The gauche that haunts me

Not sure how kosher it is to mention our own work on this website but I’ve been up late for the last few nights pounding out a few drafts of a story on the Deal Hudson flap for the website of The American Spectator. The tawdry tale is of interest for several reasons, including a few which have yet to be explored by the senior bloggers of this site.

For what it’s worth, I agree with Jeff Sharlet that the media has not given enough coverage to this story, both when it first broke in August and now in what appears to be its final act.

In August, the New York Times covered the story but it did so by assigning conservative primatologist David Kirkpatrick to do the honors. I have nothing against Kirkpatrick (fine reporter, interesting writer, etc.) but by tapping its man on the conservative beat to cover the story, the Times effectively said that it wasn’t interested in digging any further.

This time around, the Washington Times had a great story by Julia Duin and the Washington Post ran a brief item on page A9, buried under a notice about Senator John Kerry’s gains among Jewish voters. A restricted Nexis search for “Deal w/1 Hudson” for the last 60 days turned up only 44 items, many of those brief items in religion news digests.

It’s a shame that more reporters didn’t dig deeper because the best conflicts tend to be religious squabbles. Two things I tried to capture in my Spectator piece:

* The National Catholic Reporter scoop was made possible not by opposition researchers at, say, Catholics for Choice, but by conservative Catholics with axes to grind. Once Hudson’s charges of partisanship have had time to settle, it’s pretty clear that Deal was done in by his own crowd’s willingness to stick in the dagger.

* The revelations brough out some interesting — some would say troubling — strains of traditionalist Catholic thinking.

On this second point, Mark Shea wrote an article for the Catholic Exchange that is worth quoting at length:

I suppose, from a purely journalistic perspective, untrammeled by all that stuff about the Sacrament of Confession, teaching against the sin of detraction, teaching on charity, the centrality of the family and the rest, a reporter could evoke the all-excusing genie of the “Public’s Right to Know” as a “reason” for this contemptible hit piece written with no other object in mind than to destroy somebody whose politics are inimical to the editorial posture of the National “Catholic” Reporter.

But the National “Catholic” Reporter is supposed to be, well, Catholic. It is supposed to shed the light of Catholic Social Teaching so that those Awful Right-Wingers who practice the politics of personal destruction will understand true Peace and Justice. Yet viewed from a Catholic rather than a purely journalistic perspective, I can see no justification whatsoever for this shameful slime job. None.

Shea went on to argue, in all seriousness, that the Reporter‘s reporting violated the Sacrament of Confession. Over at the Envoy weblog (which doesn’t have permalinks) Patrick Madrid didn’t go quite as far but raised questions that the story might promote the sin of detraction.

Right now, most everybody who voiced objection to the Reporter story is backtracking but the opposition to the the idea of the story even being exposed in the first place was both real and deeply felt. Interviewing Patrick Madrid for the story (and I’d like to break from journalistic objectivity for a second to say that he came across as the nicest guy) I asked him if there was a tension between Catholicism and journalism. It is to his credit, I think, that he paused and then answered honestly: “I don’t think there’s a tension between Catholicism and good journalism.” Later in the same exchange, he said that he spoke up because he wanted to discourage “needless trafficking in the details” of the story, particularly the salacious aspects.

Rod Dreher, outspoken crunchy conservative Catholic assistant editorial page editor at the Dallas Morning News, had a different point of view. In an e-mail he replied to Shea’s original broadside:

What it gets down to is this question: Can one be both a good journalist and a good Catholic? I fail to see why a journalist, Catholic or not, has to pay any attention to whether or not a public figure like Deal Hudson has gone to confession over his sins. The issue in this case was the sordid and abusive past of a conservative Catholic leader who had placed himself in an advisory capacity to the president of the United States, specifically in an effort to get him re-elected by telling him how to appeal to Catholics. That’s a news story.

You think?

Print Friendly

  • Fr. Rob Johansen

    “…most everybody who voiced objection to the Reporter story is backtracking…”

    I don’t know who the “everybody” is, but I haven’t backed down a bit in my opinion of the original NCR hit piece: It was detraction, pure and simple.

    And I’m pretty sure that Mark Shea hasn’t “backed down” either.

  • Dave Mueller

    I think that most of the complaints were due to the fact that this was then viewed as an isolated incident. To dredge up a single indiscretion from the not so recent past which had been atoned for, both spiritually and materially, would definitely be detraction. Journalists do not have moral carte blanche to report on anything they know, any more than scientists have moral carte blanche to do any experiment simply because they have the technical knowledge to do so.

    If, however, we are dealing with a continuing pattern of abusive behavior, then the issue becomes something different. It is probably not the sin of detraction, but could be justified as a warning to women and those who may be supporting him.

    Deal is making himself look worse by trying to put a positive spin on his actions, only to have it contradicted the next day.

  • Brenda

    “News story” or not, what I continue to hear is that even though a ten year old sin was confessed and repented,there is no real absolution in THIS world! Deal Hudson will be made to pay and repay for as long as he lives and wherever he goes.It apparently doesn’t matter that Deal became advisor to the president on the Catholic vote YEARS after the Fordham incident, and LONG after he had repented and was forgiven, by God, at least.

