St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson testified last month that he wasn’t sure whether it was illegal for priests to have sex with children while he served as chancellor of the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese.
By Travis Gettys—The Raw Story
The former chancellor gave a deposition last month in a lawsuit that claims the Minnesota archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona created a public nuisance by keeping information on abusive priests secret, reported Minnesota Public Radio.
The 69-year-old Carlson also faces a massive clergy abuse lawsuit in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where he’s served as archbishop since 2009.
One document made public in that case shows more than 100 priests and church employees have been accused of sexual abuse, and the Missouri Supreme Court ordered the archdiocese to turn over their names under seal.
The Minnesota lawsuit was filed by a man who claimed a priest abused him during the 1970s, and Carlson told the plaintiff’s attorneys that his understanding of those accusations had changed over the years.
“I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson said. “I understand today it’s a crime.”
The accuser’s attorneys asked Carlson whether he knew in 1984, when he was an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, that it was illegal for priests to have sex with children.
“I’m not sure if I did or didn’t,” Carlson said.
But documents released Monday by St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, the former chancellor showed clearly that he understood sex abuse was a crime when he discussed incidents with church officials during his time in Minnesota.