key questions

Why did the archbishop resign?

Nienstedt said his leadership has become distracting; he also may have faced pressure from the Vatican. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is facing charges that church officials failed to protect children from abusive priests.

Does this change the court action?

No. The Ramsey County civil and criminal cases will continue. The next appearance is scheduled for July 17.

Who is in charge?

The Rev. Bernard Hebda, a coadjutor, or assistant, archbishop in Newark, N.J., will run the archdiocese while the Vatican considers a permanent replacement.