  • Todd

    Peace, all.

    Jeremy and Dave seem to have a more sensible take on this than Fr Rob and Mark. It is very likely Feuerherd held back much of the rumor and innuendo coming from Deal’s ideological allies, concentrating instead on what was part of the public record. I think those who are complaining about detraction and “sacrilege” are protesting a bit too strongly on Deal’s behalf.

    Detraction implies a person who exposes faults has no “objectively valid reason.” If Feuerherd has information, but no proof of other abusive tendencies in Hudson’s recent past, then NCR indeed might have a valid reason for going to print. Deal’s preemptive damage control lessens the charge of detraction for obvious reasons. His peculiar attempts to advance spin his scandal do not show him in a good light. He is no victim and if he has anything to say about it, it will stay that way.

  • al

    What is Mark’s “bizzare expansive interpretation of the Sacrament of Confession”? His account of detraction? The limitations on journalists and others seem pretty clearly enunciated in the tradition “When, however, knowledge of the happening is possessed only by the members of a particular community or society, such as a college or monastery and the like, it would not be lawful to publish the fact to others than those belonging to such a body. Finally, even when the sin is in no sense public, it may still be divulged without contavening the virtues of justice or charity whenever such a course is for the common weal or is esteemed to make for the good of the narrator, of his listeners, or even of the culprit. The right which the latter has to an asumed good name is extinguished in the presence of the benefit which may be conferred in this way.

    The employment of this teaching, however, is limited by a twofold restriction. (1) The damage which one may soberly apprehend as emerging from the failure to reveal another’s sin or vicious propensity must be a notable one as contrasted with the evil of defamation. (2) No more in the way of exposure should be done than is required, and even a fraternal admonition ought rather to be substituted if it can be discerned to adequately meet the needs of the situation. Journalists are entirely within their rights in inveighing against the official shortcomings of public men. Likewise, they may lawfully present whatever information about the life or character of a candidate for public office is necessary to show his unfitness for the station he seeks.”

  • Christopher Rake

    Jeremy, I think there’s a significant problem with your American Spectator story: It doesn’t recognize the Washington Times story as “new news.”

    The NCR story, like yours, did refer to some conservative Catholics’ longstanding disdain for Hudson. But the core of NCR’s piece was the release of all the sordid details of Hudson’s offense at Fordham. One can certainly make the case that Hudson had painted a much less damaging picture of what had actually happened back then, thus justifying publication of the story. But I think any Catholic who wants to argue that Hudson had already paid for that sin is on solid ground. In that light, the NCR story can easily be indicted as a hit-piece that does, as Mark said, undermine Catholic views about the possibility of confession, penance and rehabilitation.

    What you don’t mention in the Spectator piece is the following from the Times:

    >>In addition, specific accusations of more recent sexual misconduct had come to the board’s attention, one scholar said.

    “This was not about one incident 10 years ago,” he said. “It’s surprising it was held down as long as it was….<<

    Hudson’s resignation (at least according to this story) wasn’t merely the result of long-simmering opposition dating back to the NCR story–it was the outcome of accusations of continued harassment of women. No wonder the wagons have returned to the trail.

    A separate quibble about your description of the withdrawal of the Catholic League’s press release supporting Hudson: If I recall correctly, it was withdrawn primarily because of its description of Hudson’s victim at Fordam as a drunk, suggesting a blame-the-victim defense.

  • Victor Morton


    You have defended the public outing of all homosexuals, under the second sentence of the quotation: even private sin “may still be divulged without contravening the virtues of justice or charity whenever such a course is for the common weal or is esteemed to make for the good of the narrator, of his listeners, or even of the culprit.” That sentence, plus (1) about the good consequences outweighing the bad consequences … they basically create exceptions that swallow the rule.

  • John P Sheridan

    Mr. Lott,

    Is the implication in the National Review article that Peggy Noonan, et al., refused to accept the award from Crisis because Hudson was still affiliated with the magazine?

  • Jeremy Lott


    National Review article? The only National Review article on this subject that I’m aware of is Hudson’s original defense. If you meant the Washington Times article then, yes, that was the implication.


  • al


    I have defended the public outing of homosexuals who have fraudulently insinuated themselves into the priesthood, and to those parties (landlords, parents of children) who have a right to know, in virtue of the exercise of their responsibilities. I never defended public outing as a punitive measure.

    Since the divulging of these details wasn’t fraternal correction (to Deal Hudson’s benefit) then it must be considered to what responsibility or vulnerability was the divulging of Hudson’s transgression ordained, and who was the duly constituted authority empowered to look to that end.

    If it was simply to protect future potential victims, I hardly think that qualifies as a defense, since he’s not a sex “criminal” (unlike sodomites, who are). If the part of the “commonweal”, then, that was aimed at was removing him from a position of public responsibility, first, on the definition of journalism that your are advancing–as free and not directed specifically toward the common good (ie at the disposal of the public authority), his position could not be seen as a “public” one, since he had no public authority (aside from what his readers, and the Bush reelection committee decided to give him).

