Priest who quit over abuse cases leaves priesthood entirely

Priest who quit over abuse cases leaves priesthood entirely

Priest who quit over abuse cases leaves priesthood entirely

In this July 30, 2014 file photo, St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt speaks at his office in St. Paul, Minn. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for bankruptcy related to accusations of mishandling allegations of child abuse, and Nienstedt resigned in June 2015. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig, File.)

In a period of time in which Marie Collins, clergy sex abuse survivor, resigned her place on a Vatican commission attempting to deal with new policies for dealing with clerical abuse, the spotlight has returned to these issues with new focus. A priest who resigned in frustration over mishandled abuse cases has now decided to leave the priesthood entirely.

MINNEAPOLIS — The former vicar general of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has left the priesthood, some 3 and a half years after his abrupt resignation amid allegations that church officials mishandled the case of a priest found with child pornography.

Peter Laird was second in command to Archbishop John Nienstedt, who resigned in 2015 after prosecutors filed criminal charges against the archdiocese for failing to protect children from Curtis Wehmeyer, who’s now imprisoned for molesting boys at his St. Paul church.

Laird said when he resigned in 2013 that he hoped his decision would help repair trust among abuse victims.

The Star Tribune reports  Laird petitioned the Vatican to leave the priesthood in 2014. New Archbishop Bernard Hebda informed priests in a letter last week that Pope Francis granted Laird’s request.


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