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Archbishop Carlson's Sworn Deposition

June 11, 2014, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Archbishop Carlson's Sworn Deposition
Archbishop Robert Carlson

Archbishop Robert Carlson has found himself in the middle of a child sex abuse case in Minnesota. The story has gone viral and has even made national headlines.

Carlson told investigators under oath last month that he couldn't recall details of how he handled allegations of abuse against a Minnesota priest back in the 1980s.

Archbishop Carlson spent nine years as the head of the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese.  Before that, he was an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. 

Last month, investigators took Carlson's sworn deposition as part of a sexual abuse lawsuit in Minnesota.

During the deposition, Carlson admits to attorney Jeff Anderson that he didn't go to authorities back in 1984 after Reverend Thomas Adamson admitted to him he had abused a child.

Carlson says he remembers inviting the parents of the alleged victim to call the police.

Anderson: He admitted sexual contact with (blank) the name of the kid is blacked out.  My question to you is, do you remember Adamson admitting to you and another Father that he had abused this kid when you met with him?
Carlson: I don't remember it, but if it's here, I believe it to be true.

One of Carlson's duties back then was to investigate allegations of abuse.

Anderson:  A priest admitting to you that he abused a kid is a pretty shocking thing isn't it?
Carlson: Correct.
Anderson: That's not an ordinary event in the course of your official duties in the Archdiocese.

Carlson told investigators that the admission was a long time ago and he doesn't recall much of that meeting between him and Father Adamson.

Anderson:  Archbishop, you knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid?
Carlson: I'm not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not; I understand today it's a crime.

The St. Louis Archdiocese is condemning media reports of Archbishop Carlson's deposition saying "inaccurate and misleading" reporting has prompted unfair criticism of him.

Meanwhile, critics are calling for the Catholic church to censure Carlson and other current and former Twin Cities bishops for the way they handled sex abuse allegations.

Carlson's sworn deposition is 157 pages.

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