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August 19, 2004

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Victor Morton

Having read the article now ... I wonder if Hudson couldn't have toughed it out (easy for me to be brave with someone else's humiliation, obviously).

This article doesn't say too much that is new ... it just fleshes out the details of things that had been hinted at and could be inferred from Hudson's career trajectory. It'd be like 10 years from now, someone writing about the details of Cipel and McGreevey's first date -- what song was on the CD, what type of wine they drank, what position they used, etc.

And, much more importantly, this article has nothing that is current, either in terms of further pecadilloes, ongoing blackmail or any other reason to think Hudson's past grotesqueries haunt him in contemporarily relevant way -- unless being a Bush adviser is something bad ... uh, hold on. In fact, the article proves exactly the opposite ... the temporal trajectory is "Hudson went on to be successful in a new field."

I must add though that, absent the unlikely event of our Blogmeistress outright lying about his autobiography, Hudson's vagueness and selective editing did make things ripe for someone to do something like this.

Mio


Frank -

If you're still around on this new thread, I recall you said something to the effect that "there are more stories of a more recent vintage."

I admit I read the NCR piece rather quickly, but I didn't see any. Am I missing something?

Thanks,

amy

Victor, I can't be so calm. Perhaps because I was once a naive 18-year old college student myself.

I am actually, I confess, brought to tears by this young woman's story. Hudson knew about her troubled past and present, invited her, 3 years under drinking age, to a bar, and...

I know this was past. And the questions of past sins and the present still stand. But, as I teeter on the edge of saying something I shouldn't....incidents like this do not happen out of the blue.

I am speechless.

cathy

NCR tone - spiteful. Almost seems like a bit of professional jealousy the way they noted Hudson's A-list status.

I'm not pleased, nor am I surprised.

I think this is shameful.

Dale Price

A hit piece--pure and simple.

Tally? The admittedly disgusting Poppas incident (both participants apparently under the influence) and two annulments, ranging from 10 to 22 years ago.

That's it? Despite teasers about something more recent, perhaps even ongoing? This expose is 100% pure, grade A, USDA-certified BS. What, Joe, couldn't find the dress and cigar, too?

For my money, Hudson hasn't been sufficiently contrite. God knows the "mistakes were made" defense has been getting a little tired in Catholic circles since 2001. It would be nice to see something a little more breast-beating on his part. Then again, I remember how little Swaggert's tear geyser "I have sinned against you" performance really was worth in the end. Ultimately, his level of contrition is not my problem, it's Hudson's.

For Tom Roberts & Co. to publish this tabloid crap and simultaneously get all huffy about Hudson's pre-emptive strike is rich beyond words. The thin-lipped, tut-tutting schoolmarm pose won't wash, Mr. Roberts: the fact is, you now edit the National Catholic Enquirer.

Patrick Rothwell

Well, this sounds like garden-variety adultery to me, albeit with the student-teacher twist. This does not at all appear to be "sexual harrassment" to me at all. This seems like a drunk 18 year old young women who regretted a bad decision that she made, but wanted to blame someone else. She sounds like the type of girl who gets drunk at a frat party, sleeps with someone that she wouldn't otherwise dream of sleeping with and then claiming that she was raped. Maybe the Catholic League was right after all. Teachers should not be sleeping with their students to be sure, but she does not sound like much of a victim to me.

Mio

Amy,

Frankly, while the story is certainly a shocker, I think at least in part you're reacting to a skilled bit of writing.

To my (perhaps jaded) eye, Mr. Feuerherd's "victimization" of both Ms. Coppas and Mr. Ekeh was a bit maudlin. (With all due respect to them both, and prayers for their future success in life).

I could as easily write:

"Politics aside, did Feuerherd have any personal regret that Hudson, a father of two children, had lost his job? Not in the least."

Frank

Those other newwer stories did not survive the lawyers....

Victor,

Would you say the same thing if this was about a 45 year old John Kerry getting an 18 year old drunk and demanding/getting sex?

Desert Chatter

We should pray for Hudson's wife and children.

Hudson himself made the right decision in resigning. This is despicable behavior by a college professor against a vulnerable teenage girl. Every bit as reprehensible as a priest molesting an altar boy. He should be ashamed of his behavior.

Ken

Sounds bad for Hudson, however this story read similar to softcore porn. The writer delighted in the details and enjoyed twisting the knife in Deal's ribs.

Rich Leonardi

While I assumed there would be more than largely the details about one incident, it's appalling nonetheless. According to Poppas, he was aware of her fragile psyche, and, like a true predator, took advantage of her most likely because of it. That's depraved.

There's also the account of him openly engaging in inappropriate behavior at the bar. I don't see how he could have survived this; Rove & Co. wouldn't have wanted him.

Did anyone notice Feuerherd's "snark" and smugness, e.g., ending the piece with "[i]t may be time for yet another transformation"? The piece would have been more devastating had he let the facts speak for themselves. And Roberts indeed seems peeved about being scooped by Hudson since he makes a considerable fuss over the NRO piece.

amywelborn

Mio, don't you dare patronize me.

What I know is this: If any liberal religious or political figure were revealed to have done this, even ten years ago with a vulnerable 18-year old...if it were a liberal bishop or priest with an 18-year old high school senior or college freshman, and if it were revealed by Michael Rose or the Wanderer, people here would have said seducer's head.

David

Notice the juxtaposition of the times here:

""I think I've got someone who can make it work," Novak told a leading Catholic layperson in 1994. Hudson became senior editor in October 1994, editor in March 1995.

***

While Hudson was taking over the reigns at Crisis, Cara Poppas consulted an attorney. Arriving back at Fordham for the fall semester, she discovered that the bulk of her financial aid had been withdrawn due to poor academic performance. She was broke.

Poppas blamed her downward academic spiral on the incident with Hudson.

She filed suit against Fordham (a claim that was eventually dismissed) and Hudson. Hudson, recalled Poppas, offered $10,000 to settle his case. She refused.

In early 1996, Hudson offered to settle for $30,000, one-third of which would go immediately to her attorney, the remainder to her in quarterly installments. Poppas' attorney suggested she take the deal. She agreed."

I assume (perhaps wrongly) that no one at Crisis knew of this ongoing settlement negotiation.

When the private person and the public person have an extremely at-odds relationship, trouble is bound to follow.

Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican. Or any other type of human being.

