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Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstedt Says He Will Not Resign Despite Mishandled Sex Abuse Claims

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John Clayton Nienstedt, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, US, walks away from Pope Benedict XVI, behind him, after receiving his pallium (white and black woolen shawl) during a Mass celebrated by the pontiff and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, not pictured, in St. Peter's Basilica, Sunday, June 29, 2008. (AP  Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
John Clayton Nienstedt, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, US, walks away from Pope Benedict XVI, behind him, after receiving his pallium (white and black woolen shawl) during a Mass celebrated by the pontiff and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, not pictured, in St. Peter's Basilica, Sunday, June 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis says he won't resign despite criticism over the archdiocese's handling of sexual abuse claims involving priests.

Archbishop John Nienstedt made his comments in in a column that will appear in Thursday's archdiocese newspaper, The Catholic Spirit. He says he's bound to stay in office as long as Pope Francis wants.

Nienstedt says he'll continue to apply the hard lessons he's learned over the past months.

He says he's never knowingly covered up clergy sexual abuse. He says he's created a new leadership team that puts victims first. And he maintains he's always been honest with Catholics of the archdiocese.

Nienstedt says he hopes to win back trust.

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