MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The former vicar general of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and
Minneapolis has left the priesthood, some 31/2 years after his abrupt
resignation amid allegations that church officials mishandled the case of a
priest found with child pornography.

Peter Laird was second in command to Archbishop John Nienstedt, who resigned in
2015 after prosecutors filed criminal charges against the archdiocese for
failing to protect children from Curtis Wehmeyer, who's now imprisoned for
molesting boys at his St. Paul church.

Laird said when he resigned in 2013 that he hoped his decision would help
repair trust among abuse victims.

Laird petitioned the Vatican to leave the priesthood in 2014. New Archbishop Bernard Hebda informed priests in a letter last week that Pope Francis granted Laird's request.