Aug 10, 2006

This one will make your hair stand on end

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported yesterday (click on this post's title) that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is being sued by the family of murder victim Dan O'Connell.

A Wisconsin judge ruled last October there is probable cause to believe that Fr. Ryan Erickson shot Mr. O'Connell and James Ellison on February 5, 2002 and had been molesting a teenage boy. Authorities think Fr. Erickson shot Mr. O'Connell for confronting him about the abuse and that Mr. Ellison was shot when he came to see what the shooting was about.

Fr. Erickson killed himself on December 19, 2004, some days after police questioned him.

The lawsuit says it wants accountability from the bishops. You can read the rest by checking the newspaper article. Sorry to report this tragic news story.

As we know, our Church needs our prayers for restoration. Oremus.


Anonymous MVH said...

I'm not surprised that frustration with a bishop's inaction has culminated in this lawsuit. I for one say good for this family!

As I commented on another post, Matthew 18:15-17 makes it quite clear that "the third time's the charm," and then you have the right to go public.

This horrible case ended in murder. But there are other types of dangers that lurk in the inaction of bishops regarding wayward clergy. Have these shepherds not considered the effect on all of the Church, be they clergy or laity, if or when a victim of clergy sexual abuse is infected with AIDS? And if, God forbid, this happens, the victim rightfully sues?

I wonder if here in LA, HizEminence has considered this horrible scenario?

How long, Lord? How long?!!!!

12:38 AM  
Blogger bobnd said...

Well....I have a solution to the problem. One is everything is heresay, two who knows what happened. That murder should be considered unsolved. Three Let everyone rest in peace. Four tell that runt Anderson to go to hell.

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Father G said...

I have been convinced for some time now that anti-Catholic forces have been manipulating and exploitng the tragedy of the Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis to promote another agenda. When I tried to join a SNAP on-line site, I was blocked by the SNAP former Catholic web page administrator who proceeded to bombard me with anti-Catholic propaganda, including a CD of anti-Catholic sermons. Have you ever noticed how SNAP never says anything positive even when the Church makes progress in combatting sexual abuse? I believe we need to pray for the Chucrh's ability to fight off this new wave of persecution from external forces (which is all the more reason to avoid becoming an internal negative and destructive force).

10:33 AM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Father G., with all due respect, (and with great animus towards the attorney named in the post's source article) this is NOT an attack on "the Church."

This is an attack on Bishops who have royally screwed up their mandates and have directly or indirectly cost Church MEMBERSHIP hundreds of millions of dollars, not to mention the direct harm to the victims of the parade of pervert-perps.

I live in Milwaukee. BOTH of our immediate-past Archbishops (one now deceased) lied (sometimes under oath), manipulated, and distorted the record for years. YEARS. And they left predators wander around to find new victims.

But they did a damn good job of covering their own rear ends.

No, Father, this is not about the Church. This is about vicious self-dealing lying Pampered Princelings--the Bishops.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous N80 said...


fr g...are you a paulist ?

12:48 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Reverend and Dear Father G,

Anti-Catholics do use the clergy molestation and hierarchy coverup scandals to attack the Church.

But that does not mean that the root causes of the scandals do not need to be rooted out. Nor does it mean that clergy and laity who call for the rooting-out are bad.

Lots of rooting out is necessary, as is proved by the recommendation of that panel of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, just this last week that clergy who commit grave sexual and homosexual sins should be returned to priestly ministry after saying they are sorry and getting rehab that has been shown to not work.

Molester-enabling laity, clergy and hierarchy are unfit for any office in the Church. They need to be removed from office. We all need to work toward that end.

Souls of the faithful are at stake here!

1:23 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear BobND,

I agree with you about the lawyers in many of the scandal lawsuits.

But that does not necessarily mean that in this case the murder victim's family is wrong to proceed based on a judge's finding of probable cause about the perp.

In any case, though, the molester and coverup scandals have made it open season on the Church for criticism and lawsuits -- and that is the fault of the molesters and the cover-uppers, not of Catholics who are trying to clean house.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Dad29,

Thank you very much for your on-the-scene perspective from Milwaukee. The wrongdoing in the hierarchy that you describe is a good example of why we all need to keep working to clean house and get rid of molester-enablers.

There is a saying that whenever a lawyer says, "It's not about the money," it IS about the money.

Nevertheless, of course no one can question the sincerity of the murder victim's family. Let us pray for them and for whatever just resolution from whatever source is possible.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Kenneth Fisher, Founder & Chrm. CRCOA said...

As a long long long time activists in defense of the True Church, I can say that most of them will do nothing until you hit them where it really hurts, IN THE POCKET BOOK!

I am currently helping to try to bring back into the Church a man who was molested as an Altar Boy. He is in his late fifties, but he still has psychological problems entering any church. He is suing, and I fully approve of it.

Kenneth M. Fisher

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you a Paulist?

What does that mean?

6:00 PM  
Blogger bobnd said...

put the shoe on the other foot, what about the vulnerable and nieve priests who have raped by their male parishoners and then turned the tables on the them. Guess what? The O'Connell's have more money than God. Let the issue die. This is not for the O'Connell's sake. This is more money for Jeffrey Anderson who has single handily ruined the church. For the case of the man coming back. Get to the confessional and practice Chrisitan Charity and not sue.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous n80 said...


I was asking fr g if he is a Paulist priest....

8:10 AM  

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