Duty calls: Archbishop Nienstedt takes seat in jury pool

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 26, 2013 - 8:30 PM

Archbishop John Nienstedt has been called to duty.

On Monday and again on Tuesday, the highest official in the Catholic Church in Minnesota left the quiet halls of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis where he presides and headed for the Ramsey County Courthouse, ready to protect rights and liberties — and maybe hold sinners accountable.

Nienstedt embodied one of the seven heavenly virtues — patience — as he waited to be called. But he wasn’t seated on a jury panel and instead was sent home, advised that he was on call for Wednesday. Burglary and theft trials were among possible cases he might hear.

“The archbishop, like any other Minnesota citizen, is fulfilling his obligation to meet his jury duty requirement,” said Jim Accurso, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

“We do get quite a few public officials,” Daryl Sturdivant, a senior court clerk, said Tuesday, noting that former St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington, who is now Metro Transit police chief, also was called to jury duty not too long ago.

“He sat here for a whole week as well,” Sturdivant said. “I don’t think the archbishop would be excused because of his position.”

JOY POWELL

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