Radactrice

Amy's right on with this one. I don't care if the girl was the biggest slut in the entire university. A 40+ year old married man has absolutely no business whatsoever doing what he did. And if it's fair to bring up things that Presidential candidates i.e. Kerry said and did 30 years ago and parse them to the finest details and demand specific explanations then it certainly is fair to hold someone accountable for something he did 10 years ago and ended up settling for $30,000. Just because Deal is a conservative Catholic on the right side of issues doesn't make NCR the demon for reporting the matter. If Deal has set himself up as the spokesperson for conservative Catholics, maybe those same people ought to know who is speaking for them and what's in his past.

Barbara

Guessing the details came from a transcript. But also, I know this sounds a little strange, the details from the transcript are there, presumably under oath, and no one can argue with them -- changing them, even if to give a veil of decency, means you have to bend over backwards to try to make sure what you're saying isn't misleading or inaccurate.

Badly Drawn Catholic

A 45 year old admired professor taking a vulnerable 18 year old female student of said professor under his wing. A few drinks . . .

A 45 year old admired priest taking a vulnerable teenage boy under his wing. A few ice cream cones or a few drinks . . .

I cannot believe that some commentators are actually defending Mr. Hudson's actions in preying upon a vulnerable co-ed. "The slut made him do it!"

Mr. Hudson makes a living poking people in the eyes. Do it often enough, whether it is fair or not, someone is going to return the favor.

al

I'm pretty speechless as well, that was a searing description. I'll say a prayer for them both.

Yet as I was reading it I was thinking, and not the least reason for which were the sexual details--should I foward this on to anyone? I mean does anyone really need to know this?

Isn't this just scandal, properly understood, at its worst? Can we really evaluate the "journalistic" significance of this without reference to that moral category?

The author says "The notion that this story was somehow politically motivated is incorrect." Perhaps. But the inclusion of many of the more shocking details discloses what might be called a theological motivation. Some of those details I would say, both for reasons of detraction and scandal, ought never to be included, no matter what the putative "good" to be accomplished.

The fact that some think some end (journalism, full disclosure, ideological antagonism) justifies those means really discloses a difference in Faith.

piraeus

Yeah, this didn't have recent allegations as I expected so it makes the issue a little tougher.

We have man engage in some pretty horrible behavior ten years ago but yet it was more than ten years after his conversion. (He intentionally made it sound like this took place pre-conversion in his NRO piece.) I think we all agree that if this had taken place last year it would be a problem. What about two years? What is the statute of limitations for this kind of thing especially considering he was full-time conservative/orthodox Catholic at the time? And then for him to immediately jump into Catholic publishing seems a little wrong.

Most interesting is that Joe Feuerherd’s reporting that many of Hudson’s “ideological soul-mates” would not speak well of him. To me it suggests that Hudson is not as rehabilitated as he’d have us believe.

SiliconValleySteve

An 18 year old ward of the courts. Suicidal and looking up to an older man who spouts a moral agenda to look after her. Then he gets her underage-self drunk and uses her for sex. A 45 year old married man. This makes me want to throw up.

If he was innocent would he pay 30K. Maybe in Deal's world this is small change but in my world I would have to be guilty to pay such a sum.

If this is true, Deal is lower than I ever imagined. How can any of you defend the behaviour as irrelevant is beyond me.

Cornelius

The allegations here are quite awful. We should bear in mind, however, that we are getting only one, heavily dramatized side of the story. And even if every detail is accurate, I still don't think these allegations are newsworthy. I can't think of a comparable example of a story like this--about a repented-of sexual indiscretion from years ago--being published about a mere political adviser. As I said in the other thread, politicians know that they give up a lot of their privacy when they take office; not so with mere advisers. NCR's tone is truly spiteful.

Jonathan

Amy,

yes, I agree. Now, isn't it amazing how everyone is point out how Mr. Hudson was drunk at the time, while conveniently overlooking the fact that, as you say, he was

a) keenly aware of her past (and present) troubles;
b) invited her to come drinking with a larger group, even wheedling her when she said she shouldn't;
c) plied her with liquor and
d) apparently wasn't too shy about having PDAs with other young women in the bar in front of everyone.

To me, that makes him more predator than prey. Come on! The guy knew what he was doing (and presumably wasn't yet drunk) when he set the circumstances in motion for a "near occasion of sin," so regardless of the possible diminution of responsibility because of his inebrated state, HE BEARS THE GREATER RESPONSIBILITY than an admittedly troubled teenaged girl.

If Ono Ekeh, or Andrew Greeley, or some other imagined hero of the left were doing this, most of us conservative types here would be on him like a bum on a baloney sandwich. Think Monica Lewinsky was troubled or mixed up? Sure. But at least she had two parents and a home. This chick had major problems, and Mr. Hudson was aware of enough of them to consider her easy meat.

So get over yourselves! Yes, the timing is suspicious, I suppose. But when they criticized Nixon for playing up his opponents past misdeeds, he pointed out, "Those people actually did the things I said they did. I just reported them."

Until conservatives are willing to apply the same standard to themselves that they apply to liberals, we're no better off than the Pharisee who said, "Lord, I thank thee that I am not as other men, even as this tax collector here."

In the end, I think Mr. Hudson has done the right thing in resigning in an effort to spare the Bush campaign as much of the infamy as possible.

amy

Ken, do you know why details are necessary?

here's why: because supporters of the perp or the accused or whatever you would like to call him will tend to minimize the incident if the details are not known. They will talk about "making a pass at a student" or "making advances" or "picking up a drunk at a bar" or "past mistakes that hurt people."

The unpleasant details are unpleasant but important if we are to talk about the truth.

And please note that the fallout from this incident did not seem to be contested by Hudson at any level - of his position in the college or the lawsuit.

Esquire

Deal Hudson's conduct with his under-age student is absolutely repugnant.

And were both parties "apparently under the influence"? Hudson had the presence of mind to make up a story to his wife before taking his nearly passed-out student into his office and raping her.

The article also sheds light on Hudson's dealings with the shadiest of right-wingnuts like Scaife.

But perhaps the real story is the rift within the conservative Catholic "lay heirarchy". It will be interesting to see who chooses to come to this rapists defense.

Radactrice

Good point SiliconValleySteve. How many people who were innocent of such charges would pay $30,000? Even if it is just pocket change to Mr. Hudson, most innocent people would fight the charges because they were INNOCENT!

Fr. Rob Johansen

Frank wrote:

Those other newwer stories did not survive the lawyers....

Frank, you need to put up or shut up. You keep alluding to "newer stories" and hinting that there are present misdeeds in Hudson's life.

Then when you are called to account you coyly say that those things "did not survive the lawyers". So now you're using your very lack of evidence as evidence. That's dishonest.

Furthermore, what you are spouting is innuendo, pure and simple. It's calumny and libel.

I thought the NCR hit piece was low, but what you're doing is even lower. It's a sin, and it's despicable.

