Former Archbishop John Neinstedt is “dumbfounded” by allegations that he loves gay discos, sexy men and the occasional nostril full of poppers. We’ll remind you that Neinstedt has called homosexuality “evil” in the past and thinks equal marriage laws are a Satanic “man-made experiment” that would harm the children.
The Star Tribune reports that a statement by Nienstedt — the first he’s made since resigning amid criminal and civil charges alleging he failed “to protect children” — expresses fierce exasperation about the whole gritty kerfuffle.
“It pains me deeply that my good name and reputation have been put into question by allegations that are entirely false and based wholly on rumor, hearsay, or innuendo,” he told the paper.
In one affidavit, a priest in Michigan claims he saw Neinstedt having a kiki at gay nightclub The Happy Tap. “He appeared to wave me off as I was coming,” the priest claims, “and I backed off because I did not want to impose on him.”
Another affidavit, also from a Michigan priest, insists Nienstedt pulled up to his car back sometime in the freewheelin’ ’80s, and asked the priest if he happened to have any poppers on hand. Allegedly, Neinstedt changed the subject when he recognized the priest as a former student.
We’re not sure why these priests were chillaxin’ at gay bars and cruisey parks, but that’s beside the point.
Another affidavit, this one from James Heathcott, a former seminarian at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary, says he was summarily expelled after refusing Nienstedt’s invitation to head to a ski chalet for a private weekend of — we’re guessing — strenuous prayer.
Oh. And there’s a 2014 letter from a former student that clams Nienstedt “touched his buttocks” after they had dinner together. Joseph Rangitsch says he protested the advances, but Nienstedt could “make things unpleasant for you very quickly.”
Nienstedt, we’ll remind you, once refused holy communion to 25 students because they were wearing rainbow buttons.
Nienstedt steadfastly denies each and every one of these claims, insisting he’s never “abused any minor, had a sexual relationship with any individual, or committed any crime.” He assures everyone he’s never cut a rug in any gay nightclub, and wasn’t even in Detroit for Poppersgate.
He admits to driving by the park in question on a regular basis because: “I had to drive through the park to get to other destinations within the city of Detroit.” None of which, we’re sure, were called Adam’s Apple.
Nienstedt is claiming that “certain groups” started the rumors following “difficult decisions” he made, such as “ending the gay community’s use of a Catholic church for liturgies.” He also led a markedly unsuccessful campaign to amend the Minnesota Constitution to ban gay marriage.
A court hearing is set for August 25. We’re sure “certain groups” will be waiting for the
crisply enunciated guilty verdict with bated breath.