Editor's note: NCR received the following email from Tom Halden, director of the office of communications for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, regarding the story posted June 12 that interviewed Catholic entrepreneur Tim Busch.
As communications director of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, I write to you today to ask for a correction — or at least a clarification — to the story NCR posted Wednesday, June 12, regarding Tim Busch. Archbishop Bernard Hebda has indicated to me that the article mischaracterizes his conversation with Mr. Busch regarding Archbishop John Nienstedt.
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Archbishop Hebda was called by Mr. Busch about Archbishop Nienstedt's participation at a multi-day program sponsored by the Napa Institute. Archbishop Hebda specifically told Mr. Busch that, although he was personally unaware of any restrictions on Archbishop Nienstedt's ministry, a definitive answer regarding Archbishop Nienstedt's status could only be given by Rome. This is quite different than stating that there were no restrictions on his ministry. The comment reported in Dan Morris-Young's (whose email I could not find) story incorrectly implies that Archbishop Hebda somehow had authority to permit or restrict Archbishop Nienstedt from working or ministering outside the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Only the Pope can do that. Archbishop Hebda and others in leadership positions in the Archdiocese have made that clear consistently with those who have inquired, including in communications with Mr. Busch.
When Mr. Busch posed the same question to Archbishop Hebda again last summer, Archbishop Hebda responded as he had before, but this time in writing.
Archbishop Hebda also did not tell Mr. Busch that the allegations against Archbishop Nienstedt were merely "rumors." Anyone who has reviewed the allegations, many of which are available online, can see that they included first-person allegations.
All that being said, Archbishop Hebda shares Mr. Busch's hope that Vos estis lux mundi and the directives approved by the USCCB last week will allow for a resolution of these matters.