Cathleen

I agree with Amy. This is NOT the tale of an impulsive indiscretion by a man who unwittingly had too much to drink. It paints an ugly, ugly picture of a man who deliberately set out to molest a vulnerable young woman, taking full advantage of his position of influence and authority. There are lots of 18-year-old girls, especially if they're from troubled backgrounds, for whom the attentions of an older man in authority are simply irresistible. I tended to give Mr. Hudson the benefit of the doubt before the story, but this story has the ring of truth to it. I also agree that this kind of thing rarely happens in isolation. What a disgrace.

Jonathan

And the ick factor of this 45-year-old married man getting an 18-year-old girl drunk and then taking advantage of her is too great to describe. Gross!

thomas tucker

Sad, sad, sad.
I must say, there is something creepy about the guy. I've felt it ever since that night at the dinner I wrote about in the prior thread. It makes me wonder if Frank's not right about other stories. And if he is then
I suspect he has a major problem and I hope he gets help for it. In the meantime, I won't be surprised to see him step down as head of Crisis. And, if there are ongoing problems of a like nature, then he should indeed step down until he truly has had a conversion that he can really write about.
Meanwhile, it's hard to miss the glee with which NCR is writing about this.

Jonathan

Thank you, Fr. Rob. Frank apparently subscribes to the Oliver Stone rules of evidence: the lack of evidence means it MUST be true.

This whole business is sickening.

Liam

I have to say that I am leaning toward's al's take. I felt guilty reading the piece, and did my best to avoid too close a study of the text; it felt prurient. That is not to justify what occurred; but it's one of those things one prefers only to know on the Last Day, when we are all on an equally low footing in terms of universal revelation of our sins. I am still puzzled by NCR's belief this was journalistically ethical to publish.

And, unlike many at St. Blog's, I am not a big fan of Hudson by any means.

Something intuitively tells me this piece compounds the wrong.

Jonathan

This has me wondering if Mr. Hudson isn't more Mike Warnke than the post-Damascus Paul.

c matt

Meanwhile, his spiritual journey was leading to Catholicism, one of a particularly orthodox bent

Like what, it should have taken a heterodox bent? Little theopolitical zingers like this one and others sprinkled throughout the piece prove it is nothing more than a hit piece. No, the Poppas affair has nothing good about it. If Kerry had done something similar when he was 45, and nothing since, then it would be no news either. Of course, whta Kerry did and said 30 years ago directly relates to his fitness to be commander in chief. What Hudson did directly relates to ... what? Being a good husband/father? Yes, it shows a violation of trust ten years ago. Clinton did the same violation WHILE IN OFFICE and still got re-elected.

As for Kerry's past, the only past that concerns me is the last 30 years in the Senate (when he actually finds time to show up) and his current abysmal stand on many issues. I could care less if he a tryst with an 18 yo co-ed a decade ago.

plm

"The unpleasant details are unpleasant but important if we are to talk about the truth."

Thank you Amy.

al

Amy,
On the details--doesn't that presume we have some role to play in resolving the affair? Do we? How?

SiliconValleySteve

Fr Rob,

I don't care about any other instances, this is enough to disqualify Deal from his current position. What is forgiven in the confessional and what we tolerate from a public official are two different things. This behavior is deplorable and Deal needs to go.

Desert Chatter

It would be interesting to match up the dates of these events in Deal Hudson's saga and the dates of his fulminations against Bill Clinton. It would a nice parallel time line.

Fr. Rob, look up the definition of libel sometime.

amy

c matt says:

"tryst."

See what I mean? Is that what is described here? A "tryst?"

esquire

"Oliver Stone Rules of Evidence"?

Yes, I suppose it's possible that Hudson just happened to want to spend some after-class time with his students on a night that just happened to be a huge drinking night (Fat Tuesday) and just happened to think one of his under-age students who just happened to have a troubled background and absence of a father figure might want to come along, and just happened to forget himself and stick his tongue down the throats of two other students who had just happened to slide under his arms on either side, and then just happened to expose himself to said under-age troubled student and request [you-know-what] and then just happened to tell his wife that he was simply taking said student home but then got side-tracked and somehow found himself between this now-nearly-passed-out student's legs doing [you-know-what] then getting her to return the favor in the drunken haze he had facilitated . . . .

all for the first and only time in his life.

I know I hate it when that happens to me.

Kevin Miller

Sorry, but I think that's totally wrong (and, by the way, I think that accusations that people are "patronizing" are sometimes themselves patronizing).

NONE OF US NEEDED TO KNOW WHAT HUDSON DID - neither at the beginning, nor after Hudson's resignation from Bush's team. None of us is The Universal Morality Police. Not even when we're talking about a sin that was especially serious and for which the sinner may or may not have sufficiently repented.

I think the NCR clearly committed detraction, with the NYT et al. in hot pursuit. (And again, to Rod's comment on a post below that this became public because of Hudson's decision to resign, I say, that's specious: Hudson's decision was the result of the NCR's decision to write such a story. That doesn't make the NYT's decision right - but it makes the NCR's even more wrong.)

That's all from me on this.

mizznicole

I have to agree with Mr. Tucker...NCR gained no respect with me on this one. What a bunch of sneering triumphalism.

Granted, the story is ugly and gross as sin itself, but I don't need to drive home that point with anyone. Obviously Mr. Hudson has taken the steps he thinks are appropriate in light of the situation. I can only pray that the full healing and forgiveness he needs will come forth.

My high school theology teacher was recently named on a list of priests "deactivated" from ministry due to sexual abuse charges. I remember the sense of shock and mournfulness over that revelation; however, I have to trust that Christ came for sinners, and my response to all who fall should be one of grace and trust in the power of God. While it might be appropriate for Hudson to step down in this case, fretting over "the damage" done to Orthodox Catholics is useless. Jesus has the victory, not us.

Patrick Rothwelll

"I cannot believe that some commentators are actually defending Mr. Hudson's actions in preying upon a vulnerable co-ed. "The slut made him do it!""

No one is defending Mr. Hudson's actions. They aren't defensible and Fordham was not wrong to discipline him. Speaking for myself, all I am saying is that (a) I don't buy the girl's "I'm a victim" whine unless she was incapable of making adult decisions, good or bad, about these matters and (b) publishing these allegations is detraction. Hudson has a right to his reputation and NCR unjustly took it away. I would (and have) made the same claims ad nauseam about similar hit pieces written by the Wanderer and its friends against liberal priests and bishops. Even if it is true that Hudson is somewhat of an intriguer, that does not justify the public airing of his private dirty laundry.

