Priest ‘uncertain’ that abuse was a crime

Priest ‘uncertain’ that abuse was a crime

ROBERT J Carlson claimed to be uncertain whether he knew that sexual abuse of a child by a priest constituted a crime when he was auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The priest’s uncertainty came to light last month when he was asked during a deposition given to attorney Jeff Anderson whether he knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child.

Carlson, who is Archbishop of the Diocese of St Louis said:

I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. 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. He replied:

I’m not sure if I did or didn’t.

Yet according to documents released yesterday by the law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates in St Paul, Carlson showed clear knowledge that sexual abuse was a crime when discussing incidents with church officials during his time in Minnesota.

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 a statement, Gabe Jones, spokesman for the Archdiocese of St Louis, said:

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.

Anderson took Carlson’s deposition 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.

Later in the deposition, when asked about an incident of alleged sexual abuse of a minor by another priest in the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis – Rev Jerome Kern – Anderson asked Carlson:

But you knew a priest touching the genitals of a kid to be a crime, did you not?

“Yes,” Carlson replied.

Carlson went on to admit that he never personally reported any incidents of sexual abuse to the police, though he says he encouraged parents to do so at least once.

Carlson also said that even in 1996 he did not know that paedophilia was a disorder that couldn’t be cured.

With regard to the history of sexual abuse in the church, Carlson seemed to suggest he did the best he could at the time.

I think in everything we do, once we’ve experienced it, we reflect on our actions and we ask what we can do better. I think we did a pretty good job. Obviously, based on some 25 years later, I would do it differently.

I think counselors made mistakes. I think people in general made mistakes. I think the archdiocese made mistakes. I think if you go back in history, I think the whole culture did not know what they were dealing with. I think therapists didn’t. I don’t think we fully understood.

Anderson has also taken Carlson’s deposition for a priest sexual abuse case scheduled for trial July 7 in St Louis. That deposition is under seal.

According to Anderson, Carlson was involved in handling sexual abuse cases in Minnesota for 15 years.


23 responses to “Priest ‘uncertain’ that abuse was a crime”

  1. Broga says:

    My stomach curdles hearing the views of this repellent man. A smug liar, shifty and with a readiness for deceit, as long as it will deflect blame from himself and his criminal church.

  2. David Anderson says:

    “I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it’s a crime.”
    Disgusting piece of shit.

  3. Angela_K says:

    “I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it’s a crime.”
    And these religious bastards claim they get their morals from god! Crime or not these actions are abhorrent and morally wrong to any decent human being.

  4. reasonlogic says:

    “I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it’s a crime.”

    Are you a fucking mad man…not to know that anyone, let alone a man of the clothe, should not have anything to do with a child sexually in any form?

    He is coping out and using his, at the time limited understanding of “law”, to limit his responsibility in the crime. He hides his “feigned” lack of understanding of “worldly law”….when all the while he knows full well what the crime is.

    And the purpose in all the above… save mother church, which he is a major part of, from the stain of embarrassment…….It is sick and disgusting and way beyond rational thought……But who said religious people need act rationally?

    There is plenty of crime and bad human behavior in the world in the normal coures of life on this planet…..but if you crave real vial, disgusting and sick behavior ….just add religion.

  5. Broga says:

    What is extraordinary is the way these priests are not only tolerated but welcomed . Before too long you may be sure that the BBC will be giving the freedom of the air to an RC priest to patronise us with his bullshit, avoid mention of the scandals besieging his church and, for good measure and typically, tell us how wonderful is his Pope.
    When I hear them and think of the 796 little bodies in the cesspit of that Irish nunnery, thrown there like so much garbage because these sadistic women decided that they were not fit for acceptance because of their mothers, my skin crawls.

  6. Agent Cormac says:

    Strange how he seems to know with unwavering certainty how the universe and everything in it was created, and what rules his almighty god wants us all to live by. Yet clearly doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong. Deceitful excuse for a human being.

  7. andrewm031 says:

    Why is this man only a lowly priest? With abilities such as this, he should long have been given a comfy posting in the Vatican.

  8. bear47 says:

    In my opinion, if this guy is really being even remotely “honest” in saying he was “unsure” (or whatever) that is was a crime back when he heard of it, then he is one damn sick rat bastard and unfit to be in the company of any decent humans. He should be stuck in some catlick monastery where there are other priests and no children ever in that compound, confined to that compound for life.
    Sick rat bastard, protect the criminal enterprise that IS the RCC at ALL costs. I try to be tolerant of other people and their beliefs, but these religious clowns are pushing my limits, and doing so damn hard. I promised myself after I returned to the US after my “tour” in Vietnam that I would never do physical violence to another human being ever again unless to protect my wife and kids. Critters like this asshat are tempting me to ignore that promise I made to myself. Their smug, self righteous bullshit is taking things beyond any and all reasonable doubts. They are so arrogant, so self assured and smug in their sky doG and all their “biblical” rules etc. Yes, he “knows” all about his doG, but did not know that pedophilia was a crime in 1984? Who the hell is he trying to fool? Certainly NOT anybody with even one half of a functioning human brain cell.
    How sick and disgusting are these clowns? How low will they go? Obviously they have no shame at all.

