Archdiocese meets with St. Paul Police

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- St. Paul Police have met with officials from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in an effort to move forward with an investigation or investigations. Neither side would comment to KARE 11 on what was discussed.

The meeting came a day after Archbishop John Nienstedt announced he was stepping down from public ministry following accusations he inappropriately touched a young man's buttocks while taking a confirmation photo in 2009. It also comes a day after St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith accused the diocese of not cooperating with investigations in the past.

St. Paul Police did tweet that the meeting was over late Wednesday afternoon. They also tweeted: "Officials answered some questions and set plans for discussions in near future to answer others."

We know the archdiocese sent its lawyer to the meeting, along with new Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia Fr. Charles Lachowitzer. In a statement to KARE 11, the archdiocese said, "We had a productive and amicable meeting today and concur with the St. Paul Police's account of our meeting."

Dr. Charles Reid, an expert in Catholic law, says the church needs to take the Police Chief's allegations seriously. "I think they have to make it clear to the police that they're communicating fully and then they have to avoid any appearance of a cover up. That's crucial. If you want to gain trust, regain trust, you have to avoid the appearance of wrong doing, not only wrong doing, but the appearance of wrong doing," Dr. Reid told KARE 11.


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