Catholic Church | St. Louis

St. Louis Archbishop Not Sure If He Knew Sex With Children Was A Crime: WATCH

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The Archbishop of St. Louis, Robert J. Carlson, claims he does not know if he knew sex with children was a crime and that he does not know when he learned it was a crime, according to video of his recent deposition released June 9.

The St. Louis Post-Distpatch reports that the deposition was taken "as part of a sexual abuse lawsuit in Minnesota involving the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, Minn. The plaintiff in the case, only identified as “Doe 1,” claims to have been abused in the 1970s by the Rev. Thomas Adamson at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Paul Park, Minn."

From the video:

Attorney: Archbishop, you knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid. 

Carlson: Umm, I'm not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it's a crime. 

A: When did you first discern that it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid?

C: I don't remember. 

A: 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?

C: I don't remember that either. 

A: Do you have any doubt in your mind that you knew that in the 70's?

C: I don't remember if I did or if I didn't. 

A: In 1984 you auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul in Minneapolis, you knew it was a crime then, right?

C: I'm not sure if I did or didn't. 

The Post-Dispatch reported on evidence that shows, however, that Carlson did know it was a crime then: 

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.

In another part of the deposition, Carlson says he knew it was a crime for a priest to touch the genitals of a child. Despite this, he says he never reported cases of sexual abuse that came before him—instead encouraging parents to report them on at least one occasion.

Watch the clip of the deposition, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Wow. So much for being Holy, huh?

    Amazing how many Atheists can know that it's wrong to sexually abuse a child and yet this "Holy man" didn't.

    he just became the poster for "Why Religion Messes You Up"

    Posted by: Screen Name | Jun 11, 2014 4:00:00 PM

  2. I guess it technically doesn't break the 10 commandments to bear false witness about yourself...? Only your neighbor. Why hasn't he been fired yet? I never thought the clergy abuse thing would get to the point where they just said "Well, I didn't know that was a crime!"

    Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 11, 2014 4:02:50 PM

  3. Well, when one's "holy book" basically equates children with property that are object to own and to do with whatever you want, this is the logical outcome.

    Posted by: Kieran | Jun 11, 2014 4:04:49 PM

  4. The Catholic Church and all who promote it are straight out criminals. Every one of them should be put in jail for either engaging in illegal sexual acts or turning a blind eye to them. It makes me sick to even think about it.

    Posted by: Cary Chauvet | Jun 11, 2014 4:05:07 PM

  5. He's either the world's biggest liar or a total idiot. Or both.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jun 11, 2014 4:12:35 PM

  6. And the very some people who blindly listen to these disgusting humans claim gays what to molest children. These people are truly the bottom of society yet are held up by those religious fanatics on a pedistol and said to be the moral leaders of society. You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!

    Posted by: Will | Jun 11, 2014 4:14:43 PM

  7. @MIKE IN THE TUNDRA - I would guess both, and a complete menace besides. Keep this guy away from the little ones.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 11, 2014 4:15:52 PM

  8. Sick and sad. Wait a minute isn't the act of sex first and foremost the breaking of sacraments that you swear upon to be man of the cloth? And these children who he victimized can they have lapses of memory when this troll touched them over and over again? Can the people get back the tons of money wasted in hearings, church donations and this guys holy salary??

    Posted by: Troy | Jun 11, 2014 4:19:50 PM

  9. Although I no longer believe in the devil, I recall that scripture calls him "the father of lies". Interesting coincidence.

    Posted by: John | Jun 11, 2014 4:28:25 PM

  10. And yet he knows/knew that we gays are 'intrinsically defective'.

    Amazing !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jun 11, 2014 4:30:20 PM

  11. The religious replace conscience with dogma. They're not fully human.

    Posted by: Blood | Jun 11, 2014 4:34:55 PM

  12. @ jackfkntwist


    Posted by: Moz's | Jun 11, 2014 4:42:54 PM

  13. C'mon everyone. Give the Catholic Church a break! All this bashing, and for what? It goes on everywhere in society. Why is the church being targeted?

    And, let's not forget: They're Catholic Priests and bishops, sworn to God. They don't lie.
    *i guess this is how it feels to lie*

    Posted by: jtramon | Jun 11, 2014 4:44:33 PM

  14. Does it get more disgusting than this?????

    If he knew, then punitive damages would apply... so he just lied and lied and lied and lied and lied and lied and lied and lied.
    Classic. So typical of the Catholic church.
    There is nothing on earth more disgusting.

    Posted by: Dan | Jun 11, 2014 4:44:56 PM

  15. I don't remember the Roman Catholic Church myself. Thank God!

    Seriously though, he doesn't even use the standard denial language for such proceedings (usually said in as deadpan a voice as possible): "I do not recall."

    Scary, ridiculous and evil are the adjectives that come to mind. Not to mention sad - for the victims. Sigh.

    Posted by: edude | Jun 11, 2014 4:50:13 PM

  16. @Anonymous : he isn't getting fired because his poor memory is useful to his employer for the reason that Dan gave.

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 11, 2014 4:59:06 PM

  17. Another reason he is not being fired is that the shock of being fired might jog his memory and result in testimony that could result in higher damages being paid by his church.

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 11, 2014 5:01:06 PM

  18. When an Archbishop, or any representative of the Unholy Catholic church, says that he/she does not know if raping, or taking sexual advantage of children is a crime, than it is loooong past due that we tore every unholy Catholic edifice down with our bare hands, close down their hospitals and other services, remove their tax exempt status in our country, and desist recognizing the Pope as a head of state and instead of giving him diplomatic immunity in form him that if he styeps foot in America he will be arrested, tried and hanged on the same gallows they hing Saddam Hussein from.

    The crimes of this evil church are many, so many they make Hitler look like a Sunday school teacher in comparison.

    Posted by: Ricco | Jun 11, 2014 5:27:40 PM

  19. Seriously?!

    Posted by: jarago | Jun 11, 2014 5:37:26 PM

  20. The Catholic Crime Cartel is an inherently evil organization.

    That's all there is to it.

    Always has been, always will be.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Jun 11, 2014 6:18:53 PM

  21. This should be a criminal proceedings not a civil case! Where's the Grand Jury?

    Posted by: Grego | Jun 11, 2014 6:22:14 PM

  22. LIAR, LIAR!


    WILL SOMEONE CATHOLIC IN THE AREA please send this article to the major TV stations in the area to try to get the story aired, then start a petition for him to resign?

    Posted by: Bob K | Jun 11, 2014 6:30:00 PM

  23. What do you expect when you separate church and state to such a degree that the laws don't even apply (for example, forcing parents' religion onto children they are raising, or refusing medical treatment for children based on parents' religion)?

    This is a direct result of religious exemptions to the regular laws.

    There should be NO exemption to the laws, based on religious belief, no matter how "fervent" or "sincere".

    Then there'll be no question as to what is a crime, and what isn't.

    Posted by: Randy | Jun 11, 2014 6:42:06 PM

  24. He is either lying or stupid. or both.

    Posted by: Moniker | Jun 11, 2014 6:48:40 PM

  25. So are you guys telling me that the Blessing of the Genital ceremony I went through back then was all just a lie to cop a feel. What about all that Holy Oil they rubbed all over me?. What about all those practice sessions? Did I get screwed are what?

    Posted by: Steve H | Jun 11, 2014 6:50:05 PM

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