See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bishop Paul Dudley, a man falsely accused.



Bishop Paul Vincent Dudley (November 29, 1926—November 20, 2006)
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Bishop Dudley was a local bishop accused - more than once - of sexual abuse.  The cases stretched back to the 1950's.  Bishop Dudley was a very holy priest, one sensed that immediately upon meeting the man.  He was meek and humble and full of charity - much like his Master. 
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He barely uttered a defense of himself when accused, except in an effort to avoid scandalizing the faithful, he declared his innocence saying,  "I totally deny these allegations. They are brutally unfounded."  To my knowledge, never did he defend himself further, nor ever castigate his accusers. 
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After the last accusation concerning a minor altar boy from the 1950's, the bishop made the personal choice to voluntarily withdraw himself from priestly ministry until the investigation into the charges were concluded.  He acted thus to avoid adding to the spectacle of the flurry of media coverage on the sexual abuse scandal which swept the nation at the time. 
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Bishop Dudley was soon exonerated of all charges.  Speaking of the ordeal afterwards he stated, "While living under the cloud of these accusations has been one of the greatest challenges of my life, I never lost faith and confidence that the truth would prevail."  His reputation was never even tarnished by the false accusations, in fact, his reputation for sanctity increased.
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The beloved, saintly Bishop Dudley died in 2006, at the age of 79.  He seems to me to be a good example to all of those who are falsely accused.
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More information here.

12 comments:

  1. Bishop Dudley Confirmed me and was a dear friend who I corresponded with and visited frequently. It was my great joy to have him present at my ordination and lay hands on me. He is someone who I think could easily be a canonized saint.

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  2. A Random Friar2:34 PM

    I agree the good bishop handled it well. However, this is the first I had heard of him being exonerated. I had heard of the accusation and his stepping aside. The media will rarely report on the innocent, unless they are in the media eye 365 days a year. Even Gary Condit, the former congressman accused or implied to have something to do with the murder of his intern could not overcome that shadow (yes, he did commit adultery, but murder is far deadlier to a political career). By the time he would be cleared, his name was already Mudd McMudd IV.

    As the accused bomber at the '98 Atlanta Olympic games said, "Where do I go to get my reputation back?"

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  3. FWIW, Richard Jewell, accused of the 1996 Olympic bombing, went on to a successful career as an elected sheriff in a small GA county, if memory serves.

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  4. When I was in grade school, Bishop Dudley was at a very small conference my parents took me to. It was back when autograph books were popular with school girls. I remember being so desirous to get Bishop Dudley's autograph but so scared to approach him. Somehow, I found the nerve. To this day, I remember his graciousness, kindness and humility at my request. He wrote, "Pray for me, Bishop Dudley"

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  5. Swissy - I left a comment on your blog about a spam email I got using your name - did you get it? I just wanted you to be aware someone or something is using your name. God bless!

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  6. A Random Friar9:04 PM

    You are quite right about Richard Jewell! I did a little more digging. He also had the conviction to fight back, and while it took a few years, he sued his former employer, and a lot of news groups who had slandered him.

    He also had the rare opportunity to get a letter of exoneration from the investigating attorney's office, and the suits also led to what was needed publicity for him to clear his name. The governor of Georgia publicly thanked him, long after the fact, for saving lives. He held several law enforcement jobs. I know he was in poor health, so perhaps that was the reason.

    According to WaPo, "Jewell told the AP last year that Rudolph's conviction helped clear his name, but he believed some people still remember him as a suspect rather than for the two days in which he was praised as a hero."

    It took an awful lot to clear his name, almost all on his own initiative. And even then, you can't undo it all.

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  7. Terry: Sorry about the spam. Seems my e-mail was hacked. Even my pastor got one for some male enhancement product LOL! I think CofA got one for weight loss!

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  8. Swissy - I'm glad you are aware of it then - thanks. How does that happen?

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  9. I knew him as Father Dudley. He was a Priest at St. Edwards at the time (Bloomington, MN). He stopped by our house 4 or times that I recall. He and my mom would sit by the pool talking and laughing at the antics of us kids (8 at the time; later to be 12). I have the utmost respect for all memories of his quiet chuckles, calm spirit and while I've since left the Catholic Church - remember Father Dudley as one of the reasons I might have stayed in. RIP Bishop Dudley. And (based on what I saw) - shame on any one that would suggest harm to children.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. I am so sad his name is being dragged through the mud once again.

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  10. Bishop Paul Dudley, pray for us.

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Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.