Innocent until proven accused.
When Bishop Michael Saltarelli of Wilmington, Delaware, released the names of twenty priests or former priests of his diocese who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse, I wonder if he imagined the following scenario as a possible consequence.
Members of two groups representing victims of abusive Catholic priests
went door-to-door in the neighborhood, distributing packets of
information accusing a former Catholic priest who has lived there for
“Community notification: Protect your children from a credibly accused serial sex offender,” the packet’s cover reads.
The 38-page sheaf of material contained information about Edward F.
Dudzinski, 56, who last month was among 20 former priests accused by
the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Del., of sexually abusing children.
He served in the priesthood in the 1970s and 1980s.
“We are not talking about shoplifting here,” called out Paul
Steidler, a Reston consultant and a member of Survivors Network of
those Abused by Priests. “We are talking about the sexual abuse of
As Steidler spoke, a woman emerged from the house,
carrying blue gift bags and frosted cupcakes to a worn station wagon at
“Do you see what they’re doing?” she said to the
roommate, brushing aside SNAP members and journalists. “They’re putting
these things in people’s mailboxes in our neighborhood.”
woman, who would not identify herself in an interview later, said that
she and her 10-year-old son have rented a room in the house for the
past eight years and that she trusts Dudzinski. She said the groups’
tactics are a violation of Dudzinski’s privacy.
upsetting for him because other than 30 years ago, he’s never done
anything inappropriate,” she said. “That’s what I’ve been told, that’s
what I’ve observed, and that’s what I believe.”
The other group represented by the pamphleteers is Voice of the Faithful.