MN--Another priest accused of child sex crimes; Victims respond

For immediate release: Monday, May 2, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home,[email protected]

Another accused Crookston predator priest has been suspended because of credible reports of child sex crimes. That makes at least seven publicly accused Crookston area child molesting Catholic clerics (according to

Bishop Michael Hoeppner should spread the word about this move far and wide and aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered the cleric’s crimes.

Over the weekend, Fr. Pat Sullivan was temporarily suspended for abuse that happened eight or nine years ago. He recently worked in Dillworth and Hawley.

As best we can tell, Bishop Hoeppner told the fewest people possible about this troubling new abuse report: just Fr. Sullivan’s current parishioners. That’s self-serving and irresponsible.

Bishop Hoeppner did not, as best we can tell, inform the public about it. But the US bishops’ national abuse policy purportedly mandates “openness” in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. Why is Bishop Hoeppner being so secretive?

A genuinely compassionate leader would have held a news conference, so police, prosecutors, parishioners, parents and the public would and promptly know about Fr. Sullivan and could do what they can to keep him away from kids and from destroying evidence, intimidating victims, threatening witnesses, discrediting whistleblowers or fleeing the country.

Or, Bishop Hoeppner should have sent a news release to Minnesota media and posted a notice on his diocesan website.

Instead, he did the absolute bare minimum. Shame on him.

Anyone who was hurt by Fr. Sullivan likely doesn’t attend Fr. Sullivan’s current parish. Bishop Hoeppner knows this. Yet for his own selfish reasons, the bishop only to tell only Fr.Sullivan's current parish.

In one sense, this is no surprise, because Bishop Hoeppner has long been secretive about predator priests.

Bishop Hoeppner refused to tell his flock about Fr. Louis Heitzer, a man who worked in the Crookston area and was “‘perhaps the most abusive priest ever to be part of (the Twin Cities Archdiocese)” abusing kids “every place he went,” according to a high-ranking Catholic official.

Ditto with Fr. Charles Joseph Gormly.

Ditto with Fr. Rick Boyd.

Ditto with Fr. Jerry Foley.

We could go on and on. We’re especially disappointed in Bishop Hoeppner’s silence and inaction in the Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul case. Church bureaucrats in Rome have lifted the suspension this priest, who is a convicted child molester  who assaulted at least two Crookston area girls.

That means that Fr. Jeyapaul, can be put back to work, even though he was

--extradited to Minnesota from India by governmental authorities there and in the US,

--found criminally guilty of sexually assaulting one Minnesota girl,

--accused of sexually assaulting a second Minnesota girl,

--deported back to India, and

--sued by two Minnesota victims (and church officials settled both suits for six figure sums),

No matter what Bishop Hoeppner and other Crookston church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747[email protected])

Showing 5 comments

  • Chris Regan
    commented 2017-12-28 18:09:19 -0600
    You would have said the same thing about the character of the other half dozen priests in the same diocese. ‘Good’ person or not, many of the allegations in the Crookston Diocese have been validated. MANY. To discount these as unsubstantiated allegations is just wrong. Where is the actual investigation, and not the church investigation going? his reinstatement this week is a blasphemy, he has been in no way vindicated in the public eye, just to the church leaders. Are you seriously going to tell me that the sheriff and attorney who went over his deposition WITH the church would dare to side against them in Crookston? My whole family is from there, the church is not to be trifled with.
  • Carol Kratzke
    commented 2016-11-03 18:49:57 -0500
    This is a flat out lie about Fr. Patrick Sullivan. It is ALLEGED and you people talk about it like it actually happened. If you knew this man you would know that there is NO POSSIBLE WAY that he would do anything like this. Innocent until proven guilty but there’s none of that here.
  • Dennis Ogaard
    commented 2016-05-14 14:48:50 -0500
    I have known Fr Pat for well over 35 years. This is a flat out lie.
    And before you convict someone, how about getting the facts first. He will be vindicated.
  • Barb Kotta
    commented 2016-05-03 14:49:09 -0500
    I’ve known Fr. Pat for 30 years. This is a lie, and anyone who knows him will say the same.
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