Pope Accepts Resignation of Bishop at Crookston Diocese
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Crookston Diocese in Minnesota.
The pope had asked Hoeppner to resign after he was investigated by the Vatican for allegedly interfering with past investigations into clergy sexual abuse. Pope Francis accepted the resignation on Tuesday and named a temporary replacement to run the Crookston Diocese.
The diocese said the Vatican probe found the bishop had “at times failed to observe applicable norms when presented with allegations of sexual abuse.” Hoeppner is accused of stating that a priest was fit for ministry despite allegedly knowing the priest had abused a 16-year-old boy in the 1970s.
The Most Reverend Richard E. Pate, the retired bishop of Des Moines, was named as a temporary administrator.