- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2020

A bishop in northern Minnesota has been accused of covering up allegations of clerical sex abuse, according to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner of Crookston, Minnesota, has been accused of engaging in “acts or omissions to interfere with or avoid civil or canonical investigations of clerical sexual misconduct,” the archdiocese said in a written statement.

The archdiocese said future claims of sexual abuse will be handled by Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda until the investigation of Bishop Hoeppner is complete.

Bishop Hoeppner, 70, admitted in deposition documents released in November to keeping a child abuser in the ministry, the Catholic News Agency reported.

The archdiocese’s actions follow the Vatican’s issuance of new marching orders to deal with bishops concealing abuse allegations.



In May, Pope Francis issued Vos estis lux mundi, which set forth new procedures for handling abuse allegations. The document drew criticism for not requiring church leaders to report abuse allegations to civilian authorities.

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