April 06, 2006

Erikson hopes to heal archdiocese

Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff | April 6, 2006

The new second-in-command at the Archdiocese of Boston, the Rev. Richard M. Erikson, said yesterday that he was chosen because he was not a part of the archdiocesan administration throughout the clergy abuse crisis, and that he will bring a fresh perspective to the problems afflicting the Catholic Church here.

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley yesterday announced that he has tapped Erikson, a 47-year-old military chaplain, to assume the jobs of vicar general and moderator of the curia at archdiocesan headquarters. Those posts, which are akin to the job of a chief operating officer at a business, are currently held by Bishop Richard G. Lennon, who was named on Tuesday by Pope Benedict XVI to become the next bishop of Cleveland.

Erikson, a Watertown native whose home parish is St. Luke's in Belmont, has been serving in the military for 14 years, the last seven on active duty. In 2004, he volunteered to go to Iraq when a Catholic chaplain there needed to return home to care for his mother.

''Our men and women need priests, they need the sacraments," Erikson told reporters during a conference call yesterday, as he recalled ministering to injured soldiers of all faiths who had been wounded in the Sunni triangle.

Posted by kshaw at April 6, 2006 07:25 AM