Archbishop Carlson says he wasn’t sure he knew sex with a child was a crime

ST. PAUL, MN. (AP) – The head of the Archdiocese of St. Louis said under oath he couldn’t recall how he handled allegations of abuse against a Minnesota priest years ago.

But Archbishop Robert Carlson did say he never went to authorities after that priest admitted in the 1980s he engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Carlson 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.

The St. Louis archdiocese says while Carlson couldn’t recall his knowledge of the law years ago, his testimony made it clear he knows child sex abuse is a crime.

Carlson left Minnesota in 1994 and served as bishop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Saginaw, Michigan, before becoming St. Louis archbishop in 2009.

 

31 comments

  • FED UP!

    “….Archbishop Robert Carlson never went to authorities after that priest admitted in the 1980s he engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a minor.”
    Gee, what a surprise…..typical arrogance of the Catholic church who thinks it’s ABOVE the law!

  • Tim Wilson

    This guy needs to GO.
    First out of the church as anyone who wears a robe.
    Then he needs to go to jail.
    Let’s see what this will do for his memory loss.

  • Tammy Schnarr-Weigle

    I’ve had dealings with this man and when he was confronted with moral wrong doings in one of their cemeteries, I was threatened with a law suit taking everything i owned. His “I don”t know” answers do not shock me. He has become a pro at covering things up and not following Catholic Morality by any means. This is not a slanderous statement by any means against the Catholic religion. This is only my personal opinion of this man and how he handles his authority as Archbishop.

    • ConcernedMama

      Tammy, I agree with you! I am NOT Catholic…but a dedicated member of another religion…and I have to say…That it says less about the faith and more about the men in certain roles (or women in some cases) when sexual abuse of children or raping of women is lah dee dahhed…and the treatment that those same men dish out when someone DOES take a stand…it’s disheartening at best. But it says less about the Faith and Morals that a congregations strives to uphold…and more about the Man who wants things looking neat and tidy while wolves ravish the flock. All pedophiles…and those that would so readily forgive them without considering the damning impact on the victim….SHOULD be imprisoned…and their lies of repentance if they are caught should be taken with a fifty pound bag of salt…ONLY those who are NOT caught but voluntarily repent might have a SHRED of an ability to change…but they should still do the time for the crime. And any who squirm at that? Aren’t sorry at all. (SOrry, Tammy I went a little off topic…bringing it back around…I hear you and I’m sorry you had any dealings with this person!)

  • TheREALByeBye2TheRite

    Gee, now I can’t remember whether being biased or prejudiced against this human trash because of his religion is unconstitutional or not. I don’t think it’s illegal, is it? Well, it ain’t in MY books!

    So we know this guy’s a phony Catholic religious hypocrite. Most of us know that. And he’s LEADER of the local church? Wow. He ought to be in jail.

    But the Catholic archdiocese officially defended him! Published a statement saying he was confused about the law “many years ago” (like child abuse was ever legal!) but that he knows it is illegal now, and that he’s a good man. THAT’S ALL I NEED TO KNOW to know the entire Catholic religion is just so full of it it stinks! Hypocrites and worthless, phony human beings, all!

    The Catholic religion, like most religions including Muslim, Jewish, etc. are all just phony hypocrites. Just a cover up for that selfish “I’m more important than you” attitude most religious people have.

    • Dan Mixin

      i just try not to hurt people brought up cathloic cant stand them now dont need them to tell me what to believe im more spiritual now this guy needs a beating its not abuse right

    • Matt

      To everyone who thinks he didn’t know it was a crime, you are a fool if you are taking the media’s reporting as accurate in this matter. The questions in the deposition were referring to when the required status of reporting the crime went into effect for religious, legally. The attorney who was asking the questions, asked the SAME questions in FOUR separate depositions almost 30 years ago. Do you remember the intricate details of law, when you are not a lawyer, about a crime that was reported to you almost 30 years ago?

      What you see in most of the reporting is an attempt to smear a man and the Catholic faith for crimes he did not commit. MOST people do not understand how crime and punishment occurs in the Catholic Church. When there is no civil requirement to report a crime, the Church deals with it internally. What was supposed to happen before civil reporting requirements was that the offender was to be removed from all public service and transferred somewhere where they would no longer endanger the public. Some of the bad actors during Vatican II were sent to finish their service in nice places like Iran and Syria.

