Bishop Michael Hoeppner Resigns While Under Investigation for Covering Up Clergy Abuse
In September of 2019, it was announced that a Minnesota bishop was placed under investigation for covering up cases of clergy abuse. Today, he resigned before the results of that investigation were made public.
We are glad that one less diocese in the US is led by a prelate who put their reputation over the protection of children. We would have preferred, however, if Catholic officials in the Vatican had moved to fire Bishop Michael Hoeppner instead of asking for his resignation. While the result is the same, we feel that a stronger message would have been sent by ousting Bishop Hoeppner instead of asking him to leave, as there is a difference in forcing someone out versus asking them to remove themselves of their own accord.
We hope that the results of the investigation will still be released and that the Vatican will not use this resignation as an excuse to keep the facts from being made public. More importantly, we hope that the situation in Crookston will be investigated by secular authorities like Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, especially if the report on Bishop Hoeppner’s wrongdoing is not released by Catholic officials voluntarily.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)