    Secondly, however, even if there was some kind of responsibility, revealing details about this matter is aimed at removing him from his position(s) not at affording people information necessary to the exercise of their responsibilities. If this is the case, then this is just ends justifying the means by those who have usurped to themselves the authority of deciding who is to be “opinionmakers.”

    Now you know I have no interest in seeing Mr. Hudson retain his reputation as an “opinionmaker”, believing as I do, that he flouted the Holy Father on the matter of Just War Doctrine. Nevertheless, the way to counteract that bad witness, I am sure, is to dispute his point, not to go ad hominem and discredit his person. Were he a politician it would be a different matter, as the Catholic Encyclopedia article cited makes clear.

  • Rod Dreher

    Amy Welborn (and others) picked up on a telling aspect of the reaction to these Hudson stories.

    When NCR published its initial expose, a number of conservative Catholics had a fit over what they saw as the unjustified airing of salacious details re: Hudson’s sexual encounter with his student.

    But when Julia Duin published her story in the Wash. Times, the same people, more or less, had a fit over the lack of detail in that story, and said it was therefore impossible to believe.

    I think that reaction says more about some conservative Catholics than it does about either Julia Duin or Joe Feuerherd’s reporting.

  • Cheeky Lawyer

    All of this has me reexamining my thoughts on what is fit to print. I wonder now about some of the salacious stuff that was revealed about Bill Clinton. I continue to believe that the NCR should not have published this article. I also continue to believe that Hudson should never have been in such a public position.

    Brenda, you and I are not called to absolve Deal. That’s God’s task. Forgiveness does not equal lack of consequences. What is so difficult about the concept that Deal Hudson should not have involved himself in public life after his date-rape of that student? It’s called common-sense and discretion. Hudson demonstrated none of this. While we had no right to hear about his sins, he should not have put Crisis and the Church in such a place. If you have something in your background such as this, perhaps you should rethink whether you are called to such a public life.

  • al

    That’s a specious argument–they’re different wrongs, one’s detraction, the other is (potentially) slander or innuendo, and so merit different reactions.

    I say this as someone who objected to both stories on the basis of detraction.

  • Victor Morton


    On outing: If “parents of children” have a right to know that someone is a homosexual, then that turns your apparently narrowly-exceptional category into a universal. Everybody knows parents, and so the closet is impossible on those terms, and all homos should be outed.

    On sex “criminal”: How is Hudson not a sex “criminal,” except under a narrowly-legal-positivistic sense that I know you’re not using (because homosexuals aren’t sex criminals in that sense either)? Hudson committed a grave offense against persons that resulted in punitive action by two duly-constituted authorities (Fordham, the civil courts). And the columnists and the Crisis board learned of new “crimes” against other persons (“victims”) and acted according to *their* authority (to demand his removal, to remove him). All TWT has ever done is report on what these due authorities are doing and why, so it’s not different from reporting on the Scott Peterson or Kobe Bryant trials. And if such a staple of everyday journalism as trial coverage is detraction in itself (which I am convinced is where this argument goes) … that’s such a radical statement bud, since no Catholic could ever be a journalist, that I’d want to hear it from a duly-constituted authority greater than yourself (no offense).

    The “definition [I am] advancing” is yours, not mine, and it definitely takes into account consequences as morally enabling (so don’t give me this “ends justifies the means” bogey-man). The problem is that no journalist is ever a public authority, in the narrow sense you seem to be using. Further, the existing “free” liberal American regime also is not “specifically directed to the common good,” in the sense I think you mean, so any disqualifying argument you’d make against journalists revealing any of these details on these grounds, is also an argument against the current regime doing … well, anything. So basically, nothing bad can ever be printed about anyone, and the American government can’t do anything — on these terms. Those are such radical statements bud, that I’d want to hear them from a duly-constituted authority greater than yourself (no offense).

  • al


    I meant parents vis a vis teachers or tenants.

    And both of those duly constituted authorities specified confidentiality as part of their remedy.

    Finally, all regimes are aimed at the common good, whether they acknowledge it or not (and I think ours would, even if the more unreserved secularist would attempt to deny it). The ends justifying the means is that the specific remedy (exposure) is not aimed at the specific problem (removing someone from a position of distinction).

    In the case of an elected politician, it is, because you are revealing something germane to the voter’s exercise of his or her responsibility.

  • al

    Also: the justification for revealing “sex criminals” is the recidivism rate, combined with the victimization–the person habituated to deviant sexuality (rape, sodomy, pederasty) is less able to control his passions, and more likely to vicimize again, as opposed to someone who is merely incompetent.

  • Brigid

    “Morley Institute or Morley Publishing Group?” may make it appear to some that they are “utterly independent” but when one reads Hudson’s e-mail last week, one gets a different angle:

    “I’ll become the Director of the newly stablished Morley Institute. The Institute will have two major functions: 1) To provide continued funding for CRISIS magazine and, 2) To support several new projects that I’ve wanted to pursue for some time.”

    How has he “left” the building? Sounds like he’s still pretty involved to me! Not a “golden parachute” but a “you can’t get rid of me so easily ’cause you cannot prove it ’cause it’s her word against mine parachute.”

    Hudson just needs to go away. But he refuses.

  • Dave Mueller


    It wasn’t the lack of detail that folks were complaining about in the 2nd article. It was the fact that the way the article was worded, it basically seemed like rumor spreading.

