resigned that post today amid growing concerns about the church's approach to clergy sex abuse cases.continue at MPR
The Rev. Peter Laird explained his sudden departure as vicar general in a statement posted on the archdiocese's website Thursday afternoon.
"Over the last few years, this Archdiocese has made significant progress in many areas, including how we have strengthened policies and practices regarding clergy misconduct," Laird said in the statement. "I am hopeful my decision to step aside at this time, along with the formation of a new task force can help repair the trust of many, especially the victims of abuse."
Archdiocese leaders, staff and priests, he added, "are sincerely committed to proactively addressing these difficult issues."
Laird was featured in a Sept. 23 MPR News story detailing how the archdiocese knew of the sexual misbehavior of a priest, Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer, yet kept him in the ministry.
The story reported Laird received a key 2011 memo on the allegations against Wehmeyer, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing the boys, ages 12 and 14, and possessing child pornography. A judge sentenced the priest to five years in prison.
In today's statement, the archdiocese said "Laird will continue to serve in a variety of roles within the archdiocese, including as the temporary administrator at the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary" in Maplewood.
STrib did mention that Bishop Piche' will assume the responsibilities of Vicar General until they can find a replacement from Fr. Lachowitzer at St. John Neumann