Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Archbishop Carlson States He Did Not Know It Was a Crime for a Priest to Have Sex with a Child in 1984

This is one of the really stinky sort of Catholic birdcage droppings: in his deposition last month about his period as a bishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis, which was released yesterday, when attorney Jeff Anderson asked him whether he knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child, St. Louis archbishop Robert J. Carlson stated,

I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it’s a crime.

Anderson then went on to ask Carlson whether he knew in 1984, when he was auxiliary bishop in St. Paul-Minneapolis, for a priest to engage in sex with a child, and Carlson answered,

I’m not sure if I did or didn’t.

But as Lilly Fowler points out in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article I've linked above, in the same cache of materials released yesterday along with Archbishop Carlson's deposition, there are documents recounting conversations Carlson had with church officials during his years as a bishop in Minnesota, which clearly indicate that Carlson did, indeed, understand that sexual abuse of children by adults is, in fact, criminal behavior. 

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