      Unfortunately, there were some bad leaders in the Church (they are human beings too) who did not follow the Law of the Church. They released these people back onto the public. This IS something Rome should deal with. Today things are very different. This type of activity is now treated as a guilty until proven innocent. Which is rather sad as groups like SNAP and others have leveled accusations at the innocent and ruined their lives.

      Don’t fall into the trap that the media sets. They try to dupe people into part of their smear campaign against any group they don’t like.

      • monad

        You are right. Read the whole deposition, and there is so much more of it. The whole thing makes it clearer that he should step down.
        Here are some excerpts:
        “It is my recommendation, given the seriousness of our exposure, that the Archdiocese posture itself in such a way that any publicity will be minimized. I would recommend that in cooperating with Bishop Watters, that Father Adamson be sent to the Paracletes in Albuquerque or to the House of Affirmation. It is obvious to me in dealing with Father Adamson at this time that he has little remorse other than the fact that we found something else out and completely minimizes the entire situation.” –Carlson

        http://www.andersonadvocates.com/documents/Carlson%20Ex.%20305%20-%20Meeting%20with%20McDonough%207-9-84.pdf

  • john s.

    Why? F’ing why?
    These men of the cloth consistently prove to us by their horrendous disgusting selfish crimes that they work for nothing more than a numbers driven business that will do anything (including the molestation of children) to get what they want and assert their dominance. It’s time for a reckoning.

  • Black girl

    The Archbishop is a very sick man, the archdiocese is full of —-, he should not be defended nor should he have ever been able to join the organization , due to lack of compassion and common sense! How many children have suffered? There is ONE god who judges ALLL!

  • brenda

    Seems as though this Thing would remember God is watching!! Now or in the 70’s or 60’s or whenever, this piece of trash KNEW what child abuse was. So go ahead and act dumb to the world. You better hope whatever God you believe in is forgiving, because if not Hell is not full. I believe that is where you belong sooner than later!!!!!!

  • Dan Mixin

    my late father use to say ignorance of the law is no excuse i went to ccd all they talked about was fornication get real carlson to bad the limitations are probably up this guy belongs in jail for life fing jerk

  • Jeffrey Brown

    What a ridiculous excuse for a human being, Since the dawn of time,when has it been acceptable to sexually abuse a child ? ( excluding the muslim religion,where its the focus of their twisted view of women)

  • Elle

    Everyone knows you are lying Mr. Carlson–plain and simple. So save it. Nevertheless, since when in the USA is ignorance of the law a defense? As I remember—NEVER.

  • matttaul

    As a former Catholic, I don’t want to wage war on Catholics. I know a lot of good people who are members of the church. As a member of the Catholic church, how can you turn a blind eye to this kind of thing as it is repeated over and over again. When will you people wake up and stop contributing financially and morally to child molestation. Spin it however you want, If you give money to the church it is contributing. You are not abandoning God if you leave. You are abandoning The Devil who has infiltrated and is doing his works through the catholic church.

    • Michele

      Be sure not to give any money to support your local kids sports, as many coaches have been proven child molesters too. Don’t let your taxes pay for public schooling, because many teachers have been proven child molesters as well. Nevermind the vast majority of coaches, teachers and priests who never touch a child inappropriately. I am not making light of molestation, but the way the church handles this now and the way they (and EVERYONE ELSE) handled it 20 years ago is very different.

  • Bob Feller

    If he didn’t know pedophilia was a crime he’s more sheltered from life than a hermit in the mountains. Just no excuse for this type response in this day and time. Disgraceful to the Catholic religion.

  • Wayne

    People should actually read what was said before commenting on this small part taken out of context by a lawyer who stands to make a lot of money in the case. Here is the actual transcript:
    http://www.archspm.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/158765rcarlson05232014_Full_Redacted.pdf
    It was not a question of is it right or wrong, or moral or immoral. The question was about the laws of one state 30 years ago. How many of us can quote Missouri state laws from 30 years ago? The lawyer had all the answers given back in the 80s in writiing and was hoping to get a different answer today so he could claim perjury.

    • Michele

      Well said. He is being asked about things that happened over 20 years ago. He never said that child abuse was ok. He is stating that he doesn’t remember what the laws were back then. That doesn’t mean he thought lightly of it, just that he doesn’t know what the laws were at that time. He is being crucified as if HE were a child molester. People are crazy.

    • Michele

      No one here is trying to cover up a crime. All churches should be checked out for sick crimes….add to that list all sports programs, all teachers, all coaches, all parents, all stepparents (which is where the molestation came from in my family), all grandparents, all Aunts and Uncles….the list goes on.

