Bishop Paul V. Dudley - Assignment Record
May 8, 2012

Summary of Case: A parish priest of the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for 25 years, Dudley was made an Auxilliary bishop of the archdiocese in 1977, then elevated to bishop of the Sioux Falls diocese in 1978. He retired in 1995 to his hometown of Northfield, MN. In 1999 a woman accused Dudley of having molested her in the 1970s. It was after he was accused in 2002 of having fondled an altar boy in the 1950s that Dudley resigned from ministry, vowing to return when he was exonerated. He strongly denied all allegations. A second woman came forward in 2002 alleging innapropriate behavior toward her by Dudley in the 1960s. An investigator hired by the archdiocese could not substantiate the accusations. Dudley died in November 2006.

Ordained: 1951
Episcopal Ordination: Jan. 25, 1977
Retired: 1995
Died: November 20, 2006

Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes
1951 St. Paul archbishop was John Gregory Murray (1931-1956), followed by William Otterwell Brady (1956-1961). Leo Binz succeeded Brady (1961-1975) 1964 Annunciation Minneapolis
Dudley was accused in Feb. 2002 of having fondled an 11 or 12 year-old boy in the 1950s at Annunciation. His accuser said he was a student at Annunciation school and that the fondling took place in the rectory and a boiler room, among other places in the school. Dudley strongly denied the accusations.
MN 3/3, 2/3 Annunciation had a school with 566-1,100 students.
1964 1967 St. Patrick's St. Paul

In 2002 a woman came forward to allege that Dudley behaved "inappropriately" toward her in a public place in the 1960s.
MN 2/2 St. Patrick's had a school with 646-585 students.
1967 1972 St. Edward's Bloomington MN 1/1, 1/2  
1972 John Robert Roach replaced Binz (1975-1995) 1977 Our Lady of the Lake Mound

Dudley was accused by a woman in 1999 of having sexually abused her in the 1970s at Our Lady of the Lake. An archdiocesan representative stated in 2002 that they tried to contact the woman, but were unsuccessful.
MN 1/2, 1/3 Dudley was appointed St. Paul and Minneapolis Auxilliary Bishop Nov. 16, 1976. His Episcopal ordination was Jan. 25, 1977. Our Lady of the Lake had a school with 173-190 students.
1977 1978 St. James' St. Paul MN pastor  
1978 Paul V. Dudley was Sioux Falls bishop (1978-1995) 1995   Sioux Falls SD Bishop  
1995 St. Paul and Minneapolis bishop was Harry Joseph Flynn (1995-2008) 1997 Retired/St. Dominic Northfield SD pastor During retirement Dudley returned to his family's farm in Minnesota.
1997 2006 Retired Northfield MN   Dudley resigned from ministry in May 2002 after being publicly accused of having fondled a boy in the 1950s.

In 2003 an investigator hired by the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese concluded that the three claims against Dudley were unfounded.

Dudley died Nov. 20, 2006

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1952-2007)

Retired Bishop Accused of Abuse, By Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune [Minneapolis MN], May 8, 2002
Minnesota Man Accused Retired Bishop of Abuse, By Stephen Scott, Saint Paul Pioneer Press [Minnesota], May 8, 2002
Church Investigates Claim against Dudley, By Lee Williams, Argus Leader [Sioux Falls SD], May 8, 2002
Church Probe Says Evidence Doesn't Support Allegation against Retired Bishop, By Ashley H. Grant, Associated Press State & Local Wire [St. Paul], February 12, 2003
Church Clears Bishop Dudley, Sex-Abuse Allegations Unfounded, Review Finds, By Jill Callison, Argus Leader [Sioux Falls SD], February 13, 2003
No Proof of Abuse Is Found against Bishop, A Man and Two Women Said Bishop Paul Dudley Had Abused Them When He Was a Priest, By Warren Wolfe, Star Tribune [Minneapolis MN], February 13, 2003
Beloved Former Bishop Dies at 79, Dudley Spent 17 Years at Helm of Sioux Falls Diocese, By Jill Callison, Argus Leader, November 22, 2006
Bishop Paul V. Dudley Obituary,, Nov. 2006.

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.

Note: 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 Dudley's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation 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 7, 2012


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