October 06, 2005

In Hudson, anger and doubt

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Paul Levy, Star Tribune
October 6, 2005

Members of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Hudson, Wis., are asking questions in anger and doubt. After learning that their former priest is presumed to have fatally shot two men and had an alleged history of sexual misconduct, "they're wondering what's left for them to believe in," the church's current priest said Wednesday.

"It's going to be a hurtful, painful and, perhaps, prolonged healing process," the Rev. John Parr said. "It's particularly stinging when good Catholics ask, 'How can we hold onto the faith?' And I don't have an answer other than hold onto one another and see what the good Lord supplies."

Bishop Raphael Fliss of the Catholic Diocese of Superior, Wis., expressed in a news release "embarrassment and sadness" by the conclusions of a St. Croix County judge that the Rev. Ryan Erickson fatally shot two men in a Hudson funeral home in February 2002 and that suspicions that he had sexually abused children dated to at least 1994.

It was the first public acknowledgment of wrongdoing by Erickson from his home diocese.

Posted by kshaw at October 6, 2005 10:42 AM