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Bishop Michael Joseph Hoeppner

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Michael Joseph Hoeppner was born on June 1, 1949. He attended St. Mary's College in Winona, MN, Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, MN, the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Winona, MN by Pope Paul VI on June 29, 1975 at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He was appointed the 7th Bishop of the Diocese of Crookston by Pope Benedict XVI on Nov. 30, 2007 and consecrated a bishop by Archbishop Harry Joseph Flynn (Mpls/St. Paul), and co-consecrators Bishop Victor Hermann Balke (Crookston), Bishop Bernard Joseph Harrington (Winona).

While bishop of the Diocese of Crookston, he has been charged with coersion, blackmail, sexual abuse cover up, lying under oath, and he is currently the first bishop in the world to undergo Pope Francis' Vos estis lux mundi investigation.

"The Congregation for Bishops in Rome has authorized Archbishop Bernard Hebda to further investigate claims that Bishop Michael Hoeppner of Crookston interfered with an investigation of clerical sexual misconduct, according to a Feb. 4 statement from the archdiocese." -The Catholic Spirit (2-4-20)

Bishop Hoeppner holds a degree in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome.

Clerical Assignments include: Administer for Austin School in Winona, MN, Principal at Pacelli High School and Queen of Angels Parish in the 1980s. In 1985 He began studying Canon Law from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. In 1987 he received his Licentiate.

He was administrator of Queen of Peace Parish in Lyle and chaplain at Sacred Heart Hospice in Austin, MN.

Under Bishop Bernard Harrington Father Hoeppner served as:

Judicial Vicar - 1988–1997

Vicar General – nine years

Moderator of the Curia

Bishop Hoeppner has served at St. Joseph the Worker Parish and Loyola High School, Mankato; as chaplain of the Motherhouse of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and instructor at Good Counsel Academy, Mankato; was a faculty member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, Winona; principal of Pacelli High School and at Queen of Angels Parish, Austin; administrator of Queen of Peace Parish, Lyle; chaplain at Sacred Heart Hospice, Austin.

He has served as pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, West Concord; pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish, Claremont; associate pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, Winona; pastor of St. Paul Parish, Minnesota City; pastor of St. Casimir Parish, Winona; pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish, Lewiston and St. Anthony Parish, Altura. For the Diocese of Winona, he served as Judicial Vicar, Director of Vocations, Director of Continuing Education for the Clergy, Moderator of the Curia (chief of staff for the diocesan bishop), and was appointed to three, three-year terms of Vicar General of the Diocese. In addition, he served on the Diocesan Pastoral Council, the Presbyteral Council, the Priests Assignments Committee, the College of Consultors, the Diocesan Finance Council and the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Winona.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT: CROOKSTON, MINNESOTA, April 13, 2021 – It has been announced today that, after an extensive investigation, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, asked for, and has now accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael Hoeppner from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Crookston. The investigation which led to the acceptance of Bishop Hoeppner’s resignation arose from reports that he had at times failed to observe applicable norms when presented with allegations of sexual abuse involving clergy of the Diocese of Crookston. The investigation was conducted pursuant to the motu proprio, Vos estis lux mundi, which had been promulgated by the Holy Father in mid-2019. The investigation was conducted under the supervision of Archbishop Bernard Hebda, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Province of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which includes the Diocese of Crookston.

At the same time that the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Bishop Hoeppner, he has also appointed the Most Rev. Richard E. Pates, Bishop Emeritus of Des Moines, to serve as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Crookston until a new bishop is designated. Bishop Pates’ appointment as Apostolic Administrator takes effect immediately.

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