And I mean incredible in the following sense of the word.
Unbelievable, beyond belief, hard to believe, unconvincing, far-fetched, implausible, improbable, highly unlikely, dubious, doubtful, etc.
Here’s a snippet of Phil’s editorial over at Catholic Culture.
Please, Archbishop Carlson, don’t insult our intelligence, and we won’t insult yours.
You have testified, under oath, that in the 1980s it was not clear to you that sexual abuse of children was a crime. Do you expect us to believe that? Do you want us to believe it?
If you didn’t know that molesting children was a crime, why were you concerned that parents of a victim might talk to the police? If you didn’t know that sex with children was illegal, why did you write a memo alluding to the statute of limitations?
Leave aside the apparent contradictions in your sworn testimony. Taking it at face value, how are we to respond to your claim that you didn’t know for sure that child abuse was a crime? We aren’t talking about fine detail of the law, some gray area, some arcane local statute. Civilized society, always and everywhere, has taken a dim view of the sexual exploitation of children. If you actually expect us to believe that you didn’t know it was illegal to molest children, then you’re also asking us to believe that you have less practical judgment, less common-sense discernment, less understanding of the nature of law than we expect of any morally responsible person.
But of course you probably did know that sexual abuse was illegal. You probably meant to say that you didn’t know whether or not the terms of the law applied to the particular cases under discussion during your deposition. You were giving a lawyerly response, trying to defend yourself and defend the archdiocese in which you had served. In much the same way, you dodged other questions by saying almost 200 times that you couldn’t recall the details of various cases.
Well, how well has that legal strategy worked?
You know the answer, but read the rest anyway. And just in case you want to get a feel for the completely incredible answers the Archbishop gave in the deposition, have a look for your self right here. You’ll read a lot of answers like these,
“Q. I’d like to go back to the period of time when you were in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/ Minneapolis and you were appointed by then the Archbishop Roach to be on the Personnel Board of the Archdiocese. Do you recall what years you were on that board?
A. I do not.
Q. The records seem to reflect that you were on that board in 1973 and at least through 1977.
Do you have any reason to dispute that?
A. I don’t remember, but I really can’t say.”
Start at page 10. As Lawler notes, Archbishop Carlson’s answers are pretty dodgy. In fact, someone has already had a little fun with a reenactment based on His Excellency’s answers, but set in a different time and place.
Q. Are you the Son of God?
JESUS. I really don’t remember.
Q. Did you say you would destroy the temple and build it in three days?
JESUS. I have no recollection of that. Do you have that in a document?
Q. I have a document here that quotes a number of things you said.
JESUS. I don’t remember that document. May I see it?
Q. Before I show it to you, I’m asking if you recall the events it describes, such as chasing the money changers out of the temple. Did you do that?
JESUS. Is that recorded in the document?
Q. I’m asking you if you have any recollection of that outside the document?
JESUS. I have done many things. I don’t remember every one of them.
Look, I know it’s a tough gig leading a huge flock, and trying to smell like the sheep, etc. And it’s hard being a fisher of men when you’re constantly having to testify in depositions about stuff that you can’t even remember. But there’s lots of recent stuff to remember too. Pity, that.
Pray for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, for Archbishop Carlson, and for all who have lost their faith in the Church because of shenanigans like these. Bridges of trust that aren’t cared for can burn to the ground in a single generation. Look no further than Ireland for the evidence of this truth. And don’t the sheep deserve better than this? I think so.
I’m not so sure about that claim. Head back to the deposition, and start reading at page 108. The court reporters aren’t misleading at all. They can’t be.
Rod Dreher, with video: Archbishop Carlson & Strategic Amnesia.
Kevin O’Brien: Reading is fundamental.
“Swifty” McCellan with some Joe Six-Pack style wisdom: Advice to the Archbishop.
Fr. Z: Should you believe the STL Archdiocese, or your lying eyes? His comboxers aren’t so sure.
I don’t always agree with Grant Gallicho, but when I do…it’s when folks are unhappy with their press.