  • Michele

    It does still happen, from all kinds of people in all kinds of professions. No one has said it doesn’t. Your comment makes no sense.

  • nightgrave

    READ WHAT THIS FOOL MICHELE. SAID. SHE IS IN LA LA LAND. WE NEED TO SHUT DOWN CHURCH WHER THE PRIEST OR MINISTERS ETC.. WHERE THE ARE MOLESTERS. I BELIEVE IN GOD. BUT I DO NOT WALK WITH HIM BECAUSE OF DUMBASSES.

  • MD

    He remembered what year he was Sioux Falls, but he can’t remember discussing any allegations of Child abuse?
    Come on !

    17 Q. You were assigned so be the Bishop of —
    18 appointed to be the Bishop of Sioux Falls in 1984,
    19 correct?
    20 A. 1994.
    21 Q. Excuse me, 1994.

  • Jack

    “2002 BISHOPS cHARTER (bc) TITLED “PROTECT CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE” IS NOT A WRITEN DOCUMENT CALLED “SAFE ENVIORNMENT” ARE NOT THE SAME. THE BC INCLUDES PUNITIVE LANGUAGE AND WORDS “SHALL, WILL” THAT PLACE LEGAL ACTION BOTH CIVIL AND CHURCH LAWSIF LAWS ARE BROKEN BY DECENDERS. ALL BISHOPS SIGNED THE DOCUMENT IN 2002 AND WERE TO RETURN TO THEIR DIOCESES TO IMPLEMENT THE CHARTER. WELL IN ST LOUIS THE CHARTER TITLE WAS CHANGED AND BINDING PUNITIVE WORDS WERE OMITTED AND BECAME AS SOME LEGAL INDIVIDUALS CONCLUDED A WORTHLESS NON DOCUMENT FOR OFFENDERS. THATS INTERESTING. IN ST LOUIS PARENTS ARE RESPONSIBE FOR THEIR CHILDREN EVEN AT PLACES OF WORSHIP. IF YOU ARE WONDERING WHERE THE
    AB IS ON THE SUBJECT OF THE 2002 CHARTER WELL I THINK IT IS PRETTY CLEAR BY THE CHANGE OF TITLE AWAY FROM THE OFFICIAL 2002 BISHOPS CHARTER. HE HAS ALSO MADE HIS DECISSION TO SUPPORT JIANG IN LIEW OF CHILDREN..FEDERAL LAW ALSO INDICATES 2ND OFFENDERS IF CONVICTED WILL RECIEVE DOUBLE THE SENTANCE THAT COULD BE 5 YRS ~ LIFE. IT ALSO SEEMS CURRENT AB ALONG WITH ONE IN THE PAST THINK NOTHING OF PASSING ALONG HARSH PUNISHMENT FOR DISAGREEING
    ST. STAN ~ EXCOMMUNICATION, BANISHMENT OF PARISHIONERS. NOT RETURNING PERSONAL PROPERTY TAKEN FROM THAT CHURCH AFTER A RULING BY A JUDGE THAT THEIR REAL , PERSONAL PROPERTS
    BELONGED TO THEM. BUT TODAY THE STILL ARE BANISHED AND EXCOMMUNICATED..
    I THINK IT’S TIME FOR THIS BISHOP TO RESIGN, MOVE ALONG. LIKE POPE FRANCIS HE IS AGAINST CAREEISM..IT SEEMS THE ARCH BISHOPS USE THIS DIOCESES FOR STEPS TO HIGHER LEVELS A PLACE WHERE CARDINALS ARE MADE..CALLED VATICAN OF THE MID WEST. FACE VALUE SOUND PRETTY GOOD
    BUT CORRUPTION CAN AND HAS TAKEN PLACE TO ACHIEVE THIS GOAL BY SOME FORMER CLERGY IN THEIR EFFORTS TO RISE TO THE TOP..WHAT WE NEED IS A GOOD SHEPARD..ST STAN SHOULD BE RETURNED TO ACTIVE STATUS, EXCOMMUNICATION REMOVED AND THE PEDOPHILE ISSUE BE IMMEDIATLY RESOLVED BY ELIMINATING “eNVIORNMENTAL PROGRAMS AND INCORPORATING THE
    2002 APPROVED BISHOPS CHARTER “PROTECT CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE”. JACK

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