Archbishop Claims He Didn't Know It Was a Crime to Sexually Abuse Children (VIDEO)

And now in "I can't believe I just heard that" news -- St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson claimed in a deposition last month that he didn't know 20 years ago if a priest having sex with a child was a crime or not.

So that just happened. Carlson was called in for questioning by attorney Jeff Anderson as part of a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota. He was a chancellor to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis during the '70s, when the alleged abuse took place.


The deposition was released Monday. It's on video. This guy is on video, saying he's not sure whether he knew having sex with children was a crime. I can't even make this stuff up.

Phew, at least he admits he knows it's a crime today. You know, there are an awful lot of "I don't remember"s in there. Methinks someone is trying to cover his tracks while not perjuring himself.

Which is a pretty good guess, as it turns out, since Anderson was able to produce a 1987 deposition from now-deceased Bishop Loras Watters, in which he said he advised Carlson to answer "I don't remember" if he were ever questioned in court about the sexual abuse allegations. Guess what his response to that nugget of information was? He said he didn't remember that conversation. It would be funny if the subject matter weren't so gruesome.

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In 1984, it was Carlson's role to investigate the abuse claims of the victim. At that time, he wrote to then-Archbishop John Roach to tell him that the parents of one of his alleged victims were planning to go to the police. Carlson admitted he never went to the police, despite the seriousness of the allegations. Maybe he didn't remember.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis, where Carlson has been an archbishop since 2009, said in a statement Monday that Carlson had given testimony "several times many years ago" about the matter.

"In this most recent deposition, 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," the statement said. "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."

I'm pretty sure that sins of a "most egregious offense" are crimes. Sins that harm innocent children were crimes all the way back in the '70s and '80s. It sounds like a total cop-out to say you "don't remember" if you knew priests having sex with children was a crime or not.

What do you think about Archbishop Carlson's comments?


Image via andersonadvocates/YouTube

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