We’re having a Catholic sex abuse scandal here in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and I’m learning lots of interesting things. Did you know that you can rise to the level of archbishop in the Catholic hierarchy without learning that it is illegal for priests to have sex with kids? They just didn’t know it was bad to stick your penis into 8 year old boys. Maybe they thought it was a perk of the job.
The Minnesota lawsuit was filed by a man who claimed a priest abused him during the 1970s, and Carlson told the plaintiff’s attorneys that his understanding of those accusations had changed over the years.
“I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson said. “I understand today it’s a crime.”
The accuser’s attorneys asked Carlson whether he knew in 1984, when he was an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, that it was illegal for priests to have sex with children.
“I’m not sure if I did or didn’t,” Carlson said.
If you have to ask yourself whether it’s OK to have sex with children, I think it’s pretty obvious that you don’t know that it’s wrong.
So, so far we’re learning that Catholic priests don’t learn about the ethics of raping children, or of throwing their dead bodies into a septic tank. What exactly do they teach in Catholic seminaries? Actually, push that back, since most of us learned that this kind of behavior would be bad so long ago that it is lost in the murk of our preschool experiences. Maybe the question should be about whether the Catholic church actively recruits psychopaths to be priests.