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 CNS Story:

CRISIS-HUDSON Sep-23-2004 (820 words) xxxn

Deal Hudson resigns from Crisis magazine, stays with publishing house

By Jerry Filteau

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Deal W. Hudson, who resigned in August as Catholic outreach adviser to President George W. Bush's re-election campaign, said Sept. 21 that he has tendered his resignation as publisher of the Catholic magazine Crisis, but he will take up a new post as chief fund-raiser for The Morley Publishing Group, which owns Crisis.

The announcement of changes, effective at the end of the year, came a month after National Catholic Reporter revealed that Hudson resigned his faculty post at Fordham University in 1994 after an 18-year-old student complained that he had sexual relations with her in his office after taking her to a party at a New York bar and getting her drunk.

In an e-mail to supporters, Hudson said the change at Crisis was his "personal decision." Several news reports immediately emerged, however, saying there were strong pressures for his resignation, including from the magazine's founders and three key contributing editors who had threatened to leave the magazine if Hudson did not step down.

Robert Royal, founder and head of the Faith & Reason Institute and a Crisis contributing editor, confirmed to Catholic News Service Sept. 22 that he was among those who had called for Hudson's resignation.

Royal said, "I can't tell you what the board is doing because they haven't communicated with us. I saw what Deal said in his e-letter, and if that's true, then it's a pretty sad commentary on that board.

"They have a guy who has clearly got a problem," he added, "and even the bad bishops (in the clergy sex abuse scandal) shifted guys with problems from one parish to another. What they (the board) essentially said here is, they're going to change the brass plate on his office door. ... It's like a bishop changing a guy's title and not even moving him to a different parish. It's very odd."

Hudson was first tapped by the Republican National Committee during the 2000 presidential campaign to help with the Bush strategy for courting the Catholic vote. He was widely regarded as having an inside track to the Bush White House on questions of the administration's Catholic appointees and strategies on Catholic issues.

He abruptly resigned as Republican Catholic outreach adviser Aug. 18, anticipating the publication the following day of a National Catholic Reporter profile that included details surrounding his 1994 departure from Fordham, a Jesuit-run university in New York.

The Morley Publishing Group said in a Sept. 21 news release that under a reorganization that will take effect at the end of the year, Hudson will step down as publisher of Crisis and "will become director of the newly formed Morley Institute."

"The institute will concentrate its resources on fund raising and other projects, including book publishing and seminars," the release said.

It quoted Hudson saying, "I am gratified by the growth of Crisis over the past 10 years and I asked the board to let me start tackling other projects, starting with a book on Catholics in politics."

Crisis was founded in 1982 by Catholic neoconservative intellectuals Michael Novak of the American Enterprise Institute and Ralph McInerny, a philosophy professor and director of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame.

Just months after Hudson left Fordham, Novak and McInerny hired him as senior editor of Crisis. In 1995 they made him editor and publisher, turning full control of the magazine over to him. The Brownson Institute under whose banner Crisis had been published was disbanded and replaced by the Morley Institute, founded by Hudson.

The Morley Institute was soon renamed the Morley Publishing Group, but the institute name is now being revived, with Hudson as director, as a division or subsidiary of the publishing group. The group also sponsors other projects and publishing activities.

Under Hudson the circulation of Crisis has grown from about 6,000 to 32,000.

The magazine is intended as a forum for Catholic conservative thought. It was originally titled Catholicism in Crisis and established when Novak was a leading voice among Catholics opposed to the directions the bishops were going at that time with their pending peace pastoral.

Over the years Crisis has received extensive funding from two foundations with a long record of supporting conservative movements and causes in the United States.

According to figures collected by Media Transparency, an online organization that monitors the grant-making activities of 12 leading foundations that fund conservative causes, the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the New York-based John M. Olin Foundation gave grants totaling more than $1.1 million to the Morley Publishing Group between 1996 and 2002 -- most of it to support Crisis magazine.

Before that, between 1986 and 1995 the Bradley and Olin foundations contributed $460,000 to Crisis operations through the Brownson Institute.

END


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