Anglican Watch

Episcopal priest Thomas Hudson fingered in MD Catholic abuse report

Episcopal priest and alleged sex offender Thomas Hudson

There’s a big issue with the Maryland attorney general’s report about abusive priests in the Catholic church: the Baltimore circuit court has ordered the redactions of some names, including ten alleged offenders and Catholic officials who may have covered up crimes.

And while the Catholic church has assured the public that none of the redacted names reflect persons in active ministry, the redacted names are slowly coming to light. One is that of an active Episcopal priest, Thomas Hudson, 75, who is priest-in-charge of St. George parish in Mount Savage.

Before ordination in the Episcopal church, Hudson was a Catholic seminarian.

When contacted by reporters, Hudson declined to comment, citing the advice of his attorney.

Catholic officials subsequently clarified that their statement about clergy in active ministry applied only to Catholic clergy.

Following the news, Episcopal bishop George Sutton said that Hudson was on leave due to “personal” and “family” issues and issued the following statement:

“It has come to our attention that a member of our clergy has been accused of sexual misconduct that occurred in the 1970s. We are deeply saddened to learn of any alleged incident.”

Hudson has confirmed that he is listed in the report. Still, neither the diocese nor the attorney general’s office has said whether Hudson has been reported to the diocese or law enforcement officials.

At this time, Hudson has not been criminally charged.

Our take on things

Anglican Watch is deeply concerned that church members are only now finding out about this issue, and the diocese didn’t name the priest accused of misconduct.

Hudson is required, under the Title IV disciplinary canons, to report any potential violations of the canons, including his own, to an intake officer. Thus, we believe he may not have been forthcoming with his parish and the diocese.

We also see no sign that the diocese is offering the pastoral response required when a Title IV complaint is filed. Since a complaint can be in any form, publication in the Baltimore Sun should be treated as a report, and care immediately provided to all potentially affected by the news.

Anglican Watch also notes that Sutton has a questionable track record, ranging from his consecration of Heather Cook, despite her drunkenness at church events, to his urging Episcopalians to “just go to church,” at the start of the pandemic.

In other words, Sutton lacks something we consider vital for any bishop and something that is rarely taught, and that is common sense.

Anglican Watch also notes that the Baltimore Sun’s expose of Catholic priests whose names were redacted as persons covering up abuse resulted in the resignation of one from a non-profit board and resulting in the cancellation of plans to move another to a high-visibility parish.

In other words, even as Catholic lawyers argue for concealing the names of offenders, it’s business as usual for those accused of misconduct.


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