Kevin Miller

Clarification: In my comment above, when I say "that's totally wrong," the "that" to which I'm referring is Amy's "The unpleasant details are unpleasant but important if we are to talk about the truth," quoted by plm. (When I started entering my comment, plm's was the most recent one - obviously others were posted between then and when I finished mine.)

Mark R

Now I do not feel so sad about being turned down last week to work for Crisis. Maybe I'm the wrong age and gender.
I do feel bad for all parties involved and am quite disappointed in Dr. Hudson.

Frank

Father et al,

Until last night there were other anecdotes in the story. For the most part they were women who were not willing to be named. Obviously the Reporter's lawyers determined that was dangerous territory.

Anyone who has been around these circles for any length of time has heard these stories.


Hunk Hondo

Amy's right about the details. Suppose the story had been general and left the details to the imagination. Could *your* imagination have come up with this, or anything comparable? She's also right about who the wrongdoer is. The fact that some truly vile people are now strutting around as though this somehow vindicated them is no defense for this man or his "mistake" (How truly tired I am of seeing sins miscalled that). The whole thing just sickens the heart.

al

I mean I haven't minimized it at all.

Of everyone on this page, I daresay I'm Hudson's biggest critique here. I took him to task for Ono (attesting to Ono's pro life props from my time in a prolife group with him). I argued that the meeting with Bps. McCarrick and Lynch was so futile as to be providing aid and comfort for the enemy. I regularly point to the neoconservative Catholics as not fully converted to Catholicism. I basically said his position on the war was heretical, and wrote to him about it more than one occasion.

All that said, the specifics to render me any more capable to evaluate his status as a catholic "leader".

I would never acknowledge the "lay magisterium" anyway, and consider them part of the problem.

But the specifics of that event don't give me any more cause to judge him as wrong or right in his writings on doctrine then I had before.

Mumseki

I was shocked at the details, because the initial vague reports suggested (to me at least) that the conduct did not go beyond a pass or a ham-handed grope. Obviously went well beyond that, and suggests open manipulation of the woman.

Unfortunately, I cannot avoid parsing the story (as I am a criminal defense lawyer and it is now habit), so I am slightly suspicious that Hudson was french-kissing multiple girls in an open bar before the incidents with the central woman. Suspicious on its face to me. In addition, have you seen Hudson? I mean, how does a 45 year-old get that far with multiple co-eds in a night? I don't think alcohol alone explains it (maybe its Axe (www.theaxeeffect.com)).

Of course, Hudson has admitted some version of the story, but I just wonder about some of the more salacious details.

All in all, a bad showing that, in my opinion, need never have come to public light.

amy

Frank - I get what you're saying, and I understand your desire to say it, but I think we had better not go that way any more. And to others too. Only comment on what's been written.

Fr. Rob Johansen

Radactrice wrote:

How many people who were innocent of such charges would pay $30,000? Even if it is just pocket change to Mr. Hudson, most innocent people would fight the charges because they were INNOCENT!

Lots of innnocent people pay settlements because self-preservation mandates that one pay rather than to fight. I know it sounds high-minded and romantic to fight for one's honor, but most people can't afford to. A suit like this, if fought, could easily have cost Hudson well over $100,000. And contrary to what some people here seem to think, he's not a wealthy man. College professors (or editors of struggling magazines, which is what Crisis was at that time) don't exactly get paid the big bucks. Note that he had to pay it in installments. Furthermore, and I'm sure the lawyers can back me up here, while $30,000 sounds like a lot of money to you and me, it's peanuts in terms of settlements. Hudson's payout has all the earmarks of a "nuisance" settlement.

Finally, Hudson never claimed to be innocent, then or now. What he did was wrong, wrong, wrong. But he admitted it at the time, left his job, and paid, both literally and figuratively. I would imagine that he paid because he recognized that in justice he owed some sort of restitution to that girl. He admits it now, with apparent remorse.

What else should Hudson have done then?

What else should he do now?

John Heavrin

He lost his professorship at Fordham over this behavior, rightly. But we're given nothing to indicate he did this again. Perhaps he has. But where are those stories?

What is the point of this article? The only thing close to a statement of that I got from the author was to "inform NCR readers about such an influential Catholic," or some such. And so we get, "Look at Deal Hudson, what a sleazeball."

This writer seemed to me to be:

envious of Hudson's status as Most Favored Catholic at the White House;

p.o.'ed that Hudson wouldn't return phone calls;

and determined like Ahab to avenge the firing of Ono Ekeh, which I still think was a)justified, regardless of the size of his family, and b) if you think he shouldn't have been fired, BLAME IT ON THE USCCB, not Hudson.

My opinion: you don't have to like or defend Hudson, let alone his terrible behavior so luridly detailed, to consider this article to be a vindictive and gratuitious attempt to topple an opponent. And it worked.

Who's next?

Frank

Amy,

I was asked.

esquire

Mumseki:
Could it not be argued that the french kissing in the bar is the sort of detail that makes the victim's story more credible?

I mean, presumably the other students present would either attest to or contradict the victim's account, and perhaps even the two NYU students in question could have been asked directly about the evening.

It seems that it would have been risky for the victim to include such an easily refuted had it not, in fact occurred.

Maybe nitpicking, but I thought I'd try a little rehabilitation on re-direct.

plm

Maybe we need to know what Hudson did to educate, with the hope of protecting, our daughters and sons? I've known kids who needed to be told "no tenured professor wants to have drinks with you because you’re fascinating.”

Badly Drawn Catholic

c matt

Hudson's actions with his student was not a "tryst" as you write. That minimizes what actually happened. Date rape may be a more apt term. Hudson plied the girl with a drug that took away her ability to reject and consent to his sexual advances. He is accused of at least two crimes that he could have been charged with: providing alcohol to a minor and rape. College campus' have a difficult enough time controlling wide-spread alcohol abuse among under-age students and sex abuse that they do not need their tenured employees engaging in this behavior.

Hudson's behavior in the matter is every bit as reprehensible as Fr. John Goeghan or Fr. Paul Shanely. All three are pervs that sexually preyed on the vulnerable. Hudson wanted to clear the clergy of abusive priests and to be a public about it as possible. Likewise, Fordham U wanted to clear its ranks of perv professors -- hence the morals clauses in contracts. Except, Mr. Hudson thought his deal was not going to see the light of day. Sounds like Hudson expects to be held to a lower standard that he affords abusive clergy or politicians.

