November 14, 2005

Families of Murder Victims Bring Five Point Reform Plan to US Bishops

AXcess News

By Staff

(AXcess News) Hudson WI - At a news conference outside the meeting of all US Catholic bishops in Minneapolis, the families of two men who were murdered by a Catholic priest will unveil a five point plan for sexual abuse healing and prevention including a proposal to discipline bishops who ordain troubled seminarians to the priesthood.

In an unusual "John Doe" hearing last month, a St. Croix County judge determined that Fr. Ryan Erickson, 31, shot and killed two men in Hudson, Wisconsin in February 2002. One of the victims had confronted Erickson with allegations that the priest was molesting kids. Last December, Erickson hanged himself from a fire escape at his Hurley, Wisconsin church after being questioned by police about the murders.

The Rev. Philip Heslin, moderator of the Curia for the Catholic Diocese of Superior, the equivalent of the diocese's chief operating officer, said Erickson hanged himself.

Police in Hudson questioned Erickson about the murders of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison, but the priest denied any involvement, Heslin said.

O'Connell and Ellison were found shot to death in an office at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson in February 2002. O'Connell was the director of the home, and Ellison was an intern there.

Posted by kshaw at November 14, 2005 10:33 PM