Did Bishop Hoeppner follow diocese policy regarding abuse reporting? The short answer: NO.
Bishop Hoeppner has in multiple statements, claimed that he knew of the allegation of abuse, but did not report to the Vicar General due to Ron’s request to keep this confidential. This however, goes directly against the Safe Environment policies in effect in the Diocese of Crookston, both when Ron first came forward, and when the Bishop met with Ron in 2015.
The policy in effect when the abuse was first brought forward was the 1992 Safe Environment policy:
2.10 indicated that “all paid personnel in the offices of the Diocese” are under the policy
7.1 Any personnel of the Diocese who knows or has reason to know of an incident of sexual misconduct by any personnel of the Diocese shall comply with reporting or other requirements of state and local laws, and shall report as follows:
7.1.1 …..a written report…to the moderator of the curia
According to this policy, the Bishop is required to make a report to the moderator of the curia, regardless of Ron’s wishes to remain anonymous in the reporting.
In 2015, when Ron met with the Bishop again regarding the allegations, the current Safe Environment policy was in effect:
5.1 In the Diocese of Crookston, all church leaders, as described in the Code of Conduct, are deemed mandatory reporters by the Bishop.
7.4.3 When an adult reports having been abused as a minor by a person who is currently ministering, working, or serving in the Diocese, but does not wish to make a formal complaint for the purposes of a Church investigation, the person who receives the report will inform the Vicar General that an anonymous allegation has been received.
Again, even if the adult reporting the abuse does not wish to make a formal complaint, at the minimum, the Bishop would have needed to report this to the Vicar General.
Due to the fact that when the Diocese of Crookston was court ordered to reveal all priests accused of abuse, and Msgr. Grundhaus was not listed, it shows that the Bishop did not do his due diligence of reporting these allegations.
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