    It was certainly not clear to me from reading the Wash. times article that any further accusations had been *substantiated*, just that there had been some accusations. So there was complaining about that – “why are they making accusations public?”

    Now if in fact there are further *substantiated* indiscretions by Deal, then my complaint is only that the wording of the story isn’t more clear.

    Please, we don’t need details of sex positions, etc. Just to know that Deal has a pattern of sexually abusive behavior towards women in his sphere of influence is enough.

  • Kathleen


    I don’t think people who are uneasy with the WT (and I am still uneasy with it) article want details, they want proof. Who did the times speak to or at least the number of allegations. I also don’t like the way the article implies it spoke to all of the mentioned people but doesn’t have direct quotes except from Dr. McInerney.

    I still don’t know if Peggy Noonan bailed from the dinner because of this.

  • Victor Morton


    “Finally, all regimes are aimed at the common good, whether they acknowledge it or not…”

    Ah, but you said “not directed specifically toward the common good…” and surrounded in context by sentences about legitimate and due authority. So I thought the word “specifically” mattered.

    And see, now that the camel’s nose is in the tent, we can talk about the structure of the American regime and its liberal philosophical underpinnings as having at least some morally-enabling force (since, like all regimes, it’s in the service of the common good, its structures and particulars have to serve that common good in the same sense that the regime as a whole does). And yes, the structure of the American regime grants a privileged position to the press — the constitution protects “freedom of the press,” but not “freedom of tennis” or “freedom of contract” or “freedom of sex” (though our current judges are working mightily on that last one). That privilege is based on the belief that the common good is more often served when public discussion of public figures is free and unfettered, than by the contrary presumption, which, becuase unchecked power corrupts, serves to enable behind-closed-doors skullduggery, lying and fraud, glad-handing corruption, insider favoritism and certain forms of demogoguery.

    Even apart from that, if an institution can be ordered to the common good without being specifically ordered to the common good, then it also becomes a lot less necessary to justify each professional act outside the ethos of that instution, since presumably the institution’s ethics are what serve the common good. And it becomes nonsense to complain that “the specific remedy (exposure) is not aimed at the specific problem (removing someone from a position of distinction),” since the regime presumption is that a system of exposure encourages good behavior.

    As for your second note, about types of sex offenses — are those empirical, testable propositions or Thomistic a priorisms? Cuz I really really REALLY doubt that recidivism is higher for rapists than for adulterers or gropers.

  • al


    I might agree with you that the press constitutes some kind of “regime” (as in a tyrannical one) but that’s not a precise use of the term. Clearly it is at most an “institution”.

    But as a part of our system, it is then subject to the public authority, in as much as things can only be directed to the Common Good in virtue of being directed by an authority–things and people don’t spontaneously organize themselves with respect to the common good, this is the Calvinistic error concerning “Christian Liberty”. This can be by the press in virtue of their recognition of prinicple like detraction and self censuring or, as it was in the ancien regime, it can be by the Public Authority’s direct oversight over the press.

    So yes indeed, the camels nose is inside the tent, and if the press styles itself part of those charged with observing the common weal, then it is bound not by a liberal notion of its duty to print “all the news . . . ” but rather that news relevant to the pursuit of the common weal, beyond that is detraction. You can have it both ways. Either the press is a wholly private institution, or it is bound to observe responsibly the rational measure of acts–right reason, not some kind of market driven (what sells papers) or ultimately liberal (indifferent to ends) criteria.

    And so on this: “That privilege is based on the belief that the common good is more often served when public discussion of public figures is free and unfettered, than by the contrary presumption, which, becuase unchecked power corrupts”

    No. Sin corrupts. And the common good is served by GOOD or JUST or RESPONSIBLE public discussion of public figures, not free and unfettered. Because “free and unfettered” does not produce the good.

    Reason does, under the influence of Grace.

  • Kathleen

    Also, one other question Rod. On another blog (I think Dom’s) you referred to a prominent member of the heirarchy who has done some pretty awful stuff. I have heard the same details. It’s known all over the D.C. area in fact. Is the Dallas Morning News or better, the WT going to finally print this story since there are really good unnamed sources?

  • Brenda

    Cheeky Lawyer, granted, forgiveness does not equate with lack of consequences. However, must the consequences be endless? The man has lost his reputation, his job, and has been repeatedly publicly humiliated! Is there no end? Yes, Deal brought ignominy on himself by choosing to lead a very public existence knowing well that there was a “skeleton” is his closet. However, I maintain that the latest “news” is no news at all but rather unsubstantiated allegations made by somehow “credible sources?” While those on the blog banter back and forth about journalistic license a man’s future is at stake. He is being raked over the coals. Yes, deservedly for the Fordham incident, but not for innuendo spread by those who’s aim is clearly to see him banished from public life! Where is the proof of these “new” sexual misconduct allegations? Somebody show us if it truly exists! Otherwise, can we all endeavor to find something better to do with our time than participate in the destruction of another human being.

  • Bob Smietana

    “If you’re going to play in the sandbox . . . then you have to take the consequences of your public utterances and your public actions.”

