Archbishop Claims He Wasn’t Sure Child Sex Abuse Was A Crime

Click here to read: “St. Louis Archbishop Carlson said he’s not sure he knew sexual abuse was a crime,” by Lilly Fowler, St. Louis Post – Dispatch Religion News Service, National Catholic Reporter, June 10, 2014

Editor’s note: Malarkey or Idiocy? I say the former, but neither is acceptable. Even in the case of the latter, he had to know it was morally wrong.

22 thoughts on “Archbishop Claims He Wasn’t Sure Child Sex Abuse Was A Crime

  1. I recall a similar statement made by a Victorian bishop who claimed “touching up” boys [a known precurser to sex-abuse] once wasn’t thought of as serious. ….even with the many known suicides.

    1. Badly worded: “While conceding abuse of children was wrong, in the past it had not always been clear to everyone what was appropiate and inappropiate behaviour”.
      Stated by now retired Ballarat bishop Peter Connors convinced there was no need for a parliamentary inquiry into abuse within Victoria alone at that stage.
      The SMH August 2 2012..

  2. Susan,

    I read about this fools statement earlier and I was tempted to bring it to your attention but then I thought every time I heard or read a stupid comment coming out of the Catholic Church especially from one of the Catholic Church hierarchy as this archbishop I would be e-mailing you everyday or placing this information on one of your articles where it does not belong.

    What concerns me the most is how many more clergy members think the same way this person did ?

    We continue to see as we chip away at the Catholic Church the thinking that may have led up to innocent children becoming victims by Catholic clergy and why for so many years it was swept under the rug. The thinking it is o.k. for children to be made clergy property.

    p.s. If I was law enforcement in Minn. I would be checking this individuals computers for child pornography.

  3. The pattern of clerics pleading lack of clarity on the legal front and lapses in memory is a shameful run-around defense that is neither supported by their actions nor by common human experience.

    Look at the actions of bishops. Secret archives of offending priests under lock and key, the shredding of documents, exhausting all legal means before they will produce diocesan records, the moving of offending priests from parish to parish, the secrecy, the collusion, the threats, the lies… These are not the actions of clerics wide-eyed and in a state of theological grace defending Mother Church. They are the planned and purposefully orchestrated actions of arrogant, powerful, and well-resourced clerics intent on hiding what they know are crimes and protecting themselves.

    Does it fall within the realm of normal human experience for a person to forget his engagement in a crime network? What if the person supposedly represents Christ? Wouldn’t the glaring divide between Christ and crime trigger remind fulness rather than forgetfulness? Is it normal for a human being to forget the instances, events, and circumstances where he clamored to meet his weighty duty to maintain an institutional crime secret? Is it normal for human beings to forget the instances, events, and circumstances where, if he did not respond culturally “correctly,” his head would roll?

    When clerics plead lack of clarity on the legal front and lapses in memory, they morph into personalities exuding the mixed attributes of gangsters, liars, Peter Pan, and imbeciles.

    1. And, the pope will soon remove him from his position due to moral incompetence and his inability to shepherd the flock. No way! it’s business as usual. I bet he’s currently having a good time in New Orleans.

      St. Louis AD official statement- “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.”

      I understand now; it was really the media who were misleading us. The Very Reverend Carlson is a saintly bishop simply trying to guide his flock to the truth. Thank you for such extraordinary patience Your Excellency. We are simple dumb sheep; we are unworthy of your efforts to save us. Thanks again for enlightening us, YOU CREEP!

        1. He’s just saying what his lawyer told him to say……..don’t these guy know there is a hell? No wonder they aren’t concerned with saving souls……….they probably don’t believe in heaven either…….

  4. Those statements by carlson will turn out Very Bad for the rcc, he is a shameless sinner and enabler !

  5. Very Hard to believe this statement. As a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, from the late 1970’s and1980’s onward, there was no doubt that these actions were crimes and should be handled by the civil authorities. Multiple priests in our Archdiocese have spent time in jail. But we still do not know how many cases were “settled” outside of court and were payed off with a statement of “silence” on the part of the recipients.
    Crime? Please Archbishop, have you suffered some type of legalistic dementia that you have been isolated even from your own peers in the episcopate???

