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As Though We Hadn’t Seen Enough

  /   Sunday August 22, 2004  

I’ve been light on blog entries for a while. I’ve been quite preoccupied. My computer is now almost fully restored. I did some reading this weekend, and I almost wish I hadn’t. By now, you may have already read about the whole fiasco surrounding Deal Hudson. If not, I won’t post a link to that disgusting article in the National Catholic Distorer . . . I mean Reporter. It was far more graphic than it needed to be. If you want to read some takes on this, read Domenico Bettinelli’s posts here, here, and here. Jeff Miller writes here.

It’s hard for me to know what to think, and I doubt that I have all the facts. The NCR has no trouble defending the dissentors; it is well know that they wrote a defense of Archbishop Weakland. However, when someone like Deal Hudson is involved, look what happens. Given that this is an event, not known to be repeated, that happened over ten years ago, I have a hard time understanding how this is not detraction. What purpose could this possibly serve?

Here are my thoughts:

First, we as orthodox Catholics must be careful of two things. We can’t excuse or deny his sin because he is one of “our guys.” This is one of the things that we don’t tolerate from the dissentors. We can’t write this off as false accusation, as outrageous as the description of the conduct is. We also should not be unduly harsh in order to appease the media. We our here to serve Our Lord, not the newspapers, television shows, etc. Remember that we have only one side of the story. Even if we had both sides, the amount of alcohol reportedly consumed is likely to distort the telling of the facts.

Second, there is a difference between a repented past sin and a past or continuing sin that is either being denied, downplayed, or defended. Dr. Hudson has done something to make satisfaction. He lost his position at Fordham and paid a settlement to the victim and has faced his family. He is no longer in the type of position he was in. He isn’t defending his conduct, and we have no evidence that he has repeated the act. If he were still actively engaged in the sin, the NCR would have a point well made.

Third, the fact that this sin happened after his conversion is not necessarily of the consequence that some would have it. I say this as someone who has needed and still needs reconversion. I’m not trying to make light of this and say “Oh, we’re all sinners,” but even for a sin this serious, there is forgiveness. Satisfaction must be made. The sin must be stopped. As of this writing, we have no reason to believe that this hasn’t been done.

Fourth, I think it’s difficult to say how much a person should be held accountable for past sins. There are some things that are so serious that we can never put a person in a position to do them again. There should also be a limit to the number of second chances, purely for reasons of protection of people. In most cases, a person should have to demonstrate a serious desire and ability to change for an appropriate period of time. For example, a young man with a history of sexual sin should not be admitted directly into the seminary. However, some such men may be admitted after having been chaste for a period of time, depending on the situation. I wouldn’t advocate putting Dr. Hudson back as a professor, but letting him do what he is currently doing with Crisis shouldn’t be prevented by his past sin.

Fifth, we must all be careful not to commit sins of rash judgment, detraction, calumny, etc. ourselves. These are grave matter by nature. You know what that means.

Finally, we must pray for both Dr. Hudson and the young lady involved. This we must do regardless of their motives. God has not abandoned with one of them. Neither should we. Prayer must be our recourse anytime something like this happens.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



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