October 04, 2005

Wisconsin Catholic priest likely killed two-judge


Mon 3 Oct 2005 10:32 PM ET
CHICAGO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - A judge in Wisconsin ruled on Monday that a Roman Catholic parish priest found hanged in an apparent suicide likely killed two people, perhaps because one of them had uncovered evidence of sexual abuse, according to a published report.

St. Croix County Judge Eric Lundell found there was a very high probability that the Rev. Ryan Erickson killed two men at a funeral home in Hudson, Wisconsin, in February 2002.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune said the judge felt prosecutors had presented a very strong case of circumstantial evidence, including indications that on at least 10 occasions Erickson touched a young man inappropriately.

The ruling came as the Vatican is reportedly considering a ban on the admission of homosexuals to the clergy, and is conducting an inspection of more than 200 U.S. seminaries to check for homosexual activity and the way that candidates for the priesthood are being taught to practice celibacy.

Posted by kshaw at October 4, 2005 08:15 AM