Diocese of Crookston Bishop removed by Pope

CROOKSTON, MINN. (KVRR) – Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston.

Hoeppner is facing allegations of covering up sexual abuse claims.

The Diocese released a statement saying, “Bishop Hoeppner’s resignation arose from reports that he had at times failed to observe applicable norms when presented with allegations of sexual abuse involving clergy of the Diocese of Crookston.

Hoeppner, 71, was the first U.S. bishop to be investigated under Vos estis lux mundi, Pope Francis’ 2019 norms on investigating bishops accused of mishandling or obstructing allegations of clerical sexual abuse.

According to the Catholic News Agency, Hoeppner is reported to have pressured an alleged victim to drop his allegation of abuse against a priest, failed to follow mandatory reporting laws, and neglected to follow protocols designed to monitor priests accused of misconduct.

Rev. Richard E. Pates of Iowa will serve as the Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Crookston until a new bishop is designated.

For more on this story, the Catholic News Agency filed the following report.


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