    Deal Hudon on the firing of Ono Eko, a 33 year old father of two, was fired for running a pro-Kerry Website


    Hudson reaped what he sowed. Blaming NCR for his downfall is missing the point.

  • Dave Mueller


    I don’t really think that Deal’s actions, as bad as they were in the Fordham case, constitute a “public action”. Running a website is a public action; trading sexual favors is not.

    I’m not saying that Deal doesn’t deserve any punishment; *IF* there is a pattern of abuse, he does.

    What I am saying is that your comparison does not fly.

  • amy

    Brenda, what I don’t understand about your stance is that you presume our knowledge identical to the Crisis board’s knowledge. We may not know the substance to any more recent allegations of any sort against Hudson, but perhaps the board does? Perhaps that’s why they acted? Perhaps those accusations are not so insubstantial to them?

    Has the Crisis board, or any of those named, refuted the Times account?

  • Bob Smietana


    Isn’t Hudson’s statement about Eko, and his role in Eko’s firing a public action? If Joe Feuerherd from NCR is telling the truth, it was his conversation with Hudson about Eko that eventually led to the investigation of the Fordham incident.

  • Dave Mueller

    Deal was saying that if you do public actions which are in variance with Catholic teaching (posting a pro-Kerry website) you can be held responsible for it. Posting a website is a public action. Everyone can see it.

    Trading sexual favors is not a public action, so I don’t think that Deal’s own statement about “taking the consequences of your public utterances and public actions” is really applicable against him.

    For sure, one has to take the consequences of their private actions, too, once someone has outed them.

  • Lee

    Those who live by the Culture War, and exploit it for their ends, shall fall by the Culture War.

    That isn’t detraction, it’s justice.


  • Bob Smietana


    Your point is well taken and more clearly stated than mine was. Here’s what I was trying to say. Hudson played a key role in getting Ono Eko fired, and showed no grace towards Eko, and no remorse for his role in that public action. In fact, reading his comment, I get the impression that Hudson was ruthless in the matter. He did this despite knowing he had an enormous skeleton in his closet.

    Fair enough. But since he gave no quarter, he could expect no quarter from the press, who were just following his example.

    Hudson’s fall brings to mind the parable of the ungrateful servant from Matthew 18. He had been forgiven a major indiscretion, and was shown mercy and allowed a major role in public life despite his past. He misused that role to take down Eko, whose failing (running a proKerry website) was trivial compared to Hudson’s sexual harrasment. In doing so he set in motion the events that led to his downfall.

  • Tom Harmon


    Key difference: Hudson repented, confessed, and made reparations with his victim. Ekeh was (and still is) unrepentant.

    If, in fact, there is proof that Hudson has had similar indiscretions sicne, then you ahve a case. But, there is no proof, only unsubstantiated rumor.

  • SiliconValleySteve

    “Trading sexual favors”

    The act at Fordham was so much more than that. Have we forgotten the actual case.

  • Rod Dreher

    Kathleen: Also, one other question Rod. On another blog (I think Dom’s) you referred to a prominent member of the heirarchy who has done some pretty awful stuff. I have heard the same details. It’s known all over the D.C. area in fact. Is the Dallas Morning News or better, the WT going to finally print this story since there are really good unnamed sources?

    I know the DMN wouldn’t publish that, Kathleen, unless the Vatican had decided to remove this member of the hierarchy under a cloud of suspicion. Even then we might not choose to publish it, depending on how much we were able to determine, and from how many sources, as well as the quality of those sources.

    We don’t know what kind of information Julia Duin and her editors had to work with. We do know that the Crisis board moved to remove Deal Hudson, and that several unnamed sources said there had been other allegations made against him. If I’m recalling the TWT story correctly, this “other allegations” claim was made with direct reference to why the board chose to remove him as publisher. It is possible — indeed, I’d say likely — that the Times was able to connect the dots by hearing the same thing from multiple trustworthy sources. Mind you, that’s not as desirable as having on-the-record sources, but the Times gambled that this story wouldn’t be contradicted.

    That gamble appears to have been a solid bet. No one to my knowledge has contradicted Julia Duin’s reporting.

    I do think it’s kind of chickens**t for prominent Catholics to tell reporters all kinds of dirt on Deal Hudson, but not be man (or woman) enough to put their names to their accusations. But this is how we Catholics are, it seems. If I had a dollar for every time a Catholic source with hot information said to me, “Now, I can’t tell you this on the record, but…,” I’d be able to afford myself one of those fancypants clergy residences in Orange County.

  • Brenda

    It seems to me that the board of CRISIS magazine, though they haven’t come forward to publicly support Deal, has indeed indicated their continued faith in him. Deal indicated in his resignation letter that he would, in his new position, be fund raising for CRISIS magazine.If the CRISIS board considered Deal to be of such reprehensible character then why would they support him in this endeavor? Maybe they did think that for the good of the magazine Deal should resign based on the Fordham incident, but gave little credence to the “new” allegations against him. Maybe they really are an astute group of individuals!

