St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson has testified that he’s not sure that he has always known that child molestation is a crime. Carlson was deposed regarding abuses that took place while he was a bishop in Minnesota.
During the deposition taken last month, attorney Jeff Anderson asked Carlson whether he knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child. “I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson replied. “I understand today it’s a crime.” Anderson went on to ask Carlson whether he knew in 1984, when he was an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, that it was crime for a priest to engage in sex with a child. “I’m not sure if I did or didn’t,” Carlson said. Yet according to documents released Monday by the law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates in St. Paul, Carlson showed clear knowledge that sexual abuse was a crime when discussing incidents with church officials during his time in Minnesota. In a 1984 document, for example, Carlson wrote to the then archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, John R. Roach, about one victim of sexual abuse and mentioned that the statute of limitations for filing a claim would not expire for more than two years. He also wrote that the parents of the victim were considering reporting the incident to the police.
During his deposition Carlson admitted that he never once called the police when molestation claims were made.
(Tipped by JMG reader Lynda)