For Immediate Release
August 19, 2004
| Media Contact:
+1 (202) 986 6093;
+1 (202) 550 1321
CFFC Calls on Republican Party to Review Relationships with Catholic
Statement of Frances Kissling on the resignation of Deal Hudson as adviser
to the Republican National Committee on Catholic outreach and advisor
to Bush Campaign on Catholic issues
WASHINGTON DC—The devastating revelations disclosed today by the
National Catholic Reporter regarding past sexual harassment of a young
student by Deal Hudson while he was her professor at Fordham University
are deeply disturbing. Equally disturbing is Hudson’s inadequate
response to these events, which focused on the claim that these matters
were long ago satisfactorily concluded.
It is entirely appropriate that Hudson resign his position with the Bush
Campaign and the Republican Party based on this event. It is equally important
that this be more than a resignation in name only, and that the Republican
National Committee and the White House distance themselves from Hudson
and other conservative Catholics who have been disrespectful of women and
have engaged in a politics of personal destruction for some time.
The record of the Republican Party and President Bush regarding sensitivity
to women’s rights is at best spotty. The remarks made by Hudson regarding
this event as well as others on the Catholic right who have already sought
to blame the young woman who was sexually abused by Hudson are sufficient
cause for Hudson’s political supporters to take a second look at
who in the Catholic community best represents moral values and decency.
One certainly hopes that this current crisis provides Hudson with an opportunity
for reflection and change. Public exposure of the personal lives and mistakes
of high profile people is not pleasant, and it should not be a source of
satisfaction for those who disagree with the policies of those exposed.
But matters of character are appropriate issues when evaluating fitness
for public service, and Hudson’s past is relevant even now.
Hudson and his colleagues on the right have conducted a particularly ugly
style of politics. They have shown no regard for civility or respect in
their encounters, articles, and other commentary on those who disagree
with them. Perhaps they will learn something as they experience a small
taste of what they have dished out for so long
Catholics for Free Choice (CFFC) shapes and advances sexual and reproductive
ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women’s
well being, and respect and affirm the moral capacity of women and men
to make sound decisions about their lives. Through discourse, education,
and advocacy, CFFC works in the US and internationally to infuse these
values into public policy, community life, feminist analysis, and Catholic
social thinking and teaching.