- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The former vicar general of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has left the priesthood, some 3½ 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 (https://strib.mn/2nwF7Rf ) 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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Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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