James Kabala

If this story is true and Hudson doesn't leave Crisis within forty-eight hours or so, I'm cancelling my subscription. I apologize to such fine writers as Sandra Miesel, Terry Teachout, etc., but I do not want to be associated with this man in any way.
I respect Kevin Miller and Patrick Rothwell for being consistent in their attitude toward publicizing sexual abuse, even though I don't agree with them. But for those who were all over Rembert Weakland, Gerard Budge, etc. and are now trying to minimize these allegations, I have very little regard.

Rod Dreher

Powerful and charismatic older male violates his vows by taking sexual advantage of troubled, emotionally unstable young person, using alcohol. This is a familiar Catholic narrative of late, isn't it?

I wish it weren't so, but come on, y'all, if this were about a liberal priest, or involved two men, most of the people here would be calling for the wrongdoer's head. I used to write for Crisis about a decade ago, and know Deal Hudson a little bit, so I'm not going to kick him while he's down. This is an ugly and sad situation for his wife and children. I only want to say that it's important for those of us who consider ourselves conservative Catholics remember not to be hypocrites when one of our own, so to speak, is revealed to have had feet of clay. Attacking the alleged motives of NCR and its reporter does not make the facts go away, or any easier to take.

Rich Leonardi

"What is the point of this article?"

A plausible explanation is that the author set out to write something more ambitious, but his editors hemmed him in for the reasons Frank describes.

SiliconValleySteve

What else should Hudson have done then?

He should have left any position of promenence representing Catholics and found humble work and toiled quietly in the vines while seeking redemption. He also could have informed those of us who used him as a representative (I consider myself as such) of what he had done very recently (in terms of Crisis subscribers and Bush supporters circa 2000). I still contend that the work that Mr Hudson has been doing is a privilege and he is not worthy of it.


What else should he do now?

What he should have done in the first place. He has now done great harm to orthodox Roman Catholics and the Bush campaign. He has compounded his first sin rather than attoned for it.

esquire

Father Rob:
I'm not sure $30,000 would be universally considered "nuisance value". It is most likely less than the projected "costs of litigation", but whether it is "nuisance" would depend upon who was paying (was Hudson paying personally or did he have a liability insurance policy?)

Most liability policies do not cover intentional conduct, so it may very well have been that he was paying personally. If so, and if he not, "a rich man", then it would be more than nuisance value.

Also, at the time, he was making contact with some pretty deep right-wing pockets to whom the costs of litigation would be a rounding-error.

Rather than avoid expenses, perhaps the settlement was more a matter of sweeping the matter under the carpet.

amy

Just to inject a bit of calm here. Or trying to.

Kevin, I stand by my stance on details. I have followed cases of sexual abuse and exploitation for long enough to understand the popular instinct to minimize what has happened, partly because the truth is truly unpleasant to think about, but partly because, often, we don't want to imagine people we admire doing really, really bad things. I have seen this over and over again..poor Father only "inappropriately touched" that altar boy all those years ago, so who are we to judge, and it's all in the past, when in actuality what happened was that he masturbated the kid and screwed him up in inumerable ways for a very, very long time.

Secondly, what is the point of any "revelation" of this sort? What brings it on? In this case, what brings it on is not only NCR's probably antipathy to Hudson, but this high political season and the constant attention to the "Catholic vote" and the GOP's vigorous outreach to same over the past five years, inspired and led by Hudson, who has thrown his support to the GOP in such a way presumably because the party's values match his - the GOP has always run a very "values-oriented" approach. So disgressions are going to be noted. I think Newt Gingrich is a slightly apt analogy.

Finally, the fact is that Hudson's public biography does not match reality. As I have said before, that is his decision, and bleeds over into the private/public issue that we could be discussing. But he didn't mention this incident or the previous two marriages in his spiritual memoir. As I stated in another thread, that is his right, and perhaps the theme of the memoir was not really suited to such revelations, and perhaps in that context they are no one's business. As I said, it is Hudson's perfect right to determine what should be in his public biography and what shouldn't. But that said, those are stark omissions, and what I find even more telling, as someone pointed out in another thread, is that when asked by NCR about this Fordham case, Hudson offered no comment except to say that his move from Fordham was inspired by professional reasons, and so on.

We can all unpack this, I hope, in general terms, as the days go on, in ways that help us make sense of more issues than this narrow one. But in the meantime...18 year olds can be victims, too.

John Heavrin

Rod, the wrongdoer's head has already rolled for this incident, back in '94 when Fordham fired him.

Why is the head rolling again?

NCR gets to decide who the "powerful" Catholics should be? Apparently so, and now there's one fewer.

Becky

I agree that Deal was right to resign his position and that his actions were deplorable, but I am surprised by the tone of the comments. Many are judgemental, angry and take the tone of gossip. This story is shocking indeed, but how many of us have a past that is clean of error and sin? I for one do not and I thank God everyday for His healing power and for His forgiveness.

Please do not take this as a defense of Deal's actions, they are not defendable. I have had contact with Deal in the past; conversations about fiction and catholic authors and I attended a small dinner party last year with Deal present. I am, to say the least, very saddened by this.

c matt

I did not intend to minimize the immorality of Mr. Hudson's act by referencing "tryst" in a hypothetical ten year old moral lapse of Kerry's. The point wasn't to minimize Hudson's actions. The point was that a similar action by Kerry, followed by a decade of no repeated conduct, would make the act, although improper in itself, of little relevance to the person's current fitness.

Robin

Okay let me get this right, Deal Husdon did something wrong, have none of you done anything wrong? If this happened ten or so years ago and Deal Hudson has delt with it and has not done it again. Then we as Christians need to realise that we have Confession and a person can confess,repent and change. We then need to drop it. So think, do you have something in your closet but have changed and are not the same person......we almost all have...we need to forgive then, if the person has repented! Maybe just maybe they could be after him for their own agenda.

Mumseki

Esquire,

What you say is absolutely true. Which is why I am only suspicious -- and, were I out to corroborate her story, I would like to hear from these other students.

I am lied to constantly by all parties in litigation, including (and perhaps especially) my own clients, so I am jaded. I had no point other than that I, personally, am suspicious of some of the details. Could pan out to be true, of course.

I also stress that Hudson has apparently admitted some wrong-doing. I just reserve a tiny bit of scepticism as to what is the basis of his admission before I take the NCR story at face value.

(Also, I take exception to the idea of some that paying out $30,000 is an admission of guilt. Holy smokes! Almost all cases settle, and not every defendant is actually liable)

al

James, Rod,

Addressing the motives of NCR does one thing--it discloses the error of the tactic.

Disclosing Weakland's (or Ziemann, or Bernadin) malfeasance (with getting down into the weeds of what happened on x day at 4 o'clock) first to the proper authorities, and then to those who may be scandalized by him, under very constrained conditions, is aimed at a specific end--removing a agent of scandal.

