Bishop removed by pope agrees not to return to Crookston Diocese

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March 7, 2022

By Jim Monk

Former Diocese of Crookston Bishop Michael Hoeppner, who had wanted to continue working in the diocese following his resignation last year, will not be allowed to return.

Bishop Andrew Cozzens made the announcement in a letter to the Diocese Monday.

“When he was departing the Diocese of Crookston last April, Bishop Hoeppner publicly stated that he hoped to return to the diocese at the invitation of the new bishop. I have spoken with him, and he has agreed to not return to do any ministry in the Diocese of Crookston,” Cozzens wrote.

Last year, Pope Francis asked for Hoeppner’s resignation after a Vatican investigation found that Hoeppner interfered with clergy abuse investigations.

According to the Catholic News Agency, Hoeppner is reported to have pressured an alleged victim to drop his allegation of abuse against a priest, failed to follow mandatory reporting laws, and neglected to follow protocols designed to monitor priests accused of misconduct.

Cozzens also revealed that Hoeppner’s retirement benefits will be reduced.