- Associated Press - Monday, June 15, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Archbishop John Nienstedt says he leaves with Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis with a clear conscience and asks for prayers for its future leaders.

The Vatican said Monday that Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piche. The archdiocese was recently charged as a corporation with ignoring repeated reports of inappropriate behavior by a priest who was later convicted of molesting two boys.

Nienstedt says his leadership has drawn attention away from the good works of the church. Bishop Piche says he was “getting in the way” of healing and hope for the people he served. The archdiocese includes about 825,000 Catholics in the 12-county Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Rev. Bernard Hebda, the Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, has been named temporary administrator of the archdiocese.

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