EDINA--It was standing room only inside Our Lady of Grace Church as Archbishop John Nienstedt made a rare public appearance to address the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic church.
On Sunday he apologized from the pulpit and read a homily verbatim. In it he told parishioners "you deserve better....with your prayer and God's grace I believe that we will emerge from this difficult period to become a stronger, more focused, more prayerful and more purified local church."
He later addressed media about the Archdiocese's plans moving forward, but would not take questions.
"When I arrived here seven years ago one of the first things I was told was that this whole question of clerical sex abuse had been taken care of," Nienstedt said.
He says he was just as surprised as everyone else when he learned the extent of clergy sex abuse.
"I overlooked this. I should have investigated it a lot more than I did," he said.
Nienstedt wanted to convey a message to the congregation of hope and moving forward. That message resonated with some.
"I thought it was great. I thought that he did a very nice job and it was good to hear him come to this church," Mike Warren, a church member, said.
But others who did not want to go on camera said the apology was not enough. One man who would not give his name told KARE 11 he was not satisfied with the apology and questioned why it took Nienstedt so long to respond.
While the reviews were mixed on the Archbishop's message he says his focus is moving the church forward.