Friday, April 25, 2014

The Deposition of Archbishop Nienstedt and Fr. Kevin McDonough

Is someone lying?

The lawyers and media seem to think so.  I can't bring myself to believe that an Archbishop and a former Vicar General would lie under oath.  So what's the deal?

Bad management, imperious culture, lack of communication and dysfunction - made worse by legal representation telling them what to say and how to answer questions - even demonstrating “a consistent pattern of deny, minimize and blame.”

I don't trust any of them.

Archbishop Nienstedt is out of town, in Rome for the Canonization.  He should be here.  He was gone for months while he was himself was investigated for inappropriate conduct.  Found innocent, he returned to work - yet now he is in Rome while local media has a field day with the depositions.  I don't get it.  A pastor should be with his sheep - who are confused and bewildered.

In his deposition, it appears Fr. Kevin McDonough, former Vicar General contradicts some of the things Nienstedt stated when he was deposed.  Interestingly, McDonough indicates something about the Archbishop's management style which may explain why he's not especially well liked by several of his priests.  He mentioned he had little contact with the Archbishop because "Nienstedt managed largely by memo..."

McDonough denied this week’s assertion by Nienstedt that he had advised the archbishop not to record or keep records of certain conversations about child abusers. 
“First of all, he [Nienstedt] and I would never have been in a position for much casual conversation,” McDonough said. “Archbishop Nienstedt managed largely by memo … but I don’t recall the question ever being asked about recording conversations with — between the archbishop and myself.” - StarTribune

Nienstedt is in Rome for the Canonizations.

Futility or ineffectiveness do not dispense one from speaking the truth, declaring what is wrong, and standing for what is right and just. [...] Whoever considers success, or makes his decisions or attitudes dependent upon whether something is futile or certain of success, is already corrupt. Then authenticity no longer means his personal encounter with what is real; it is rather his personal dependence upon success, upon being heard, on popularity and applause, and on the roar of great throngs. He is already corrupt. And woe if the prophets are mute out of fear that their word might not be heeded. - Alfred Delp, S.J.


  1. Fr. Delp's words are so powerful. Thanks, once again, Terry, for reminding me of doing what is right no matter what, and not allowing myself to become addicted to success. Beginning our community has taught me this lesson over and over.

  2. Terry writes : " I don't get it. A pastor should be with his sheep - who are confused and bewildered."

    I agree, it seems like such simple common sense to me that how could it be otherwise. But look at the bright side, if he is as out of touch as portrayed, then it wouldn't make the slightest difference one way or the other anyway.

  3. I think most bishops are out of touch with their flocks. They were in academic institutions since they were 5 or 6 until they were ordained, and sometimes beyond. Others have done their laundry, prepared their meals, provided housing. They've never had real jobs on "the outside." They have no idea what it's like to live an ordinary life where you have to work a job & pay your bills out of your own paycheck (without back-up from the diocese), let alone raise a family on top of that. Obviously, there are exceptions, but for the most part, bishops have not experienced life the way you & I have & so can't really relate to it in the same way. I don't mean to be critical, just pointing out how things are.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.