  6. Here is an update along with the transcripts. It seems that answer was in relation to knowing when not reporting/ mandatory reporting was a crime, not abuse.
    So if the abuse was always known and understood to be a crime then why has the Church not treated it as such?

  7. I’m confused…………I know about Bishop Carlson, but I also know there’s another US RCC leader named Bishop Charlatan. I have to keep their identities clear and distinct.


    (1) a person who falsely pretends to know or be something in order to deceive people.

    (2) a person who pretends or claims to have more knowledge or skill than he or she possesses

    (3) A person who makes elaborate, fraudulent, and often voluble claims to skill or knowledge; a quack or fraud

    Where would we be without Noah Webster ?

  8. Let us remove this individual from the relationship with the Catholic Church or him even being a priest just another human being who walks the face of the earth.

    Can you say common sense ? Like coming in out of the rain, you don’t stick a metal object into an electrical outlet, and NEVER under any circumstance is it o.k. for anyone to sexually abuse a child .

    I will end my comment the same way drwho13 did. WHAT A CREEP.

  9. It was only a matter of time.

    St. Louis archbishop says statement on sex abuse taken out of context

    by Dennis Coday | Jun. 11, 2014 NCR Today

    . .
    The Minnesota lawyer who released the deposition of St. Louis’ archbishop this week took the archbishop’s response to a question “out of context and suggested that the Archbishop did not know that it was a criminal offense for an adult to molest a child. Nothing could be further from the truth,” says a statement the archdiocese released this morning.

    “Recent inaccurate and misleading reporting by certain media outlets has impugned Archbishop Carlson’s good name and reputation,” the statement says.

  10. I’ve read that in April 2002, Archbishop Carlson was diagnosed with “Stage 0-1 bladder cancer.” Bladder cancer, if caught in its early stages, as it was for Arch. Carlson, in more than 91% of diagnosed cases, is not only “treatable,” but even defined as “curable.”

    I researched the Archbishop’s diagnosis and also the seriousness of different stages of bladder cancer, because there is one statement the Archbishop made that I find personally offensive in the extreme. Arch. Carlson said, “…I have had seven cancer surgeries. Each time I received some kind of chemical to put me out for that. If that’s impeded my memory or not, I have no idea.”

    I wish I could’ve challenged Archbishop Carlson as well. You see… I’ve had two surgeries on my spine and another surgery to repair torn muscles in my lower back after a work-related injury in June 2011. (It seems likely I’ll be having a third spinal surgery within the next month or two.) In 2004, I was blindsided by a drunk driver on my way to work and I needed several surgeries. I compound fractured both wrists and my lower mandible (jaw), which required separate surgeries. I tore muscles and ligaments and broke a bone in my left knee, all of which required surgery. In 1988, I was struck by a car while riding my bike and tore my ACL, which required surgery. I’ve also gone through non-surgical procedures for a number of injuries I’ve had in my life. Some of the non-surgical procedures and ALL of the surgical procedures I’ve gone through required some sort of treatment by an anesthesiologist before or after the procedures. If I had gotten a chance to challenge Archbishop Carlson by asking him questions of my own, I would’ve asked, “Why is that I can remember nearly every goddamn awful abusive action two men perpetrated upon me as a child? Why is my memory clear?”

    I’m actually so interested in finding out exactly what types of anesthetics were given to the Archbishop before his surgeries so that maybe I can buy some on the black market, because my ability to possess, inject, or ingest such a substance surely to cause memory loss would be a wish come true. I would sell everything I own and brave walking into churches, only with the intent of stealing challises and donation collection boxes to afford that stuff. Archbishop Carlson is one lucky SOB! He didn’t even have to ask for this stuff. They just gave it to him. What hospital performed his surgery? Hell, I’ll cut my arm off if it even gives me even a tiny chance of running into the same anesthesiologist with the same miracle drug.