Is it much different from saying simply, when there is ample evidence, that x or y bishop is just teaching heresy? That's as grave a sin as any, knowingly committed.

The difference is that since NCR's end is wrong--the undermining of truth, their means are unrelated to that end.

The mistake is to liberalize it and say what's sauce for the goose. . . or turnabout is fair play. . . Error is never fair play, and detraction compounded on top of error is doubly unfair.

amy

IMHO, the settlement is not as revealing as the loss of tenure. That is hard to do.

Esquire

Mumseki,

I didn't intend to sound critical. I was just exercising my trial advocacy muscles.

I second the fact that paying $30,000 is not an admission of guilt. But when paid by an individual personally, I would consider it abit more than "nuisance".

Jason Spak

Catholics are "at least four cliques all blackguarding each other half the time . . . ."

Evelyn Waugh wrote that, in Brideshead Revisited. Anyone looking for proof need only read through these comments.

Perhaps Hudson and NCR were both wrong for trying to "decide who the powerful Catholics should be," and for much else besides. Perhaps God really does write straight with crooked lines.

Kevin Miller

Alright, this time I PROMISE this will be my last word anywhere on the topic (and to help myself keep that promise, I'll just stay away from the post).

Amy, I think your reasoning about the "details" is circular. If the story (with or without details) hadn't been reported by NCR - and I'm maintaining it shouldn't have been - then your issue about popular instinct and minimization and so on WOULD NOT ARISE.

And sure, especially given the intersecting political controversies here, things "are going to be noted." What I'm arguing is that that doesn't suffice as an argument that they SHOULD be noted.

As a final point, to James K., I want to clarify that it is NOT my position that sexual abuse should never be reported. For instance, I don't blame the media for reporting cases of abuse by priests (and coverups thereof). In such cases, it was a matter of getting others (especially bishops) to do their duty to protect people. My main complaints about coverage of The Situation have to do with the media's MOTIVES for what they did, and with the fact that the media must not, in the end, be allowed to dictate the reform agenda (in the end, they don't know what they're talking about on either morality or ecclesiology), and with the further issue of the need appropriately to respect bishops as our fathers even when we're reporting and acknowledging their failings.

But, again, I don't think that when the media report that a priest who's been accused of abuse is being put back in situations in which he'll continue to be dangerous, and/or being sheltered from prosecution, this is ipso facto detraction.

But I do think that the NCR/NYT/etc. reporting on Hudson is ipso facto detraction. (As well as being incredibly bad in other ways, like when it posits that he has some sort of total power over the USCCB.)

Fr. Rob Johansen

IMHO, the settlement is not as revealing as the loss of tenure. That is hard to do.

Not when there are issues of moral misconduct involved. Even secular universities have "moral turpitude" clauses in contracts that provide for near-summary dismissal of faculty caught in serious misconduct. And even at a secular university, sexual involvement between a professor and student, even were it consensual, would qualify as serious misconduct.

al

Jason,
That's an excellent point.

In my experience that's one of the greatest problems with the liberal/conservative fissure in Catholicism today: the constant stuggle to appoint an alternative hierarchy to compensate for the disfunctional one we have.

It ultimately ends up just being a power grab.

mumseki

Esquire,

Don't do much civil litigation, but it sounds more than nuisance to me too. However, the nuisance in this case might include harm to his reputation (justified or not) from the allegation (true or not) and that is hard to quantify as an outsider. Also, of course, I don't really know the facts, legal issues, etc., etc.

And you didn't sound critical.

Cornelius

Amy, are you really suggesting that Hudson brought this on (even in part) by not mentioning his divorces in his spiritual autobiography? Can't we at least give him the benefit of the doubt that perhaps he didn't want to drag his ex-wives (or the victim of the Fordham incident) into the public light?

John Heavrin is right: Who's next? If this old story about someone who is not even in elective office merits news, then an awful lot of people are open targets for having their past sins and indiscretions exposed. By the way, no one has yet provided an analogous case where such allegations about a non-elected official from years ago have been exposed in a major news story. (I would note that Archbishop Weakland is a very different story--he was using hundreds of thousands of dollars of Church money to keep the lover/victim silent.)

Rich Leonardi

Amy writes: "IMHO, the settlement is not as revealing as the loss of tenure. That is hard to do."

Agreed. A $30K settlement could be explained away as nuisance money. But losing tenure? You almost have to try to do it. You'd think someone associated with Crisis would have asked Mr. Hudson for Fordham refereces back in '94.

Brandon

After reading the article, and having read Crisis and Hudson's e-letter for more than a year, all I have to say is this:
Live by the sword, die by the sword.
A tragedy all around.

amy

No, Cornelius, I'm saying that when your public biography doesn't match reality, you should not be surprised when fissures appear.

And please note that when I have posted this, I have posted my own explanations for his omissions on this score - I've read the book, and it is not in the style of a confessional, and the conversion he describes is not on that level, either. Read what I've said. I'm simply pointing out that in the public eye, when fissures between public perception and reality begin, it is difficult to patch that fissure up again.

c matt

Even $30,000 by an individual still seems close to nuisance. First, going through the litigiation (particularly at NY rates) is going to cost you at least that much. Then, there is the publicity, where you are guilty till proven innocent (particularly in a position where reputation is everything). Then, there is the ever unpredictable jury factor - as many point out, vulnerable young teenager vs. powerful middle-aged professor. So you'd be out your thirty grand to defend AND you'd still have to roll the dice. Plus, you get more control over the deal through a settlement than a judgment (extend payments, confidentiality agreements - which, by the way, I wonder if they have been violated). Insurance companies end up settling quite often, even when there is little liability (and in this case there was admitted guilt), particularly depending on the venue.

mumseki

Hey -- what gives?! I have refreshed this page three times in the last ten seconds and no new posts!

Esquire

Rich makes an interesting point. Did anyone at crisis inquire into the circumstances surrounding Hudson's leaving Fordham and why, for instance, he did not have/seek professor emeritus status?

And technically, it was Hudson who reported on himself by trying to get out ahead of this story and frame the debate. Did any of you who point out "subtle" little jabs and references in the NCR article notice Hudson's own reference to speaking with the reporter "while [his] child played videogames at his feet"? They're all playing the same game here.

Badlt Drawn Catholic

Yes, we have all sinned in the past. Some of these sins may have been crimes. And some of our sins may have screwed up other peoples' lives. Our sins have consequences that may take the rest of our earthly life and some of purgatory to atone. The problem in this case lies not in that we are all sinners, but most of us expect everyone else to behavior better than us.

