The Archbishop of St. Louis, Robert Carlson, testified just last month that didn’t actually know it was illegal for priests to have sex with children.
This, he said in an effort to explain why it was he did nothing to stop such crimes while he served as the chancellor of the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese.
Carlson gave a deposition to this effect in a lawsuit that against the Minnesota archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona. The suit claims that both were responsible for, in part for crimes committed against children – and were guilty of being a public nuisance – due to their refusal to release information on abusive priests.
Today, Carlson is 69-year-old. He is facing an additional clergy abuse lawsuit in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where he has served as archbishop since 2009.
Court documents reveal that as many as 100 priests and church employees were accused of sexual abuse and Carlson helped to cover it all up.
Now the Missouri Supreme Court has ordered the archdiocese to turn over all of the names related to these cases of abuse, under seal.
Carlson tried to defend his actions, not coming forward until compelled to under court order. In his bizarre statement in response to the Minnesota lawsuit that was filed by a man who says that he was abused by a priest since the 1970s, Carlson told the plaintiff’s attorneys that he simply didn’t know that sex with children was illegal.
“I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson tried to convince the attorneys. “I understand today it’s a crime.”
When asked specifically if he understood it was a crime in 1984, he said “I’m not sure if I did or didn’t.”
“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,” spokesman Gabe Jones said of Carlson. “The question does not address the archbishop’s moral stance on the sin of pedophilia, which has been that it is a most egregious offense.”
(Article by R. Abraham and Jackson Marciana)