ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ handling of child abuse allegations (all times local):
An attorney for victims of clergy abuse is accusing the Vatican of interfering in the investigation of a Minnesota archbishop.
Jeffrey Anderson made the claim in a case involving former archbishop John Nienstedt (NINE’-stedt), whose personal conduct was being examined in 2014 as the archdiocese was criticized for its handling of abuse allegations.
Anderson cited a newly released 2014 memo from the Rev. Daniel Griffith, an archdiocese leader for ensuring a safe environment for children.
In it, Griffith accused the Vatican’s delegate in Washington, D.C., of ordering church leaders to wrap up the Nienstedt investigation without pursuing all leads. Griffith also accused the then-delegate, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, of ordering leaders to destroy a letter in which they disagreed with him.
Attempts for comment from the office of the Vatican’s delegate were not immediately successful. Griffith didn’t immediately return messages.
Earlier Wednesday, prosecutors said they’ll drop child endangerment charges against the archdiocese and the archdiocese said it’ll admit it mishandled allegations.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will publicly admit wrongdoing for the way it handled abuse allegations against a former priest.
And prosecutors say they’ll drop six criminal child endangerment charges that alleged the archdiocese turned a blind eye to repeated misconduct by Curtis Wehmeyer, who was convicted of molesting two boys in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin.
The admission of wrongdoing is part of a beefed-up civil agreement announced in court Tuesday. Archbishop Bernard Hebda will also personally participate in restorative justice sessions — taking a more active role.
Ramsey County prosecutors filed civil and criminal charges against the archdiocese last year. The civil case was settled under a plan that allowed for more oversight of the church. Tuesday’s hearing provided an update to that settlement.