St. Louis Archbishop Says He Didn’t Know It Was Illegal For Priests To Have Sex With Kids

By Alison Vingiano | 10 June 2014

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson.
St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson.

An archbishop from St. Louis testified last month that he “wasn’t sure” if he knew it was illegal for priests to have sex with children.

Robert Carlson, now a 69-year-old archbishop in St. Louis but formerly an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, gave a deposition last month for a lawsuit that claims the Minnesota Archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona caused a “public nuisance” by not disclosing information on abusive priests, the MPR news first reported.

Carlson additionally faces a clergy abuse lawsuit as part of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where more than 100 priests and church employees have been accused of sexual abuse, the St. Louis Dispatch reports. Carlson has served as archbishop there since 2009.

During the deposition last month, attorney Jeff Anderson asked Carlson if he knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sexual acts with a child.

But documents released Monday by Anderson seem to show that Carlson knew sex abuse was a crime.

In a 1984 letter to the archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, John Roach, Carlson discussed one sex abuse victim and the statute of limitations regarding that case.

Carlson admitted during the deposition that while he never reported sex abuse himself, he did encourage parents to report sex abuse to police on at least one occasion.

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

Carlson has reportedly been involved in handling sexual abuse cases in Minnesota for 15 years.

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  1. He knew it was wrong, everyone knows it’s wrong, why the higher ups in the church( i’m pretty sure the pope knows they have a problem with their priests) only shifts these pedaphiles around different churches, it allows them to repeat their offences!!!

  2. Butch Nelson. You are an inspiration to other victims who have not stepped into the light. It is a terrible blight on the Catholic religion (I attempted conversion but couldn't justify supporting a church that has protected the villians while ignoring and continuing to abuse its victims). May God bless you always.

  3. This is why there is no statute of limitations on crimes against children under 16 in the state of MA, other states should do that too and it wouldn’t matter how long ago it was. They refer to it as the Catholic Priest Law

  4. Really, our children are not safe because our country keeps letting them hide behind the cloth that has been drug through the mud, instead of someone standing up taking charge Amen.

  5. The only good pedophile is a dead pedophile! No exceptions!
    There is a special place in hell waiting for these filthy, vile pedophiles!

  6. The children are not protected by anyone! Not the church, not public service, not school, not social activities, Only decent loving people with loving hearts and good will, good parents and God will provide protection for our children.

  7. Well all you Catholic’s, take action, don’t donate to the church unless they get rid of all the abusers and those that covered it up. Just remember, what you allow will continue.


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