, as well as those who know Nienstedt for his history of outspoken bigotry. While his anti-LGBT views aren’t as prominent as Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Nienstedt arguably carries the most acidic views among high-ranking American Catholics.