November 14, 2005

Hudson victims' families turn to media to get bishops' attention

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Last update: November 14, 2005 at 7:26 AM

Unsuccessful in their effort to meet with Catholic bishops gathered in Washington, families of two Hudson, Wis., funeral home workers who were apparently killed by a priest will speak at a news conference this afternoon to tell the bishops "to get their act together."

"We haven't had a card, a note, a phone call from our own bishop, so we have to try to get their attention another way," said Tom O'Connell. His son, Dan, and intern James Ellison were shot and killed on Feb. 5, 2003, at the O'Connell funeral home in Hudson.

The Rev. Ryan Erickson, a priest in Hudson at the time, probably killed the men because O'Connell was about to confront the priest over allegations that he sexually abused a teenage boy, a judge ruled last month. Erickson, who had been moved twice by his bishop after the killings, hanged himself last December.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opens its annual fall meeting in Washington today. Most of the sessions are closed to the public.

"They have their charter saying they will protect young people from abuse, but what are they doing?" Tom O'Connell said Sunday.

Posted by kshaw at November 14, 2005 07:59 AM