ST PAUL, Minn. — The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis says he has opened an investigation under a new Vatican protocol into allegations that the bishop of Crookston interfered with investigations into clerical sexual misconduct.
The legislation aims to address bishop accountability.
The investigation is set to reveal if Bishop Michael Hoeppner "carried out acts or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid civil or canonical investigations of clerical sexual misconduct in the Diocese of Crookston," according to a statement form Archbishop Bernard Hebda.
The archbishop says information from the investigation will be forwarded to Pope Francis' representative in the U.S. and to the Vatican for a determination on whether further steps are needed.
A lawsuit was filed against Hoeppner in 2017 by well-known sexual abuse attorney Jeff Anderson.
The complaint names bishop Michael Hoeppner and the Crookston Diocese and alleges both entities knew about an allegation of sexual abuse involving one of its priests and didn't report it.