  • Father Ethan

    I’m would not be surprise if the NCR scoop was from conservatives with axes to grind. I think NCR is telling the truth. I have a list of about 20 conservatives Catholics who have never liked Deal Hudson. There are several traditional Catholic publications that have continually criticised Hudson. Granted, Hudson has had some major flops trying to defend Bush and the GOP. Hudson was always his own man, a conservative who never was a traditionalist, and who wanted to bring swing-voting Catholic voters (who are not traditionalists) away from Democratic party into the Republican party. If you take a survey of influential conservative Catholic thinkers and journalists in New York and in Washington D.C., I think you will find that most of them are staunch traditionalists, attend the Tridentine Mass, who want to turn the Republican party to the right, and continue to build up the traditionalist Catholic influence in politics and religion. Let me know if you think I am wrong.

  • Frank

    Here are some key questions going forward, questions that a good Catholic journalist should be working on….

    What does Hudson’s most recent email mean?

    Was this email approved by the Crisis board?

    Is the Crisis board happy with Deal’s email?

    Does the board believe Deal misrepresented his future role?

    What is his future role?

    What about the six writers who complained?

    Are they happy with Deal’s characterization of his future role?

    Is Hudson far enough from Crisis for these key writers to return?

  • al

    Fr. Ethan.

    “If you take a survey of influential conservative Catholic thinkers and journalists in New York and in Washington D.C., I think you will find that most of them are staunch traditionalists, attend the Tridentine Mass, who want to turn the Republican party to the right, and continue to build up the traditionalist Catholic influence in politics and religion. Let me know if you think I am wrong.”

    I’d say there’s and effective split between the Catholic neoconservatives (Fr. Neuhaus, Hudson, Weigel, Novak and some others) and the more traditionalist Catholic movement (the Wanderer, The Remnant, New Oxford Review, Buchanan, Sobran, Fleming. . . .) which infact does hinge on “traditionalism” and one’s attitude towards it–basically the neoconservatives taking the postition that Modernity, or the Enlightenment, or Classical Liberalism as a legitimate insight to offer to “Tridentine” Catholicism, and the “traditionalists” taking issue with that to one degree or another.

    It just seems that in this instance, the “traditionalists” had little influence over Hudson’s downfall.

  • carol mckinley


    You’re all over town babes!!

    I have some key questions for Catholic journalists to be working on as well….

    As the girlie men move forward with their kangaroo courts…

    What’s the difference between hearsay and evidence?

    Who has the mind of God to know when it is one word against another?

    What’s the role of laity in examining hearsay and seeking judgements based upon it?

    If someone doesn’t like ya – and they work hard to spread gossip around town so that others won’t like ya – - are we gonig to get the chance to refute the hearsay?

    Can we at least set up conference calls when somebody tells what somebody else said that somebody thinks and asks others what they think should be done about it?

    What is the statute of limitations after conversion?

    If a person is “clean” five years and is teaching the true faith – and somebody rounds up the girlie men to review your life – is that going to be enough to retain our right to teach the faith?

    If not – then ten years?

    Is there going to be a heirarchy of sins?

    Does murdering an unborn child count?

    What rights under Canon 216 does laity have against the National Catholic Reporter (hint! hint!)

    Who, under the system that Christ set up has the authority to review hearsay and evidence?

    What are we going to call our new accusations teams?

  • carol mckinley


    This is fun!!!!

  • carol mckinley

    I just had an epiphany!!

    Lets call the accusations teams…

    “The American Spectators”!

    We can get them wigs and stuff..gavels.

  • opie

    “though they haven’t come forward to publicly support Deal,”


    has indeed indicated their continued faith in him.”


    Deal indicated in his resignation letter that he would, in his new position, be fund raising for CRISIS magazine.If the CRISIS board considered Deal to be of such reprehensible character then why would they support him in this endeavor?


    Maybe they did think that for the good of the magazine Deal should resign based on the Fordham incident, but gave little credence to the “new” allegations against him.


    Maybe they really are an astute group of individuals!



  • lawyer phil

    To St. Augustine and the Communion of Saints – Cheeky has some news for you:

    “If you have something in your background such as this, perhaps you should rethink whether you are called to such a public life.”

    We will give you the honor of going through the Vatican Archives and removing the honors.

    That fitting?

  • Bob Smietana

    From: St Augustine

    To: Deal Hudson and all the saints

    Honesty is the best policy. Spill the beans, come clean, tell all. It’s the best way to be forgiven.

    Then don’t be such a sh-t to your fellow sinners.

    Glad I didn’t live in the internet age.

  • Brenda

    Thanks, Opie, with all this conjecture flying around it seems to me that the only people in the “know,” were the CRISIS board members. They must have thoroughly reviewed all the pertinent information surrounding the “new” allegations of sexual misconduct and found them sadly lacking in credibility. That’s all the evidence I need. No board would support a primary fund raiser they didn’t have faith in or trust. The CRISIS board was Deal’s judge and jury, and they found him innocent of any “further” wrongdoing. Why can’t the rest of you?

  • Frank

    Hudson was let go by the board. It is only HIS characterization that he will be in any fundraising role for Crisis Magazine. If the board found there was nothing to the additional charges, he would have been left exactly where he was, as publisher of Crisis.

    Likey in the coming days, there will be a clarfication of his typical disingenuous email and we will discover that his new post is a short-term golden parachute and that he will have no role at all in Crisis or the Morley Publishing Group.

