Carlson: Unsure sex abuse was a crime

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The head of the Archdiocese of St. Louis said under oath he couldn't recall details about how he handled allegations of abuse against a Minnesota priest years ago.

Carlson: Unsure sex abuse was a crime:

But Archbishop Robert Carlson did say he never went to authorities after that priest admitted in 1984 that he engaged in criminal sexual contact with a minor.

Carlson is asked if he coached a bishop:

Carlson was deposed last month in a case against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where Carlson served for years and had a role in investigating allegations of abuse from 1979 to 1994.

Messages left with the St. Louis archdiocese weren't immediately returned. The St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese had no comment.

Part of Carlson's 1980 journal entry read:

Carlson left Minnesota in 1994 and served as bishop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Saginaw, Michigan, before becoming St. Louis archbishop in 2009.

READ: Transcript of Carlson's entire deposition

Monday afternoon a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of St. Louis issued the following statement:

Though not a party to the lawsuit, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson was recently deposed for a case in St. Paul-Minneapolis.

The case alleges abuse in the Archdiocese of St Paul-Minneapolis decades ago by a former priest. Archbishop Carlson was a priest of that archdiocese at the time of the alleged occurrences, and had given testimony several times many years ago about the same allegedly abusive former priest. In this most recent deposition, 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. The question does not address the Archbishop's moral stance on the sin of pedophilia, which has been that it is a most egregious offense.

All media inquiries about this Minnesota case should be directed to the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis encourages all persons with reports of misconduct with a minor involving a member of the clergy or other church personnel to contact Deacon Phil Hengen, Director of Child and Youth Protection, at 314.792.7704, the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800.392.3738, or law enforcement officials.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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