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Conscience Magazine

Nienstedt’s Placement in Michigan Parish Short-lived

By Catholics for Choice April 25, 2016

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt left his six-month placement in a Battle Creek, Michigan, parish “in light of the unintended discord that his presence was causing,” according to a letter by Pastor John Fleckenstein provided to the Associated Press.

Nienstedt resigned from his previous assignment in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in June 2015 after the Ramsey County prosecutor filed criminal charges against the archdiocese “for its failure to protect children” related to clergy abuse.

The Diocese of Kalamazoo initially released a statement that Nienstedt began “as a priest in good standing, having met the Church’s stringent standards required to attain that status.” After only two weeks, Pastor Fleckenstein wrote, “A very regrettable circumstance of Archbishop Nienstedt’s presence within our community has been anger and fear.”

Catholics for Choice

was founded in 1973 to serve as a voice for Catholics who believe that the Catholic tradition supports a woman’s moral and legal right to follow her conscience in matters of sexuality and reproductive health.