  9. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    I knew it was a crime back in 1984, in fact I knew it was a crime a bloody long time before that. Either this man is a liar (preferred option) or he is so bloody stupid he should be in an institution.

  10. andrewm031 says:

    Strikes me as a liar. if you look at the language he used, it’s doubtful he’s plain stupid. Even if his education was provided by the Roman Church of Paedophilia ,he seems like a child who could have been saved for much better things Just shows how they can corrupt otherwise intelligent people. If he’d had a secular education, he might have achieved much in fields other than theology, and have been respected. Whereas now, I wouldn’t trust to pick up dogshit.

  11. Bubba T Flubba says:

    Typical catholic….do wrong …confess… forgiveness……repeat….

  12. Bubba T Flubba says:

    So this man has no innate sense of what’s right and what is wrong. So he is some kind of psychopath then…is that right? Methinks the catholic vetting process needs to be tightened up. You know….. to identify psychopaths and FUCKING LIARS.

  13. Bubba T Flubba says:

    Well modern day catholics don’t go around shooting innocent people in shopping malls, beheading soldiers in public, flying aircraft into tall buildings, assailing international airports, murdering health works saving muslim kids from polio, honour killing female family members, throwing acid into the faces of students, blowing up marathon races, mutilating the genitals of their daughters……. Catholic dogma is bad but islam is pure evil.

  14. Broga says:

    Frankie has cancelled and couple of masses and there is speculation that he is ill. Will he need a doctor or will he opt for the prayer alternative? If prayer isn’t effective for him then what chance have the rest of them.

  15. Matt Westwood says:

    Come on, be fair. How was he *supposed* to know it was wrong? After all, there’s no verse in the Book of Exodus, Leviticus or Deuteronomy that specifically states: “Thou shalt not roger thy choirboys.” So exactly where does it say it’s wrong?

  16. Trevor Blake says:

    As a member of a religion where sex with underage people, incest and genital mutilation are described as virtuous I can understand his confusion.

    Sadly as an atheist I have no moral compass and in my darkness and isolation I am quite sure that raping children is wrong in every circumstance. Pray for me, won’t you?

  17. Broga says:

    I have reached the point, quite some time ago, when anyone telling me they were religious, or had that reputation, left me feeling suspicious and a bit queasy. Their intention, of course, was to have the opposite effect and to attract respect. Stopped working for me a long time ago.

    I think what really got to me was the idea that they were acting virtuously because they were under the surveillance of their God, earning points for admission to heaven and, at one time, fearing hell. These seemed to me to negate the very virtue they were seeking. How did they know they were acting out of human kindness and not under threat from their tyrant God?

  18. Robster says:

    But what about the Baby jesus? Surely he’d pop in to sort things out for his minions, perform a quick miracle to try and remedy his good name and that of pope Frank and his Rome staff but no it seems. The all loving god has maintained its eternity long silence and invisibility, so it’s business as usual.

  19. Robster says:

    And don’t they get annoyed when the expected respect fails to materialise. I’ve got a clergyman of some xian flavour next door who’s most pissed my same sex partner and myself won’t refer to him as ‘reverend’ and called his faith silly nonsense when he gave is the ‘good news’ of his gaining reverence or whatever they call it. The rare times we communicate it’s great fun watching him slowly stew inside when we use his first name. “But I’m a religious leader” he says, “so what” we say. Great fun.

  20. 1865 says:

    Look – I ain’t no lawer – but if he didn’t know it was a crime way back in the 1980’s why did he keep silent about it? He kept stumm because he knew too fucking well that whet was happening was not just against the civil law, but for him especially, he must have known it was against every law in his religion. Convenient idiocy is what this is.

  21. Broga says:

    They love their titles. For some it isn’t enough to be Reverend. They have to be the very Reverend. I used to be irritated the way the BBC (natch) pandered to the narcissism of Iain Paisley. They would massage his ego by calling him Dr. Or introduce him as the Reverend Doctor.

    The ranting Paisley became a reverend by starting his own church and got his doctorate from some two bit religious outfit in the USA.

  22. Broga says:

    He also knew, as they all did, that paedophilia was endemic in Roman Catholicism. The culture of protection by ignoring children and parents, threatening, denying and moving paedophiles was too common not to be known. And that was

  23. Norman Paterson says:

    Bubba – I am pretty sure he does, or did, have such an innate sense, because we have evolved as social beings. It is possible his moral sense was never properly formed, and he was congenitally psychopathic. But more likely his moral sense was perverted by lifelong exposure to religion. His religion insists that he was born sinful, that he has no morals of his own, and that he must joyfully adopt the morals of “the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

    No wonder he’s screwed up. It’s hardly his fault; it was done to him when he was a child. But he must be locked away until he recovers his humanity.