October 07, 2005

Bishop Fliss apologizes to diocese, plans to step down

Duluth News Tribune


Bishop Raphael Fliss of the Catholic Diocese of Superior apologized Thursday to his "diocesan family and all the people of northern Wisconsin" for failing to uncover the truth behind the actions of the Rev. Ryan Erickson.

"In my role as bishop, I know that ultimate responsibility for much of what has taken place rests on my shoulders," Fliss said in a prepared statement.

Capping a turbulent week for his diocese, Fliss said Thursday he will resign later this month -- as required by the Catholic Church of bishops when they reach age 75. Fliss will be 75 on Oct. 25, he said.

The Diocese of Superior covers 16 counties in northern Wisconsin.

After a rare post-mortem hearing Monday, a St. Croix County Circuit judge said there was enough evidence to determine that Erickson had probably killed a funeral home director and his intern three years ago in Hudson, Wis. Erickson, 31, committed suicide in December while serving a parish in Hurley, Wis.

Posted by kshaw at October 7, 2005 08:14 AM