    My mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma brain cancer in the summer of 2011. Stage 4 Glioblastoma and Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer, are considered death sentences if diagnosed, and are also considered “absolutely fatal” and almost 100% of people diagnosed with either type will live only months. I had been my mother’s primary caretaker, and I can assure you that we tried everything medically available to cure this disease. Large doses of Temodor, beginning with 85mg per/day in the first month to 385mg per/day in her final month. Temodor is the equivalent of battery acid, and its objective is to destroy the cancer cells throughout the body. Unfortunately, Temodor, as well as all chemotherapies, also attack and damage healthy organs, cells, and tissue. Combine this poison with the havoc-wreaking destruction of radiation treatment 6 days per/week, and the family has a front-row seat of watching your mother’s body break down. The chemo poisoning her body causes certain sickness, constant nausea, headaches, and vomiting. The skin turns yellow for a time, then you’ll start noticing shades of green and blue, until eventually your mother’s skin is a color you never knew existed. Large doses of Temodor result in teeth breaking, fingernails and toenails yellowing and becoming brittle, loss of appetite, and severe exhaustion. The radiation has many of its own costly dynamics, causing temporary or permanent blindness, “field cuts,” which are parts of one or both eyes being damaged, resulting in blindness. The radiation caused my mother’s hair to fall out randomly on her head, which is itself a major psychological blow to a woman, any woman, but especially one who loved going to the Salon. Too many days I had to wheel my mother out of the cancer center, to the car, and physically lift her into the back seat, where she could lay down because she was much too weak to sit up.

    I was estranged from my mother for many years, actually for most of my adult life. It was by certain circumstances and also my willingness to prove to her that I had a purpose in life and I would find a way for her to survive, that I had become her primary caretaker. She died exactly 7 & ½ months later, from the day she had surgery to remove most of the tumor in her brain. (February 28, 2012)

    The Glio tumor was located in the “Temporal Lobe” of my mother’s Cerebral Cortex. This area of the brain is primarily responsible for hearing, emotion, vision, language and speech, and MEMORY. (I learned a lot about the brain in those final months of my mother’s life.) In the final 10 days, an IV was inserted into my mother’s arm and the tube hooked up to a PCA pump, which carried constant morphine into her veins, starting with 6mg in the first few days and ending with 24mg over the course of the final two days of her life. However, her MEMORY did was not effected until she took a turn for the worst at the beginning of those last 10 days.

    As being someone who has had numerous surgeries to repair damage to my own body, and as someone who was by his mother’s side 24/7 for the final 7+ months of her life, I find it an insult that anyone would use “cancer” as an excuse for immoral and corrupt behavior, followed by obvious poor and reckless judgment in preventing children from sexual abuse. I’ve also sat in doctor’s offices and hospitals with the families of other patients diagnosed with cancer. I met a teenaged girl from Baltimore on a “cancer survivor’s forum,” whose 41-year-old father was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma a month before my 62-year-old mother. We communicated back and forth through email, I spoke to her and her mother on several occasions on the telephone and I tried writing the best words I could think of that may comfort them a bit. Her father died exactly 1 month after my mother passed. I cried when I got the phone call that her father passed, while I have yet to cry for my own mother. A year later, my neighbor’s 3-year-old little girl was diagnosed with Stage 3 Glio. She died on December 5, 2013 in Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN.

    To imply that “cancer” is the purpose for which a person failed to act immediately and decisively to protect children is to disgrace the struggle that every cancer survivor endures. It’s an insult to a 16-year-old girl in Maryland, the parents of a 3-year-old girl in my community, and to families everywhere, who hope and pray, while watching their loved one wither away to nothing, so that someone can deflect their own responsibility in doing the right thing. It’s also an insult to the children who were abused under Carlson’s watch, and to all survivors of sexual abuse. Archbishop Carlson doesn’t deserve to call himself a survivor of anything, especially cancer. He deserves to suffer! Maybe the janitor in St. Louis will put Carlson out on the curb with the rest of the garbage!

