Embattled Minn. archbishop calls for resignation of gay music director


Staff Reports

VICTORIA, Minn. — Embattled Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt has asked for the resignation of a popular music director at a Victoria, Minn., church because he married his longtime same-sex partner.

Archbishop John Nienstedt

Archbishop John Nienstedt

Father Bob White, who leads St. Victoria Catholic Church, has notified parishioners that Nienstedt has asked for Jamie Moore’s resignation, and that Moore has agreed to the archbishop’s request.

Nienstedt said in a statement that the teachings of the Catholic Church must be upheld. He says public conduct contrary to the teachings and law of the church is a reason for immediate dismissal.

“The … conduct of church employees can inspire and motivate people, but it can also scandalize and undermine their faith,” said Nienstedt. “Church employees must … recognize and accept the responsibilities that accompany their ministry.”

Nienstedt, who championed the failed effort to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota, is facing his own church investigation over allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with other men, including priests and seminary students.

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Parishioners and victims of clergy sex abuse have also called for Nienstedt’s resignation for his handling of abuse complaints.

Minnesota Public Radio reported last year that Nienstedt had approved secret payments to priests who had admitted to sexually assaulting children, kept priests in ministry despite allegations of child sex abuse and failed to warn parishioners about the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer’s sexual interest in younger men. Wehmeyer is now in prison for sexually assaulting two sons of a parish employee.

Last year, Nienstedt was investigated by local law enforcement for allegedly touching a boy’s buttocks during a confirmation ceremony, but was not charged.

More on Jamie Moore’s resignation from WCCO-TV:

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