David O'Connell, Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Los Angeles, California (USA), was found dead from a shot to the torso last Saturday.
According to Fox News, the crime was perpetrated around 1:00 p.m. Saturday in the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue in Hacienda Heights, where the auxiliary bishop had his residence. Officers responded to the report of shooting and when they arrived at the scene of the crime, they discovered Monsignor O'Connell with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was declared dead at the scene. The crime is being investigated as a homicide by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, which has not yet provided many details about what happened.
Monsignor O'Connell was 69 years old. He was born in Cork, in the Republic of Ireland, on August 16, 1953. His academic and priestly training took place in Dublin, but he was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1979. He was a naturalized American and all his priestly work was carried out in the aforementioned archdiocese. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles on July 21, 2015 by Pope Francis, and was assigned the pastoral region of Mission San Gabriel, founded by the Spanish Franciscan friar Fray Junípero Serra in 1771 and the oldest Catholic institution in that archdiocese.
The murdered was a well-known pro-life activist
Life News has highlighted the slain bishop's work on behalf of unborn children: "He was 69 and very active in local pro-life ministry — including praying often at the Planned Parenthood abortion center." The Archbishop of Los Angeles, José Gomez, has noted that O'Connell was "a peacemaker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant, and he had a passion for building a community where the sanctity and dignity of every human life was honored and protected.".
Angelus News has published these images of the Rosary convoked last night in Hacienda Heights, where Monsignor O'Connell was found murdered.
The wave of far-left violence against US churches
In December, the Family Research Council released a report noting that between January 2018 and September 2022, there were at least 420 acts of hostility against American churches: "The types of acts identified include vandalism, arson, gun-related incidents, bomb threats, and more. There also appeared to be an increase in frequency over the course of the reporting period." The report (see PDF) noted that at least 57 of these attacks "were directly tied to pro-abortion protests or contained pro-abortion messages.".
The shooting against a pro-life activist in Michigan in September
Likewise, the quoted Life News story denounces: "Pro-life organizations, many of them run by Christians, also have been growing targets, with approximately 250 attacks in 2022, including the shooting of an elderly pro-life woman in Michigan and an abortion activist who allegedly tried to burn a police officer with a makeshift flamethrower during a protest in Los Angeles." The news collects a list with links to 256 attacks by pro-abortion activists against pro-lifers.
In the cited assassination attempt in Michigan in September 2022, Joan Jacobson, an 84-year-old retired nurse, was shot by an far-leftist when she was campaigning pro-life. The shot caught her shoulder and exited her through the upper part of her back, near her spine.
Monsignor O'Connell's Mission San Gabriel burned down in 2020
Bishop O'Connell himself witnessed that violence in July 2020, when the San Gabriel Mission was burned down, amidst the wave of far-left violence that swept the United States and that was reflected in the demolition of statues and also in attacks against Christian places of worship. In this photo by Victor Aleman of Angelus News, Monsignor O'Connell is seen visiting the burned-out ruins of Mission San Gabriel.
Rest in peace.
Photos: Sarah Reingewirtz / Victor Alemán / Angelus News.
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