Archbishop Carlson testifies in child abuse case

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ST. PAUL, MN (KPLR) - Shocking testimony from St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson during deposition a child abuse case.

At question was Carlson claiming there was a time he did not know having sex with a child is a crime.

Archbishop Robert Carlson, St. Louis Archdiocese: Archbishop you knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid. I'm not sure if I knew or not, that it was a crime.  I understand today it's a crime.  When did you first discern that it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child? I don't remember. When did you first discern that it was a crime for a priest to engage in sex with a kid, who he had under his control?  I don't remember that either.

The Archbishop was deposed last month in a case against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where Carlson investigated allegations of abuse from 1979 to 1994.

Our partners at the Post Dispatch report Carlson said, "I don't remember" nearly 200 times while under oath.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of St. Louis says Carlson testified in the same case decades ago, adding, "In this most recent deposition, while not being able to recall his knowledge of the law exactly as it was many decades ago, the Archbishop did make clear that he knows child sex abuse is a crime today."

4 comments

  • david clohessy

    Catholics, DO SOMETHING! Check out our website. Donate to groups that fight abuse. Use forums like this to denounce wrongdoers. Tell lawmakers to push for better child safety laws. Write a letter to the editor of the Post expressing your dismay. Go to BishopAccountability.org, click on “Missouri” on the map, then click on the “St. Louis archdiocese,” and spread the word to all you know about the 50+ proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics who are/were in this archdiocese. Finally, ask all your friend and family: “Did anyone abuse you as a child?” If so, beg them to get professional help and call the police. Finally, stop donation to the archdiocese & tell people why you’re giving to groups that expose abuse, not groups that hide it.

  • David Clohessy

    Catholics, DO SOMETHING! Check out our website. Donate to groups that fight abuse. Use forums like this to denounce wrongdoers. Tell lawmakers to push for better child safety laws. Write a letter to the editor of the Post expressing your dismay. Go to BishopAccountability.org, click on “Missouri” on the map, then click on the “St. Louis archdiocese,” and spread the word to all you know about the 50+ proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics who are/were in this archdiocese. Finally, ask all your friend and family: “Did anyone abuse you as a child?” If so, beg them to get professional help and call the police. Finally, stop donation to the archdiocese & tell people why you’re giving to groups that expose abuse, not groups that hide it.

    David Clohessy, SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

  • lotsomoney

    I don’t want my comment to be misconstrued as a defense for the awful actions of the Catholic Church , but I want to say that I believe it is very possible that he did not know it was illegal during the 1980s. During that time, we did not have the same media focus and moral panic on the subject that we have today. In the early 80s, I even remember seeing child pornography on the shelves with other pornographic magazines wherever this adult material material was sold. The church failed miserably in protecting these abused kids and in holding the perpetrators accountable. But I think we should remember that the culture back then was not the same as it is now on the subject and this might have caused some confusion in the minds of some about the legal ramifications.

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