Mr. Hudson was very public and blunt and mean about the moral failures of others and his expectations of other folks' behavior. The NCR may not have had proper motives and some people at the NCR may feel the need to take a shower after reporting on Hudson for both his actions and theirs. However, Mr. Hudson got a taste of what he has been publically dishing out almost from the moment Mardi Gras 1994 turned into Lent.

If I had acted in the way that Mr. Hudson did, I would fully expect to lose my job (as stated in my contract) and for such actions to haunt my entire future -- even if I am fully repentent. I would also expect that most I could hope for occupationally is sweeping floors or ringing a cash register at a Dollar Store. We may be completely forgiven of our sins but we do not escape the physical or spiritual consequences of our sins.

PMC

Re Fr. Rob, Esquire, et al.,

I agree that $30K may or may not represent a "nuisance" settlement, but there are plenty of sensible reasons to settle a case for more than mere "nuisance" value while still not being guilty of the wrongdoing claimed (and I thought that this was Fr. Rob's larger point). Like, f'rinstance, the prospect of facing a Bronx jury as a white professional accused of accosting a teenaged student and not being able to deny some of the salient facts, such as partying and drinking w/underage students. Sometimes bad facts and a bad forum make a settlement mighty attractive.

Still and all, I agree w/Amy. Fordham's yanking of his tenure carries more force than a $30K settlement.

Yet, I agree with those who've labeled this a hit piece.

Cornelius

I'm sorry, Amy, I've read what you wrote, and I truly don't understand your point. I know that you've suggested reasons why Hudson might have omitted that information, but in the next breath, you say that since he omitted that information, he shouldn't be surprised by the attention his past is now getting. That sounds to me like "he brought this on."

Becky

Badlt Drawn Catholic

That is the beauty of Catholicism, we understand that even though we sin and are forgiven we must atone for those sins. There are consequences to all of our actions. No one is questioning that this is Deal's time to atone.

Tom

I think there are two points made above that could do with some stressing.

One is Rod's:

I only want to say that it's important for those of us who consider ourselves conservative Catholics remember not to be hypocrites when one of our own, so to speak, is revealed to have had feet of clay.

I assume Rod is thinking those who consider themselves conservative Catholics should be as hard on one of their own as they are on those they consider liberals.

It could equally mean, though, that those who consider themselves conservative Catholics should be as easy on those they consider liberals as they are on one of their own.

Or perhaps, in these matters, virtue lies in the middle.

Another good point is Amy's:

I have followed cases of sexual abuse and exploitation for long enough to understand the popular instinct to minimize what has happened....

This touches on some important questions I don't think have been adequately considered: In any particular case, who has an objectively valid reason to know about it? What about the case do they have an objectively valid reason to know? And what else should they keep in mind (a conservative bias, perhaps, or an instinct to minimize what might have happened) in order to take prudent action based on that knowledge?

Fr. Rob Johansen

What else should Hudson have done then?

He should have left any position of promenence representing Catholics and found humble work and toiled quietly in the vines while seeking redemption.

One could argue that that's just what Hudson did. He went from a tenured post at a prestigious university to a struggling, then relatively obscure and small-circulation magazine. Deal Hudson and Crisis magazine were virtually unknown outside of conservative Catholic circles in the mid-90's. It's only been in the past 4-5 years that he and the magazine (largely due to his efforts and talents) have enjoyed the high profile they now have.

So should Hudson have said to himself "I'll stay at Crisis only until it becomes successful, and then leave?"

John Heavrin brings up a good point: How many times does Hudson's head have to roll?

If Hudson were to leave Crisis, go into obscurity for a while and then re-emerge in some other new successful venture, would the NCR get to do another hit piece? Does doing something wrong, for which one has repented, paid for, and not repeated, mean that henceforth you must never be successful or influential?

I think this NCR hit piece has everything to do with who Hudson has become, and not who he was.

al

Tom,
"In any particular case, who has an objectively valid reason to know about it? What about the case do they have an objectively valid reason to know?"

Bingo. How much do we need to know to stop subscribing to Crisis, if that's what you're going to do?

What else are you called to do? Pile on? Expunge someone from the ranks of the Catholic Opinion makers? Who appointed them anyways?

I know who appointed the Bishops, and I know to whom I can claim my deferral to them was a virtue, even when I didn't quite understand the wisdom of what they were saying.

Can anyone claim the same of the "lay magisterium"? Isn't that a problem??

Becky

Thank you Father Rob for your words. I agree that the NCR piece smacks of vendetta and a chance to stick it to an "orthodox" catholic.

George

This is not such to big deal to me. Lots of converts to the Church have lived sinful lives. I wish Dr. Hudson well. He has left a wake behind him, so I hope and pray for the best for those that he has impacted, such his troubled student and presumably his former wives.

I suspect there are many more former students, colleagues, and family members who have benefited from their relationships with Dr. Hudson. And certain Crisis mag is a formidable gift to society

Why NCR was right to publish the article is because the impetus for Dr. Hudson to come to Washington was his resignation at Fordham. There is a direct relationship between his current role in the Church and with the Administration, and his departure from Fordham. It is interesting to me, but hardly damning to Dr. Hudson. If anything, he was honorable in settling up this troubling situtation.

As a life-long Catholic, it fascinates how many in this forum and elsewhere in the orthodox wing of the American Church are former Protestants, often with formal training in the ministry. I think former Protestants often bring some of the unspoken attitudes of Protestantism to the Church. Like Calvinistic attitudes about foreign policy, and the need for the Church to be full of saints, and rid of sinners.

So it is the spiritual journey of leading conservative Catholics that interests me, rather than their sex lives. That part is so predictable.

By the way, where did Father McCloskey go off to? One of the cool things I learned today about Dr. Hudson is that he is no friend of Father McCloskey. Since Father wrote up his fantasies about a civil war over abortion and the dissolution of the United States, I am pleased that someone thought him worthy of opposition.

Given their emnity, I wonder if Opus Dei had a role in this expose? Calling Dan Brown... :-)

Barbara

Cornelius,

Hudson is a very visible Catholic, and though not a member of the hierarchy, I think it's fair to say that he wields a great deal of influence -- the Ekeh incident being an example of his influence.

I happen to agree that the NCR was probably motivated, in part, by spite, perhaps related to the Ekeh incident, for all I know. I am not equating the two; they are totally different, but if you don't "tell all" early and often you probably need more protection than God is willing to give if you are in a position of power and wield it without showing much mercy.

I will say again that I believe the details set forth in the article are part of some official record; they are not pretty but they may be embellished. On the other hand, even if the incident was embellished, the basic facts are fairly awful: Hudson was not young when this occurred, he surely knew what was considered appropriate as a professor, and certainly as a husband.

