Bishop Michael Hoeppner of Diocese of Crookston Removed by Vatican following Clergy Abuse Cover-Up Investigation

Courageous clergy abuse survivor Ron Vasek instrumental in inquiry.

(Saint Paul, MN) – According to an article released by the AP today and a statement from the Diocese of Crookston, Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston (MN) was asked by Pope Francis to resign his position. This decision by the Pope is the direct result of a Vatican Investigation launched in February 2020 following multiple allegations that Hoeppner was concealing child sexual abuse by priests in his diocese. Ron Vasek, a courageous survivor of clergy sexual abuse by Crookston priest Msgr. Roger Grundhaus, was instrumental to the investigation.

“It’s because of Ron’s tremendous courage, and the courage of survivors like him, that this reckoning is possible,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “Because of them, Hoeppner and the predator priests he protected can no longer hide in the shadows.”

In a 2017 press conference and lawsuit, Vasek revealed that Bishop Hoeppner coerced him to retract his statement that he had been abused by Msgr. Grundhaus when he was 16 years old. As part of settlements reached in 2019 by Vasek and several other survivors of child sexual abuse by Diocese of Crookston priests, secret documents and the depositions of top officials in the diocese, including Bishop Hoeppner, Msgr. Grundhaus and Vicar General Michael Foltz, were released publicly.

“We are tremendously grateful to Ron for standing up and speaking out when so many others who have been harmed on Hoeppner’s watch have yet to find their voices,” said attorney Mike Finnegan. “To all survivors of clergy abuse—there is power in your story. It’s time to come forward.”