Catholic Church orders more inquiry into Minnesota bishop

Roman Catholic Church leaders in Rome have authorized more investigation into claims that a northern Minnesota bishop interfered with earlier investigations into clerical sexual misconduct with children.

The investigation into Crookston Bishop Michael Hoeppner began in September. It was the first known of its kind under a new Vatican protocol designed to hold the Catholic hierarchy accountable for failing to protect their flocks.

Minnesota bishop defends conduct in sexual abuse case

Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese is leading the investigation into Hoeppner.

Hebda said Tuesday that the Congregation for Bishops in Rome authorized him to continue the probe.

The Diocese of Crookston says Hoeppner is referring questions back to the archdiocese.