Ron is a small business owner in Northern Minnesota. He has been married to his high school sweetheart for over 40 years. He has 5 children and 11 grandchildren. He has been a lifelong Catholic and began his journey to the Deaconate in 2009. For all who know Ron, they know that he has always spoken the truth, even to a fault.
Many people have asked, "Why are you coming forward now? What do you hope to accomplish so many years later? Why would Ron bring the charge against Msgr. Grundhaus now? That is the wrong question because that is not what Ron is doing. Although the abuse by Msgr. Grundhaus is serious, and needs to be dealt this, this is not the reason Ron is coming forward now. Ron is coming forward to address the current issue that is still happening now: the cover-up by Bishop Hoeppner to keep abuse allegations silent and to expose it.
Here is Ron's story. As a child, Ron was abused by a priest that was a family friend, Msgr. Grundhaus. Victim shame and the view of his abuser as a friend of the family, kept Ron from disclosing his abuse.
2010: As he was preparing to start the Deacon program, Ron knew he would have to address many personal issues and disclosed the abuse to a Priest in the Fargo Diocese, who was a friend and spiritual mentor. This priest followed the proper protocol and the abuse was reported to his Vicar General who contacted Bishop Hoeppner. Bishop Hoeppner then coerces Ron to continue to keep the abuse secret. Bishop said that if Ron wasn't going to bring a lawsuit, then keep it quiet: you can't tell your wife, “Ron it’s a cross you’re going to have to carry. Sometimes we have to keep things to ourselves.”
2015: The Diocese (Bishop Hoeppner? / Msgr Foltz?) prepared a letter for Ron to sign renouncing allegation. Ron stated that this letter was a lie. Bishop threatened him, and his son's priesthood if he did not sign it. After the coercion, Ron knew he had to sign the letter to protect his son.
2017: In February, 2017, Ron gained permission from his deacon coordinator (Fr. Schreiner) and pastor (Fr. Ilango) to go ahead with preparations for his upcoming ordination in June. Days later a meeting between his pastor and the Bishop resulted in a change to this recommendation. Fr. Schreiner could not understand the change in recommendation, nor was he able to explain it to Ron's wife. At a meeting on March 18th with Fr. Schreiner, and his wife Patty, Ron revealed to them for the first time of the abuse by Fr. Grundhaus in Ohio in 1971, and subsequent meetings with Bishop Hoeppner and Msgr. Grundhaus.
Ron was instructed to meet with his Pastor, and then with the Bishop. During this meeting, Ron and Patty met with Bishop Hoeppner, and it was made clear to Ron that Bishop held the power of the diocese and the Bishop stressed obedience to him. Ron knew that obedience meant silence, and this compromised Ron's ability to be ordained by that Bishop.
After the meeting with Bishop Hoeppner in April, Ron felt that he had been abused all over again, and this time his wife Patty as well. THAT WAS THE LAST STRAW FOR RON. The problem was not only about the abuse from decades ago, but now also the constant terrible treatment from the Bishop currently (2010, 2015, 2017).
The why now is this: Bishop received the information in 2010 and did the wrong thing for Ron. Bishop continued doing the wrong thing until 2015. In Oct of 2015, Bishop did another wrong thing to Ron. In the spring of 2017, Bishop did yet another wrong thing to Ron. Therefore, Ron brought forth the wrongdoings of Bishop Hoeppner in 2017, because they were CURRENT. This is why now. It’s about Bishop Hoeppner and the leadership in the chancery, even more than about the abuse (as serious as that is) that took place back in 1971. Ron is willing to acknowledge along with everyone else that the abuse by Grundhaus is from the distant past. This is about BISHOP HOEPPNER, and is CURRENT. The TRUTH must be told. The cover-ups and concealment must end. We must be able to trust our leaders.
LOVE OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH
This is not an attack on the Catholic faith. Ron continues to love the faith and desires to one day be able to serve as a deacon. He does not desire to bring down the church nor to turn others away from the church. His true desire is for the truth and to cleanse the church of leaders who are not true to the faith and teachings.
THE MISSION IS HEALING
Why do all of this? What do you hope to gain? Healing. Healing for Ron, for all those who were afraid to tell the truth, for all those who continue to keep their own secrets, and for those who have been hurt by the church. Also, healing for the Catholic church. By bringing forward the truth, the lies and cover-ups can end. The Church can again be a place of truth and healing.
WHY CREATE A WEBSITE?
This website was created by supporters of Ron to show the full truth of his story. It will be a way to communicate with others on new developments throughout this journey. We also wanted to offer a place of support and resources to any who are struggling with their own past abuse. If anyone has suffered abuse and is struggling with how to reveal it, they can contact Ron directly at 701-740-6021. Ron's wish is that people no longer be victims, but can become survivors.
DISCLOSURE: THIS IS NOT A CHURCH BASHING SITE.
Ron is a Catholic man trying to have the truth come out,so that the Church and diocese he loves be purified and healed.