    (Remember back in August on Amy’s site I suggested there would be other charges?)

  • lawyer phil

    To: Bob Smittena

    From: St. Augusting, Deal Hudson and the those journeying towards sainthood

    So your point was to muck up Deal’s life because he/we are being sh_ts to the murdering baby killers and it was to be a lesson to the rest of us.

    You want to be free to murder and this was supposed to be a lesson to the rest of us.

    The difference is, the lairs and murderers aren’t to be the ones in control of the USCCB and the Magisterium.

    Deal was teaching truth.

    Get it?

    You are sh_t out of luck. We are coming to get the rest of you with more determination than we’ve ever had before.

    I heard there’s an awful lot of phone calls going back and forth between the “American Spectators” today and yesterday. Some of your wagons have stopped circling us and there’s infighting.

    Good news indeed.

  • lawyer phil


    I don’t think you get it.

    Nobody gives a sh_t.

    Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton are living proof. Kerry too, from the book coming out shortly, right?

    Did it take since August to round someone up?

  • Frank

    Is it just me? or would someone mind translating lawyer phil for me?

  • tmatt


    Any idea why our first post on the Deal Hudson case drew zippo commentary and this one went out the roof? Who is this Jeremy Lott guy? ;-)

  • Brenda

    Frank,was Deal “let go” by the board, or did he resign as he said he did? You know, as a reader of CRISIS magazine for many years, I’ve seen the magazine flourish in a way it never did before his taking over as publisher/editor. My reaction is that CRISIS is immensely dear to Deal and its staff as well. I choose to believe that to protect CRISIS,its staff, and its mission, Deal “resigned.” Based on the incident at Fordham and the backlash the magazine could experience with his continued leadership, he did the right thing. However, Deal says in his letter that he will be conducting fund raising for CRISIS. Surely this was cleared by the board before Deal’s letter was sent out.

  • Frank

    I serously doubt his email was approved by the board. In fact, I am pretty sure it was not.

    And remember just a few weeks ago that Deal was talking about the outpouring of support he was receiving? He was hoping to ride all those emails of support right between the rocks of this crisis. But two things happend. First, the senior writers revolted, and second, other charges were leveled. Did the board allow him to resign rahter than fire him? Sure. But make no mistake, he had no choice.

  • Victor Morton


    I’m curious about one thing — why do you label “Christian liberty” as “Calvinist.” That just sounds odd. On what do you base this categorization (the term “Calvinist” is not synonymous with “Protestant”)? Is it familiarity with actual Reformed theologians — if so, who? I believe Luther, not Calvin, was the man who originated the phrase, after all. And (to this Papist) the doctrine sits more easily alongside Methodism and other forms of Protestantism that cluster toward the Arminian pole, rather than forms like Calvinism that have doctrines of Original Sin that teach that the effects are “stronger” (weasel word, I admit, but no very good synonym comes to mind, and I’m not competent to speak in technical terms).

    But I was sufficiently unsure that I waited a day until I could ask a Protestant theology professor whom I know. She wrote me back: “But if this were a multiple choice question on the GRE, I’d answer ‘Methodist.’ It’s not that Calvinism is incompatible with liberty, as I know you would be able to argue, too, but that one doesn’t encounter a theme of Christian liberty as much in Reformed-influenced politics as one would in politics influenced by the second wave of reformers, including the Wesleys.”

  • carol mckinley


    Why on earth are you asking FRANK??

    Is making sense to you?

    Sweet Baby Jesus – snap out of it.

    He’s making this out to look like Deal is a sexual predator – the Board held a trial and listened to evidence (Robbie George, Fr. Neuhaus and George Weigel were in on it) and came to the conclusion that he is sexually dangerous and so they all decided that needed to go. He now says they did let him go and Deal willy nilly sent out an email without their approval saying things that are not true.

    He says that Deal has no support. But nearly the entire West Wing of the White House made it a point to show up to support him at the Dinner. His wife, all his friends and his staff, collegeus who work with him on an every day basis… are standing by him.

    Now, why would we all do such a thing?

    Do you think we are all clueless and Frank, who posts here anonymously, is in the know?

    Julia and whoever her source is can say that there were lots of empty tables at the dinner – but the 350 people who were there, know its a lie. That strengthens us, believe it or not – - because all 350 now know that she is not acting in good faith – something stinks…and whatever else she is saying likely isn’t true either. She has just proven her colors to 350 movers and shakers in the RCC…who are running circles of warriors on the frontlines and grassroots.

    You couldn’t possibly work at the level we are working and not know the character of the people whom you’ve had to entrust the custody of the Deposit of Faith.

    The armchair warriors who signed up on the vigilante crusade aren’t privy to who Deal Hudson is. They are a-sitting and a-thinking and a-writing.

    Marvelous though writing is – those of us who are doing more than writing – who are in the trenches side by side…..I think its fair to say we know each other a little more than someone who is sitting in front a computer writing about what other people are doing. We are the ones doing it.

    Remember over at Amy’s when Brigid posted that “the struggle for power isn’t over”?

    That is what this is about Brenda – its a struggle for power and when they want to knock somebody out, its ugly.

