|Local Catholic Bishop Named in Unprecedented Child Molestation Lawsuit|
It Seeks Names of Accused Abusive Clergy Kept Secret by Church Officials
BISMARCK, N.D., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Bishop Paul Zipfel, the head
of the Bismarck Catholic Diocese has been served with and named as a
defendant in an unprecedented civil child sex abuse lawsuit brought by the
family of a murdered Wisconsin man. It was served on local Catholic
officials late last week by a county sheriff.
The lawsuit, which seeks no monetary damages, was filed in August in
St. Croix County Circuit Court, Wisconsin (Court File No.06CV581) It asks a
state judge to force America's 194 Catholic bishops to disclose the names
of roughly 5,000 proven, admitted and credibly accused abusive priests in
the US. The suit is being brought by the family of Dan O'Connell of
Wisconsin, who, along with a co-worker, was shot and killed in February
2002 by a suspected pedophile priest who also owned guns and pornography.
After a two year police investigation a judicial hearing determined
that the crimes were committed by Father Ryan Erickson of the Diocese of
Superior (WI). O'Connell had uncovered information about the priest
molesting children. After police interrogated him about the murders,
Erickson committed suicide in December 2004. Further investigation revealed
that Superior church officials had been aware of Erickson's erratic and
questionable behavior and ordained him anyway.
The O'Connell family vowed to "make something good" come from the
double murders and push for a five point reform plan to prevent future
abuse. But in numerous attempts to work with the Catholic leaders the
O'Connells have found little support or response, and they reluctantly
filed this suit.
After considerable research and meeting with experts and victims across
the country, the family believes church officials have made only minimal
reforms and aren't abiding by their own policies on abuse.
They have also created a website,
http://www.crusadeagainstclergyabuse.com , to further educate the public
about the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
SOURCE Jeff Anderson & Associates
Having a problem accessing a file or finding what you are looking for? Email us
for a listing of alternate locations.
of an article of interest
Publishing a story about TFYQA? - See our for the News Media
Want to share your news! Use Submit TFYQA News
.Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia