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Minnesota Catholic Diocese Papers Over Four Decades of Sex Abuse Claims with $5 Million Settlement

The diocese of Crookston, Minnesota is settling 15 different lawsuits alleging sexual abuse.

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The diocese of Crookston, Minnesota is settling 15 different cases alleging sexual abuse with a $5 million dollar settlement that will help the diocese avoid bankruptcy.

The lawsuits were brought against the diocese between April 2016 and May 2017 and referenced alleged incidents that occurred between the four-decade span of 1969-2009. This occurred after the Minnesota Child Victims Act was signed into law, which lifted the statute of limitations on these types of crimes.

Victims previously had only three years to sue before the statute of limitations expired, but that has since changed, and the Catholic Church has to pay up as a result. Clergy named in the lawsuits include Msgr. Roger Grundhaus, Fr. Patrick Sullivan, Fr. James Porter, Fr. James Bernauer, Fr. Stanley Bourassa, and Fr. James Vincent Fitzgerald, OMI.

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The diocese noted in a press release that most of their expenses from paying off the alleged victims will come from insurance, with the rest being raised from the sale of properties and estate gifts. The Crookston diocese will not take a large financial hit due to this settlement.

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“To all victims and survivors of sexual abuse by clergy, as the Bishop of Crookston I apologize for the harm done to you by those entrusted with your spiritual care,” Bp. Michael Hoeppner said in the official statement released by the diocese.

“Although you can never be fully compensated for your suffering, we are thankful this litigation has now come to a good end and are hopeful this settlement offers you justice and will be helpful for healing,” he added.

Hoeppner claims that the diocese is serious about ending sexual abuse within their ranks despite the 15 alleged instances that occurred over the span of four decades in Crookston.

“We can joyfully and steadfastly continue our mission of bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to this time and place. We pledge our continued efforts to rid the Church and world of sexual abuse and provide a safe environment for all,” he said to conclude his statement.

However, Church Militant points out that Hoeppner’s record makes his rhetoric against sex abuse ring hollow. He has faced allegations that he has helped cover up sexual abuse in the past.

Hoeppner settled a lawsuit in 2017 with Ron Vasek after being accused of blackmailing the Vasek in an attempt to silence claims of abuse against a high-ranking priest. Hoeppner allegedly coerced Vasek into signing a letter retracting sexual assault claims against Msgr. Roger Grundhaus.

“I thought if I signed this letter, it’s a lie,” Vasek said in 2017. “And I knew it was a lie. I couldn’t sign that letter, I didn’t want to sign that letter at all.”

“I signed that letter to protect my son, because I knew how evil a man the bishop could be if he wanted to be,” he explained.

Evidence also points to Hoeppner knowing about sexual assault claims against Fr. Leland Smith while he served vicar general in Winona. He allegedly knew about the claims as early as 2002, but kept his mouth shut.

“How many other credibly accused predator priests, in Winona or Crookston or elsewhere, is he [Hoeppner] protecting now,” the Survivors’ Network for Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) asked.

Hoeppner is opposing the Roman Catholic Revival, an event that will take place featuring Michael Voris and Church Militant in Wildwood City Park, Crookston on Saturday, Sept. 14. Hoeppner claims the “divisive tactics” of Church Militant are “more destructive than fruitful” and “contrary to our call to live as missionary disciples.”

“As Shepherd of the Diocese of Crookston, I want you to know the Diocese of Crookston is not sponsoring the event ‘Roman Catholic Revival Crookston’ and does not endorse nor recommend participation at the event, as I think it will be more harmful than helpful,” Hoeppner said.

Considering his track record of papering over abuse claims and perhaps even covering them up, Hoepper’s condemnation could be considered an endorsement of sorts for the upcoming revivalist event.

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Hollywood

Hollywood Abuser Amber Heard Fired From ‘Aquaman 2’ After Domestic Violence Admission

Heard was caught on tape admitting she beat ex-husband Johnny Depp.

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Hollywood actress Amber Heard has officially been dropped from the sequel to hit movie Aquaman after shocking audio emerged of the starlet admitting that she beat her ex-husband Johnny Depp.

The News International reported on Wednesday that Heard has been removed from the project, as Warner Bros wants to distance themselves from the toxic femme whose public reputation has taken a hit as her illicit dealings have surfaced.

Big League Politics reported on the release of hidden audio earlier this year in which Heard boasted about beating Depp and mocked the exacerbated movie star:

Depp maintained his innocence throughout Heard’s public campaign to paint him as an abuser, and now audio recordings back his story up. The Daily Mail obtained the audio this week that essentially vindicates Depp, and indicates that Heard is another grifter enabled by the senseless anti-male hysteria of the #MeToo movement.

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“You are f**king killing me. Your f**king people are trying to kill me,” Depp told Heard as he pleaded with her to go to a mediator for their ongoing divorce.

“You’ve turned me into a… my boy goes to school and has kids go, so your f**king dad’s a wife beater?” he added.

She taunted Depp, claiming that a jury would never believe his story that she initiated the violence that occurred during their tumultuous relationship.

“Do you know I’m a 115, well not anymore, but I was a 115lb, almost 115lb woman,” Heard told Depp in the audio recording. “You’re going to get up on the stand, Johnny, and say, she started it? Really?”

Depp has pushed back against Heard in the public eye, even filing a $50 million defamation lawsuit against her for the op/ed that was published and circulated widely by the fake news.

“Ms. Heard is not a victim of domestic abuse; she is a perpetrator,” the lawsuit claims, alleging that Heard created false evidence and phony injury photos for the press.

In another audio recording, Heard admits to slapping Depp in the face.

“I’m sorry that I didn’t, uh, uh, hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you, it was not punching you. Babe, you’re not punched,” she told Depp.

The divorce of Heard and Depp has been a particularly gruesome proceeding with Heard attempting to play the victim at every turn, even emerging as an early hero for the #MeToo movement.

“Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out,” she wrote in a Washington Post op/ed in Dec. 2018, whining about how her pitiful attempt to take Depp to the cleaners was so difficult for her.

Heard is learning that her actions have consequences, and being a privileged princess in the age of female empowerment cannot protect her from the fallout of her disgusting and deceptive actions.

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