"If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the TRUTH,
and the TRUTH will make you free." (John 8:31-32, RSV)
COURSES OF ACTION
Here are the courses of action that Ron has pursued to reveal the truth.
Bishop Hoeppner quieted Ron the first time he heard of the abuse in 2010. He threatened him again in 2015. He continued the actions in 2017 around Ron's ordination.
Ron consulted canon lawyers in various parts of the country to see what he could do. He consulted multiple law firms from various parts of the country to see what could be done. Ron sent a letter asking for the letter from 2015. Bishop Hoeppner didn't return it. Ron felt he had no avenue in regular communication with the Diocese of Crookston or Bishop Hoeppner.
CIVIL LAW SUIT
Ron turned to civil means in an attempt to get his story heard, since the non-public means left him feeling without help. The civil suit seeks truth and justice in a legal manner.
The goal is not the civil suit. The civil suit is a means. The goal is justice and truth. Bishop Hoeppner needs to be accountable for his actions.
One of the results of the publicity of the civil suit began another means toward truth. The City of Crookston began a criminal investigation into the Diocese of Crookston (Hoeppner, Foltz, Grundhaus) on the suspicion of coercion. This investigation led to a search warrant to retrieve the alleged letter. Conclusion: alleged letter no longer alleged. It exists. and it was turned over to law enforcement.
The goal is not a criminal investigation. The investigation is a means. The goal is truth.
There are rules in place governing how a bishop runs his diocese. If those rules are breached, the Holy See of the Vatican (the leaders of the church) are tasked with correction. These leaders have been made aware of this situation.
Bishop Hoeppner receives his assignment from the Vatican, and the civil suit could produce reason for the ecclesiastical rule to remove Bishop Hoeppner from his assignment due to malfeasance, deceit, gross negligence, grave omission, etc.
Again, this would be a means toward the goal, which is truth.
WHERE DO YOU FIT IN?
The People of God of the Diocese of Crookston, which includes all the priests and all the laity, have a right to truth and justice, and to feel they can trust their leaders.
Sometimes called the 'courtroom of public opinion', Ron hopes that by sharing the actual story with the priests and laity, they will act. They can ask themselves, and others: What is going on here? Why didn't we know about this or that? Who is responsible for ensuring that protocol is followed? Who is in charge of the Bishop?
While the civil suit is telling the story in the legal sphere, the criminal investigation dug into some aspects, and the official church process will need to play out - the people of the Diocese of Crookston should be actively seeking the full, real, true story of what has taken place.
The safe environment of children is at stake - the trustworthiness of our leaders is at stake - the future of our diocese, her purity and holiness is at stake.
Decide for yourselves - Do you trust that Bishop Hoeppner has done everything correctly?
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
So what can you do?
You could do nothing, or you could:
Let Bishop Hoeppner know of your displeasure by:
-The absence of your presence at his events.
- Write to the Bishop
- Refuse to contribute to the Bishop’s financial appeal.
Tell your priest.
Refuse to tolerate the continuance of this leadership.
State your reasons with others.
Spread the truth to others
Implement any combination of the above.
Come up with additional creative solutions.
CALL TO PRAYER
PRAY - We need to continue our prayer on efforts to remove all corruption and deceit from the leaders of the church.
Pray for priests
Pray for bishops
Pray for abuse victims
Pray that abuse won't happen again
Pray for truth
Contact the following of your concern regarding abuse in the diocese and lack of reporting:
Apostolic Nuncio (representative of the Pope for the United States):
3339 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
Archbishop Hebda (archbishop of St. Paul/Minneapolis diocese)
Office of the Archbishop
777 Forest Street
Saint Paul, MN 55106
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.