Minnesota bishop resigns at pope's request after abuse coverup
April 14, 2021
Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston resigned Tuesday after a request to step down by Pope Francis and an investigation that showed he had covered up a sex abuse allegation against a priest.
Hoeppner is the first U.S. Catholic bishop to be disciplined under new Vatican protocols for reviewing and sanctioning bishops for sex abuse or coverups. The 2019 guidelines were put in place to enforce greater accountability of bishops when there are reports of abuse by clergy under their supervision.
Hoeppner, 71, was accused of pressuring a former deacon candidate to recant his statement that he was sexually abused as a teen by the Rev. Roger Grundhaus, a popular diocesan priest. Grundhaus has denied the abuse and Hoeppner has denied he tried to cover up the abuse claim.