There's no way to feel good about this incident, but most people feel qualified to judge a hypocrite even if they shouldn't.

Neil

We should all agree that Deal Hudson's behavior was no less than shocking. Perhaps the National Catholic Reporter shouldn't have unearthed it, perhaps they should have reported the story without salacious details, perhaps we should have chosen to avoid reading it. These are debatable points about which I am myself undecided. Nevertheless, NCR did print the story, many of us read it at short notice, and we can assume that even more people will read lurid digests of it in other newspapers - sometimes accompanied with even more schadenfreude. Whether the story should have been revealed to the public or not, one simply cannot pretend that it is still private - even if she desperately wishes that it were and she could simply relate to Deal Hudson in the same unproblematic fashion that she might have last week. What's done is done. So, now what?

There has to be some equivalently public evidence of past repentance or a public intention to perform repentance. Here is the prominent evangelical theologian Gabriel Fackre writing after the Clinton scandal (I do not mean to equate Hudson and Clinton except in the obvious sense):

"In Christianity, repentance shows up in two places: in conversion, as it springs from saving faith, and later in the Christian, as part of a sanctification, a re-turning, ever and again, from the sin that persists in the life of the redeemed, all by grace alone.

"What are the elements of such repentance? The Reformation's Second Helvetic Confession puts it this way:

"By repentance we understand (1) the recovery of a right mind in a sinful person awakened by the Word of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit, and received by true faith, by which the sinner immediately acknowledges his innate corruption and all his sins accused by the Word of God; and (2) grieves for them from the heart, and not only bewails and frankly confesses them before God with a feeling of shame; but also (3) with indignation abominates them; and (4) now zealously considers the amendment of his ways and constantly strives for innocence and virtue in which conscientiously to exercise himself all the rest of his life.

"This is tough talk. Repentance, so described, is an inner and outer about-face, the Greek metanoia: a change of mind and heart, mouth, hands, and feet. An assurance of pardon in response to a 'general confession of sin' of the kind used in many Protestant Sunday services strikes the same notes. Pardon is, as my Evangelical and Reformed hymnal puts it, assured 'unto as many of you, beloved, as truly repent of your sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with full purpose of new obedience.'

"The discussion of these matters by Christians during the Clinton crisis had to do with the meaning of repentance in the Christian life, especially with 'walking the walk as well as talking the talk.' Such a conversation will go on with any president who professes the Christian faith. That is why 200 teachers of religion and ethics who issued 'A Declaration Concerning Religion, Ethics, and the Crisis in the Clinton Presidency' in 1998 questioned Clinton's 'incomplete repentance,' asserting the need for amendment proportionate to sins confessed."

How can Deal Hudson show evidence that he either has performed or intends to perform a metanoia proportionate to the horrible thing he has done - the recovery of a right mind, lamentation for one's sins, the abomination of them, and a firm amendment of purpose? Is this even possible in our culture anymore?

Neil

SiliconValleySteve

Fr Rob,

Let me make this more clear. What I mean by humble work is work with no high public profile. Manual labor is high on this list. Working in the world of ideas is a great privilege, waxing floors isn't. Is Deal too good for that. I haven't been.

And it doesn't appear that he left his tenured position by choice. He most betrayed the vulnerable young woman who trusted him and now he has betrayed us all. According to the article, the woman was 18. If she were 17, it would have been rape and he would have to register as a sex offender. Given her vulnerability can you really argue that she meets the 18 year old maturity level. He preyed on the weak. What worse offence is there.

Becky

Regarding the comment in the NCR article about Deal and Fr. McCloskey, am I right in myrememberance that Deal refuted the Globe article sometime ago and said that he and Fr. McCloskey were friends?

John Heavrin

Hey Neil, now we have to "show evidence" that we've repented? This incident was 10 years ago. Unless he makes a habit of such behavior, how about the 10 years without such behavior? In the absense of evidence, are we to assume guilt? Wow.

Should he go around in a hairshirt, to match his Stetson?

He doesn't owe us public penance (although he's obviously undergoing it now). It's not up to us to decide if he's truly repentant. Or is it?

Frank

I guarantee you that Michael Novak and Ralph McInerney et al would never in a million years have hired Deal at Crisis had they known that at that moment Deal was in the process of paying off a student he got drunk and bonked.

In the coming days, it will be interesting to see what the Crisis board does. I don't think they can let this stand.

Rod Dreher

Tom: I assume Rod is thinking those who consider themselves conservative Catholics should be as hard on one of their own as they are on those they consider liberals.

It could equally mean, though, that those who consider themselves conservative Catholics should be as easy on those they consider liberals as they are on one of their own.

Or perhaps, in these matters, virtue lies in the middle.

Actually, I had both points in mind.

Greg Popcak

The whole thing is disgusting, and Deal's actions are indefensible.

And while all that's undeniably true, here's the difference between his case and the priests. They kept their jobs, and they were still in a position to commit more abuse. The reason we screamed for these priests' heads is not because primarily because of what they did, but because they never faced any consequences for their actions and were allowed to remain in positions to perpetuate the problem.

Deal acted dispicably and his job was taken from him, and he paid a stiff penalty (I don't have $30,000 in my couch cushions) and by all accounts, he hasn't worked with youth since.

As Mark Shea has pointed out, the most scandalous teaching in Christianity is not the resurrection or even the eucharist. It is forgiveness and mercy.

And that's all I'm gonna say.

al

Neil,
I agreed with some of your comments below.

But who put us in the position of needing to judge whether someone is sufficiently penitent.

And certainly the individualistic Protestant version of the Soteriological concept, designed as it is to refute and reengineer the Catholic Sacramental account of repentance is not the place to start, any more than (and perhaps less than) Jansenius's was.

Rod Dreher

Regarding the comment in the NCR article about Deal and Fr. McCloskey, am I right in myrememberance that Deal refuted the Globe article sometime ago and said that he and Fr. McCloskey were friends?

Deal contradicted the Globe article. That's not the same thing as refuting it.

Fr. Rob Johansen

George wrote:

By the way, where did Father McCloskey go off to? One of the cool things I learned today about Dr. Hudson is that he is no friend of Father McCloskey.

It is a wild exaggeration to assert that Hudson and McCloskey are enemies. Such was the contention of a hitpiece on Fr. McCloskey last spring. Hudson and McCloskey had a disagreement on one matter, and the author of that article tried to use it to "divide and conqer". I know from Fr. McCloskey's standpoint (he is a personal friend of mine) that he has great respect and regard for Hudson.

Fr. McCloskey is currently in England, lecturing and writing a book.

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