Archbishop Robert J. Carlson claims to be unsure that he was aware a priest sexually abusing a child constituted a crime when he was auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, according to a deposition released Monday.
During the deposition, attorney Jeff Anderson asked Carlson whether he knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child.
“I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson replied. “I understand today it’s a crime.”
Anderson went on to ask Carlson whether he knew in 1984, when he was an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, that it was crime for a priest to engage in sex with a child.
“I’m not sure if I did or didn’t,” Carlson said.
You can read the full deposition here.And you can watch him explain his understanding in his own words below:
UPDATE: The Archdiocese of St. Louis had released a lengthy statement defending the archbishop, which concludes:
The media reports of this deposition have not only called into question the exemplary record Archbishop Carlson has amassed during his more than 40 years of ministry, but has also reopened the wounds of survivors of the heinous act of sexual abuse, and has caused further pain to the Catholic Faithful, both here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and beyond. These misleading and inaccurate reports have also resulted in negative commentary both in traditional as well as social media outlets. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Archbishop Carlson and the Catholic Church abhor any form of sexual abuse.