Pope removes US bishop accused of sex abuse cover-up

Minnesota's Michael J. Hoeppner 'coerced victim' into silence

(ANSA) - VATICAN CITY, APR 13 - Pope Francis on Tuesday removed a US bishop accused of covering up clerical sexual abuse of children.
    The pope accepted the resignation of the bishop of Crookston in Minnesota, Michael J. Hoeppner.
    He named Des Moines Emeritus Bishop Richard Edmund Pates as temporary replacement.
    Hoeppner, 71, in 2017 became the first bishop to be individually charged with coercion after allegedly pressuring a candidate for the deaconate to withdraw a past accusation of sexual abuse by a priest.
    The victim reportedly said that Hoeppner's alleged coercion had been like "being subjected to the abuse once more".
    Francis has pledged a zero tolerance approach to sex abuse and has vowed to do more than his predecessors to stamp out abuse and cover-ups.
    Some victims say he has not yet done enough. (ANSA).


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