The former Vicar General of the Diocese of Crookston, Father Roger Grundhaus, is being accused of child sexual abuse and Minnesota Bishop Michael Hoeppner is the first bishop to be sued for coercion for suppressing a report of abuse.At a news conference today in St. Paul, attorney Jeff Anderson, a child abuse survivor, and a Minnesota priest will announce the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of the survivor naming Bishop Hoeppner and the Diocese of Crookston as defendants.
This is the first time in the United States a bishop has been individually sued for coercion.
“The coercion and concealment in real-time demonstrates the crisis continues unabated,” said Attorney Jeff Anderson. “This is another Catholic bishop who made a conscious choice to conceal a crime and then commit coercion to keep a secret.”
According to the release from Anderson and Associates, in 2010, the survivor, who was exploring whether to become a church Deacon, reported his abuse by Fr. Roger Grundhaus in approximately 1971 to Bishop Hoeppner. Hoeppner advised the survivor to tell no one of the sexual abuse.
In 2015, the Diocese of Crookston was court ordered to produce all information on clergy accused of child sexual abuse.
However, Fr. Grundhaus was not included in the required, court-ordered disclosure.
After the court order was issued, the bishop actively suppressed the survivor’s abuse report by threatening harm to his vocation as a deacon and his son’s career as a priest in the Diocese of Crookston, and coercing the survivor into signing a document stating the sexual abuse never happened.
Crookston Diocese Father Grundhaus accused of sexual abuse, Bishop Hoeppner sued for coercion May 9, 2017 Times Report
Priest, 78, and two male teachers charged with multiple sexual abuse offences against four girls as young as eight in a remote school Australian Associated Press and Ashleigh Davis Daily Mail Australia 10 May 2017