Are you sitting down? Have you carefully placed your coffee cup away from your lips? Okay then:
Of course, he was lying:
According to documents released Monday 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.
The man claimed he couldn’t remember 193 times in the deposition. And this is his view of how the church responded in the past to the terrible toll of child abuse:
“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. I don’t think public school administrators understood it. I don’t think we realized it was the serious problem it is.”
These were not mistakes. They were crimes. And at no point did Carlson call the cops. Rod makes an important point:
I think about Dante, one of the greatest Catholics who ever lived, who spared nothing in his excoriation of clerical corruption, all the way to the Pope, but who never wavered in his devotion to the Church. Surely one doesn’t have to have the intellect of Dante to understand that attacking the despicable behavior of priests and bishops, and demanding that they be held accountable, does not make one disloyal to the Catholic Church, but can even be a sign of greater loyalty. It is in the interest of the hierarchy to portray all critics as motivated by anti-Catholic bias, but it is not in the interest of the Church, and it is certainly not in the interest of children and families who were victims.
So why, one wonders, is Carlson still an archbishop?