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You are here News Of Special Interest The Anti-Gay Archbishop Who Can’t Stay Out of Trouble

The Anti-Gay Archbishop Who Can’t Stay Out of Trouble

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John NienstedtThere may be something to be said for the theory that anger and hate stem from an individual recognizing in others a quality that they themselves possess, but don’t want to. One of the Catholic church's most vocal opponents of homosexuality is currently under investigation after allegations that he had multiple sexual relationships with priests, seminarians, and other men.

Minnesota archbishop John Nienstedt, 67, has spent years advocating against gay marriage. In 2013, speaking to a starry-eyed crowd at the Napa Institute, he said: “Today, many evil forces have set their sights on the dissolution of marriage and the debasing of family life. Sodomy, abortion, contraception, pornography, the redefinition of marriage, and the denial of objective truth are just some of the forces threatening the stability of our civilization.”

Nienstedt—he of the dramatic side-part and deer-in-the-headlights gaze—warned that “Satan knows all too well the value that the family contributes to the fabric of the good, solid society, as well as the future of God's work on earth.”

Beyond allegedly engaging in sexual behavior completely at odds with everything he purports to believe, Nienstedt is said to have punished those who turned him down. Commonweal, the Catholic magazine that broke the story of the investigation, quoted Jennifer Haselberger, a former top canon lawyer for the archbishop, saying he “also stands accused of retaliating against those who refused his advances or otherwise questioned his conduct.”

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