Paul Vincent Dudley

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Paul Vincent Dudley (November 29, 1926 – November 20, 2006) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Sioux Falls from 1978 to 1995.

Biography[edit]

Paul Dudley was born in Northfield, Minnesota, the tenth child of Edward Austin and Margaret Ann (née Nolan) Dudley.[1] He studied at Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary and St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul before being ordained to the priesthood on June 2, 1951.[2] He then served as a curate at Annunciation Church in Minneapolis until 1964, when he was transferred to St. Patrick Church in St. Paul.[3] He became the founding pastor of St. Edward Church at Bloomington in 1967, and pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Church at Mound in 1972.[3]

On November 9, 1976, Dudley was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Titular Bishop of Ursona by Pope Paul VI.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on January 25, 1977 from Archbishop John Roach, with Archbishop Leo Binz and Bishop James Richard Ham, M.M., serving as co-consecrators, at the Basilica of St. Mary.[2] In addition to his episcopal duties, he served as pastor of St. James Church at St. Paul from 1977 to 1978.[3] Following the resignation of Bishop Lambert Anthony Hoch, Dudley was named the sixth Bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, by Pope John Paul II on November 6, 1978.[2] He was the first U.S. appointment of John Paul II, who had been elected the previous October. Dudley was later installed on December 13, 1978.[2]

During his tenure, Dudley developed several ecumenical ministries serving the poor, and fostered many retreat and spiritual renewal programs.[3] He was active in such pro-life organizations as Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, Total Life Care, and Prolife Across America.[1] He also served as episcopal moderator for Worldwide Marriage Encounter and for Teens Encounter Christ.[3] He became a beloved figure among Catholics in the diocese, and was described as "a holy man" and "a true shepherd."[4] After sixteen years as bishop, Dudley resigned on March 21, 1995.[2] He retired to the family farm in Northfield, and there served as pastor of St. Dominic Church (1995-1997).[1]

In 1999 Dudley was accused of sexually abusing two women in the 1960s and 1970s.[5][6] However, the charges were later dropped due to insufficient evidence.[5] In 2002 he was again accused of molesting an 11- or 12-year-old altar boy on four different occasions during the 1950s.[5][7][8] Following this accusation, he declared, "I totally deny these allegations. They are brutally unfounded."[5] He also decided to withdraw from "any priestly ministry" pending the conclusion of an investigation "due to the great publicity given to priests and bishops accused of sexual abuse."[5] An independent investigator hired by the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese later cleared the complaints against Dudley.[9][6] 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."[9]

Dudley was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award by St. Paul Seminary in 2006.[10] He died later that year from lung disease at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul, aged 79.[1] He is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Northfield.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Dudley, Bishop Paul V.". Northfield.org. 2006-11-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Bishop Paul Vincent Dudley". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Bishop Paul V. Dudley". The Bishop's Bulletin. January 2007. 
  4. ^ Callison, Jill (2006-11-22). "Beloved Former Bishop Dies at 79". Argus Leader. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Kumar, Kavita (2002-05-08). "Retired Bishop Accused of Abuse". Star Tribune. 
  6. ^ a b Wolfe, Warren (2003-02-13). "No Proof of Abuse Is Found against Bishop". Star Tribune. 
  7. ^ Scott, Stephen (2002-05-08). "Minnesota Man Accused Retired Bishop of Abuse". St. Paul Pioneer Press. 
  8. ^ Williams, Lee (2002-05-08). "Church Investigates Claim against Dudley". Argus Leader. 
  9. ^ a b Grant, Ashley H. (2003-02-12). "Church Probe Says Evidence Doesn't Support Allegation against Retired Bishop". Associated Press. 
  10. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Award (2006)". University of St. Thomas. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Lambert Anthony Hoch
Bishop of Sioux Falls
1978—1995
Succeeded by
Robert James Carlson