US Archbishop John Nienstedt of St Paul and Minneapolis has claimed that the archdiocese has made significant progress in improving procedures for addressing sexual abuse claims and he will not resign over past mishandling on such cases.

"We must continue to address head-on the terrible scandal of clerical sexual abuse," he said. "It is apparent that this is the work of the Church we are called to address at this time.

"To say that this has been a difficult year is quite an understatement," he said. "Catholics have witnessed many troubling media reports, and many of us have had difficult conversations with friends and family about what it means to be Catholic and why we still profess the Faith."


Archbishop Nienstedt and the archdiocese has faced severe criticism amid sexual misconduct allegations in the media last year concerning certain priests and how their cases were handled by archdiocesan officials.

The archbishop acknowledged that he has been "the subject of two investigations, which have brought with them more public scrutiny".

It has been alleged that the archbishop had a series of sexual relationships with priests, seminarians and other men. Dr Nienstedt, 67, claimed that the allegations "are absolutely and entirely false". In response to calls that he resign, he said he will continue to serve.