Saturday, January 16, 2016

Letter regarding Archbishop Nienstedt from Msgr Osborn

Diocese of Kalamazoo
Office of the Bishop
January 15, 2016

 Dear St. Joseph School Parents,

In the event that you didn’t receive this information earlier, and In light of recent concerns expressed regarding Archbishop John C.Nienstedt’s temporary stay in the Diocese, we wish to share with you the following information:

 • Archbishop Emeritus Nienstedt is a retired priest temporarily visiting the Diocese who voluntarily offered his assistance to Fr. John Fleckenstein, who is addressing serious health concerns. He has not been appointed, assigned or “hired” by the Diocese.

 • As arranged by himself and Fr. John, he has simply agreed to celebrate Mass at St. Philip Parish and assist in hospital ministry as needed. The Archbishop will not be scheduled for any interaction or involvement with our schools.

 • Bishop Bradley gave approval to this arrangement, following the standard procedures for any visiting priest who wishes to exercise priestly ministry within the Diocese in order to make sure that he was a priest in good standing.

 • We take very seriously our commitment that safe environments are maintained for our precious children and for all people. It is because of this that Bishop Bradley sought additional assurances regarding Archbishop Nienstedt, in addition to making sure he meets the stringent requirements it takes to be a “priest in good standing.”

We remain confident that the environment at St. Joseph Elementary and Middle School is safe. Please find for your information and background Fr. John Fleckenstein’s letter published in the St. Philip Parish bulletin along with the Diocesan statement on this matter. We regret that this important information was not more widely distributed, as was originally intended. Together let us pray that reason and charity prevail.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Msgr. Michael Osborn

Vicar General


For response from an affected parishioner, see letter from Samantha Pearl.

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