    In this case, they have to run around and try to exploit, lie, exaggerate and put out their spin.

    Sometimes good people can get persuaded and be taken in by it. But eventually, good people, begin to see the lies and the motives. It takes a while – people are hurt and persecuted while its going on…but eventually, the liars are exposed.

    We all know we can count on it.

    We just have to wait it out and hold onto each other through the storm. When the liars see the unity – it infuriates them…and they lie some more and they try to get others to join their crusade…but eventually its too absurd.

    That’s what’s going on here.

    I don’t know the armchair warriors who signed the letter saying they wouldn’t write if somebody had confessed a ten year old sin and have encounters that left people disgruntled.

    That just about leaves everyone in D.C out – wouldn’t you think? Forget Boston too.

    All I know is – they want to apply those rules to others – it right back at you. In due time – but that is where I am taking it. Prior to doing so, I intend to call every last one of them and put the truth on their desks. Those acting in good faith will see it. Those not, won’t.

    Usually, when the day is done…”the cheese stands alone”.

    But the next couple of months we’re going to have a lot of fun.

  • Victor Morton

    As Gen. Turgidson said in DR. STRANGELOVE:

    “We’re still working on the meaning of that late sentence.”

  • carol mckinley

    “We’re still working on the meaning of that late sentence.”

    Agree. Woe to us.

    Meanwhile – anyone see this:

  • Brenda

    Carol, I’m not “asking” Frank, whoever he is, anything. My humble intention is, however, to get him to look at the facts as they present themselves and only the facts. I too see all this mean spiritedness as a direct personal attack on Deal. Why Frank harbors such apparent scorn towards Deal one can only wonder.The more he blogs on the more apparent the motive.

  • carol mckinley

    Brenda – I know you are with the program. I’ve been following the thread.

    I was using humor with my intro

    (Why on earth are you asking FRANK??

    Is making sense to you?

    Sweet Baby Jesus – snap out of it.)

    I think we saw the motives and malice months ago.

    Why do have to keep on drinking the poison?

    It’s making all of us wiggy.

    Let’s just put out the fire and be done with it.

    Kissling is advancing while we are watching Frank and its creating a huge tornado that all of us are getting caught up into.

    Time to sit the boys down at the table and have them take accountability – and spill the beans.

    We all have decisions to make.

    I am not going along to get along.

    I can’t do it. I suspect others will follow my lead.

    Truth is taking a hit here and we are feeding him so he can attack.

    I don’t see the logic or benefit to anyone.

  • Frank

    I have been on these posts, here and at Welborn, in order that crazy partisans did not spin this sad and tawdry tale into sainthood for Hudson.

    I will end now, as I received a briefing last night and have had all of my previous questions (listed above) answered. We are satisfied that justice has been done.

    Au Revoir…

  • carol mckinley

    The CRISIS Board held a briefing for Frank and answered all of his questions – - and he and the six journalists (Weigel, Neuhaus and George) are all satisfied that justice has been done?

    That’s really special, isn’t it folks!

    He’s going to end now.

    They are all getting into BMW’s and heading for somebody else’s head.

    Alls well that ends well.


  • SiliconValleySteve

    A am satisfied that justice has been done.

  • lawyer phil

    Ah…that temporary moment when you look upon the crucified and applaud your justice.

    This is your hour. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    Ours is coming.

  • Jeremy Lott

    >Ah…that temporary moment when you look upon the >crucified and applaud your justice.

    Oh yeah, Deal Hudson is Christ.


  • Lee

    Phil: “Ah…that temporary moment when you look upon the crucified and applaud your justice. This is your hour. Enjoy it while it lasts. Ours is coming.”

    Carol: “You couldn’t possibly work at the level we are working and not know the character of the people whom you’ve had to entrust the custody of the Deposit of Faith.” and “But the next couple of months we’re going to have a lot of fun.”

    My response to both: May God deliver us from Catholic cultism!

    1. Phil says that Hudson is “the crucified” and promises vengeance: “Ours is coming”.

    2. Carol says that Hudson has “the custody of the Deposit of Faith” and likewise hints at retaliation.

    Hudson’s advocates appear to confuse him with Christ and with the Magisterium. And instead of turning the other cheek to their foes (cf. the Sermon on the Mount) they threaten retaliation.

    This is not the spirit of Christ.

    If such are Hudson’s defenders and allies, they have revealed the spirit of that faction.

    Lord, deliver us from your “followers”!


  • carol mckinley


    You have it all mixed up – which is not really your fault. It’s the Bishop’s fault.

    These men have gone against the Magisterium and we have a duty to correct it so that what we hand our children “is” the actual deposit of faith.

    This isn’t “retaliation”

    The spirit of deception is upon you.

    As Bishop Flynn said – you have invaded the custody of the faith and twisted it to make skuttlebut the same as truth.

    We have a duty to undo it.

    Call it whatever name you call it.

    But be mindful of the sin of blasphemy when you do so.

    God Bless you.

  • carol mckinley

    If you are looking for where the hints of retaliation are – check out Fatima and the last book in the Bible.


  • tmatt

    Hey, anyone here want to go back to talking about the mainstream press coverage of this issue?