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LOS ANGELES (ChurchMilitant.com) - A suspect has been arrested in connection with the murder of a Los Angeles auxiliary bishop.
On Monday, authorities took an individual into custody as they continue to investigate the homicide of Bp. David O'Connell.
On Saturday afternoon, authorities found 69-year-old Bp. O'Connell shot to death in his Hacienda Heights residence.
According to reports, O'Connell suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the upper torso, but no further details have been made available as of this publication.
On Sunday, Abp. José Gomez released the following statement:
We learned early this morning from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office that they have determined that the death of Auxiliary Bishop David O'Connell yesterday was a homicide. We are deeply disturbed and saddened by this news. Let us continue to pray for Bishop Dave and his family. And let us pray for law enforcement officials as they continue their investigation into this terrible crime. We ask Our Blessed Mother Mary to intercede and be a mother for all of us in this moment of sadness and pain.
The same day, during his Sunday homily, Abp. Gomez remarked that O'Connell "had a wonderful sense of humor and a beautiful devotion to Mary, Our Blessed Mother."
In 2020, during the so-called pandemic, O'Connell led a small group of lay faithful to a hilltop in San Jose Hills to bless Southern California with the Most Blessed Sacrament and pray the Rosary. San Jose Hills overlooks Orange, San Bernadino and Los Angeles counties.
As he blessed the land and souls, the bishop prayed:
We are here on this mountaintop to call down the power of the Lord Jesus Christ upon this whole territory that we can see here. ... We are calling the glory of God upon the people and upon our land so we may have restoration of our lives, so we may have a vanquishing by the glory of God of the coronavirus so that our people can move to a new life living in the Easter joy of the Risen Christ. We bless all these valleys and all these counties that we see around us. We bless them with the Blessed Sacrament, this sign of the Living Lord Jesus among us, and we want our Lord Jesus Christ to pour out his healing power over all that we can survey here and the whole world. Come Lord Jesus, bring new life to the people, bring us out of this darkness back into your Light. Lord Jesus, source of all light and source all healing and all hope and all joy, we ask you to pour out that love and that healing that the world needs so much. Amen.
Unfortunately, O'Connell was not without faults in his ministry. In a video for the 2018 World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland, O'Connell made pro-gay remarks mentioning same-sex so-called families as a legitimate family structure. After a public outcry, those comments were later removed from the video.
In 2020, as chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops subcommittee Catholic Campaign for Human Development, O'Connell celebrated a $500,000 grant that the U.S. bishops awarded to the Direct Action and Research Training Center in order to combat man-made climate change.
As CCHD marks its 50th anniversary this year, we are pleased to support this strategic national effort to put Laudato Si' in action. ... The adverse effects of climate change devastate poor communities around the country ... and with this project, CCHD and DART will seek to live out the call of Pope Francis to respond to 'the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.'
The Irish native was ordained in 1979 and named an auxiliary bishop by Pope Francis in 2015.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. Requiescat in pace.