Man Who Accused Crookston Bishop of Sexual Abuse Cover-Up Reacts to His Resignation
As previously reported, The Crookston Diocese, which oversees several Catholic churches in the Lakeland viewing area, is under new ownership after former bishop Michael Hoeppner resigned Tuesday at the request of Pope Francis. Hoeppner is the first bishop in the world to be investigated by the Vatican as it launched new protocols for investigating clergy sexual abuse.
Ron Vasek says he was abused by when he was a teenager by Father Roger Grundhaus in the early 1970s during a fishing trip. Hoeppner is accused of stating Grundhaus was fit for ministry after allegedly knowing the priest’s past.
The diocese says the Vatican probe found the bishop had “at times failed to observe applicable norms when presented with allegations of sexual abuse.” Hoeppner has denied covering up priest sex abuse, and Father Grundhaus denies abusing Vasek.
The Most Reverend Richard E. Pate, the retired bishop of Des Moines, was named as a temporary administrator for the Crookston Diocese.