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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis asks for resignation of bishop accused of failing to investigate sexual abuse

Pope Francis asked for and accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael Hoeppner, 71, from the Diocese of Crookston in Minnesota.

The official statement published by the diocese explains that Bishop Hoeppner was asked to resign following an investigation arising in 2017 from “reports that he had at times failed to observe applicable norms when presented with allegations of sexual abuse involving clergy of the Diocese of Crookston.”

He was charged with coercion for pressuring a seminarian preparing to be a deacon to withdraw a past accusation of sexual abuse by a priest.

Bishop Emeritus of Des Moines, Richard E. Pates, will serve as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Crookston until a new bishop is appointed.