Assignment Record– Rev. William J. Kuder

Summary of Case: William J. Kuder was a priest of the Diocese of Raleigh, ordained in 1933. His first assignment was at a Nazareth parish, which was affiliated with the Catholic Orphanage for Boys. He then assisted at parishes in New Bern, Greensboro and Leaksville-Spray. After a three-year leave of absence, Kuder was assigned in 1942 as pastor of St. Lucien's in Spruce Pine, and from 1949 until his death in 1960, he was pastor of St. Joan of Arc in Asheville.

In 1995 a man reported to the Charlotte diocese (which absorbed Raleigh when established in 1971), that Kuder had sexually abused him at St. Joan of Arc for four years, beginning when the man was age 9 in 1952. He said the abuse included oral and anal rape, and that Kuder would drive him to rectories 20 and 50 miles away to confess his "sin" of sex with a priest. Kuder allegedly threatened the boy with eternal damnation if he broke the seal of confession. After coming forward, Kuder's accuser said he heard from 10 more victims. His two brothers also alleged abuse by Kuder when they were ages 9-13, and said the priest drove them, too, to faraway priests for confession and used the threat of hell to silence them.

Born: 1898
: 1933
Died: March 24, 1960


Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Diocese of Raleigh

Bishop was William Joseph Hafey (1925-1937).

1935 Holy Name of Jesus Nazareth NC 3/3  
1933 1935 Catholic Orphange for Boys Nazareth     Superintendent was Rev. John T. Manley, who was pastor of Holy Name of Jesus. Kuder was also involved with the orphanage.
1935 1936 St. Paul's New Bern NC 2/2 St. Paul's had a school ("for White Children") with 86 students.
1935 1936 St. Joseph's Clayton NC   This was a mission of St. Paul's in New Bern.
1935 1936 St. Luke's Holy Springs NC   This was a mission of St. Paul's in New Bern.
1935 1936   Carey, Apex, Merry, Oaks, Moncure, McCullers, Fuquqy Springs, Angier, Wendell, Zebulon, Wake Forest NC   These were stations of St. Paul's in New Bern.


Hafey was succeeded as Raleigh bishop by Eugene Joseph McGuinness (1937-1944).

1939 St. Benedict's Greensboro NC 2/2, 2/3 St. Benedict's had a school ("for White Children") with 101-134 students.
1938 1939 St. Joseph of the Hills Leaksville-Spray NC 2/2 This was a mission of St. Benedict's in Greensboro.
1939 1940 on leave of absence        
1940 1942 absent on special assignment        


Vincent Stanislaus Waters replaced McGuinness as Raleigh bishop (1945-1974).

1949 St. Lucien's Spruce Pine NC 1/1  
1942 1945   Burnsville NC   This was a station of St. Lucien's in Spruce Pine.
1948 1949 St. Patricia's Linville NC   This was a mission of St. Lucien's in Spruce Pine.
1948 1949   Green Mountain, Toledo NC   These were stations of St. Lucien's in Spruce Pine
1949 1960 St. Joan of Arc


In 1995 a man told Bishop Curlin that Kuder sexually abused him when he was ages 9-13, in St. Joan's rectory, beginning in 1952. He said the abuse included sodomy and oral sex, and that Kuder made him confess his "sin" of sex with a priest to priests in distant rectories; Kuder would drive him to other parishes and make him go in by himself and ask for confession. He said Kuder told him he would go to hell if he broke the seal of confession. After the man went public in 1995, he said he heard from at least 10 other Kuder victims. Two of his brothers also alleged abuse by Kuder, also at ages 9-13, also including rape, also taking them to other priest for confession and threatening eternal damnation if they told outside of confession.

NC 1/1 St. Joan of Arc had a school with 162-285 students.
1952 1960   Candler NC  

This was a mission of St. Joan of Arc in Asheville.

Kuder died March 24, 1960.

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, 1936-1961).

Recalling an Old Sin Can Bring Healing to Victims, By Ken Garfield, Charlotte Observer, March 11, 1995
 Disclosure Was Way to Counter Praise for Priest, Charlotte Observer, April 21, 2002
Priest Sex-Abuse Victim Says He Shares Story to Help Others, By Dale Neal, Asheville Citizen-Times, April 23, 2002
Tip Ignored, Man Says, By Paige Akin, Richmond Times Dispatch, August 25, 2002
Sex Abuse Doesn't Just Happen to Catholics, By Clarke Morrison, Asheville Citizen-Times, February 28, 2004
Abuse Victims Demand More Than a Check from the Church, By Alan Cooperman, Washington Post, February 24, 2007
Rev Fr William J. Kuder,, accessed January 6, 2017

: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Kuder's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on May 6, 2020.


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