    I am no longer shocked as to the lengths in which Catholic hierarchy will go to protect their own hides. Scumbags!

    Archbishop Carlson is an example of a complete waste of financial and medical resources that could’ve been utilized on somebody more human!

    Peace out!

    1. Rich: My sister, too, had A glioblastoma multiform Stage 4 died 6 months later. As you stated, never once had any “side effects” as stated by the “bishop” . I worked in the oncology field and took care of cancer patients for 33 years. Some people have strokes due to some related physical condition, things like that happens. My sister was alert up until 6 days before she passed…..
      Seems like any excuse for the RCC church will be used, in order to make pew sheep etc believe what is being said.
      Really are they serious??
      Yes Satan is alive and well!!!

      I believe the victims/survivors.

      PS. I’ve been on A certain chemotherapy treatment for 2 years and 3 months, and My mental facilities are still working OK


  11. If he feels his memory is as bad as he claims it is what the #%^* is he doing managing a huge financial institution! Anyone with memory that bad would be unemployable

    1. Good point………we know it is all one big lie……..Satan is the father of all lies…………

  12. For “context”
    4 Q. You had earlier said that you felt that the
    25 Archdiocese made mistakes in the handling of this
    Page 108
    1 priest and others, but you seem to attribute more
    2 responsibility on the therapist. Do you think that
    3 the therapist, upon which you relied, either at the
    4 Service of Paracletes, Ken Pierre, Gendron or others
    5 that appear in this record, bear as much or more
    6 responsibility than the Archdiocesan officials who
    7 made the choices they did?
    8 A. I think if you go back in history, I think
    9 the whole culture did not know what they were dealing
    10 with. I think therapists didn’t. I don’t think we
    11 fully understood. I don’t think public school
    12 administrators understood it. I don’t think we
    13 realized it was the serious problem it is.
    14 Q. Well, mandatory reporting laws went into
    15 effect across the nation in 1973, Archbishop.
    16 MR. GOLDBERG: I’m going to object to the
    17 form of that question.
    18 MR. ANDERSON: Let me finish the question.
    19 MR. GOLDBERG: Go ahead. I’m sorry.
    20 Q. (By Mr. Anderson) And you knew at all times,
    21 while a priest, having been ordained in 1970, it was a
    22 crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid. You
    23 knew that, right?
    24 MR. GOLDBERG: I’m going to object to the
    25 form of that question now. You’re talking about
    Page 109
    1 mandatory reporting.
    2 MR. ANDERSON: Okay. I’ll — if you don’t
    3 like the question, I’ll ask another question.
    4 MR. GOLDBERG: Well, you’ve asked a
    5 conjunctive question. One doesn’t —
    6 MR. ANDERSON: Objection heard. I’ll ask
    7 another question. Okay?
    8 MR. GOLDBERG: Go ahead.
    9 Q. (By Mr. Anderson) Archbishop, you knew it
    10 was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid?
    11 A. I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime
    12 or not. I understand today it’s a crime.
    13 Q. When did you first discern that it was a
    14 crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid?
    15 A. I don’t remember.
    16 Q. When did you first discern that it was a
    17 crime for a priest to engage in sex with a kid who he
    18 had under his control?
    19 A. I don’t remember that either.
    20 Q. Do you have any doubt in your mind that you
    21 knew that in the ’70s?
    22 A. I don’t remember if I did or didn’t.
    23 Q. In 1984, you are a Bishop in the — an
    24 Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/
    25 Minneapolis. You knew it was a crime then, right?
    Page 110
    1 A. I’m not sure if I did or didn’t.
    2 Q. Well, you’re talking about criminal sexual
    3 conduct in 1980, and you’re talking about it again in
    4 1984, so you knew that to be correct, right?
    5 A. What I said, I said, and if I — if I wrote
    6 it, I said it.

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