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Jun 10 2014

Amoral ignorance

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.

57 comments

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  1. 1
    David Marjanović

    What exactly do they teach in Catholic seminaries?

    How to put a thick layer of paint over your doubts about the Faith.

  2. 2
    chigau (違う)

    50 or so years ago, when I was a Catholic child, I was taught that Holy Orders (the priesthood) was unique in the Seven Sacraments because it was a Direct Call From God.
    God himself chose every priest.
    I wonder if they still teach that.

  3. 3
    Trebuchet

    But remember, it’s only about Teh Gay.

  4. 4
    Paul

    …but I’ll bet that he “knows” that the pope is the infallible emissary of gawd, and that the entire babble is the inspired word of that same gawd. The hypocrisy, the hypocrisy…

  5. 5
    blindrobin

    Educated at cat-lick schools and a fuckin’ seminary. Whatchaspekt?

  6. 6
    rpjohnston

    Ah, but the priest is saying he didn’t know it was a “crime”. A “crime” is a legal judgment, not a moral one. In other words, he’s saying “I understand now that I’ll get in trouble for it”, not “I understand now that it’s bad.”

    Which is even more sickening.

  7. 7
    Craig Rushforth

    Of course he knew it was wrong – he just never thought he would get caught, and his abuse exposed for all the world to be revolted by. Perhaps he thought that the Church would just cover it up – they did try quite hard!

    Comes over like an evasive child who knows they have done wrong, but doesn’t want to admit it.

    How can such men claim to represent God?

    Oh wait – biblegod wasn’t very nice to children either…

  8. 8
    Kevin Alexander

    When I was a lad in Catholic school a priest explained to me that the Church infallibly teaches that god made sex for the purpose of procreation so any act that has no possibility of making babies and doesn’t involve icky girls is A-OK with god whatever this misguided heathen legislators might say.

  9. 9
    moarscienceplz

    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.

    Ah, but our sense of morality is a direct gift from God, donchaknow, so we don’t need to be taught how to act morally. Besides, Cat-lick seminaries have so much more important things to teach, like when a cracker is just a cracker and when it it the body of Our Savior, or, how to tell the difference between somebody with schizophrenia and somebody infested with demons. Compared to this vital stuff, who has time to think about the well-being of small children?

  10. 10
    wordsgood

    I just can’t even imagine what kind of slimeball could sit there and pretend the way this cretin is doing. Really, everyone knows he’s lying and he is fully aware that we know do. So is such a farce even being carried out? Lock him up and lose the key.

  11. 11
    Holms

    Not that his claim of ignorance is at all believeable, but if he truly did not know back then that sex with a minor was a crime, then how the fuck could they ever lay claim to the idea that they are moral authorities? Throw in the blatant lying in this trial, and I think we can conclude that this guy is not just a criminal, but an especially vile and contemptible human being.

  12. 12
    Anthony K

    When I was a lad in Catholic school a priest explained to me that the Church infallibly teaches that god made sex for the purpose of procreation so any act that has no possibility of making babies and doesn’t involve icky girls is A-OK with god whatever this misguided heathen legislators might say.

    Damn. I remember a teacher in Grade 7 telling us masturbation was wrong, because it was selfishly hoarding a gift God made explicitly for sharing. Sigh. Catholic schools. Whaddayagonna do?

    Thank goodness for the unchanging moral authority of the Bible.

  13. 13
    David Marjanović

    I was taught that Holy Orders (the priesthood) was unique in the Seven Sacraments because it was a Direct Call From God.
    God himself chose every priest.
    I wonder if they still teach that.

    They still teach it to laypeople. I do wonder if they also teach it in seminary.

  14. 14
    AMM

    OP:

    They just didn’t know it was bad to stick your penis into 8 year old boys.

    I want to point out the sexism of this meme — that what’s evil is priests sexually abusing boys.
    .
    My understanding is that priests have abused girls as well, though I had to actually ask around about it to get any confirmation. I notice that female victims are virtually never mentioned. The publicity and outrage seem to be focussed entirely on boys as victims.
    .
    Cynic that I am, I assume it’s because of rape culture — I mean, isn’t being shtupped by any guy who feels like it (priest or not) what girls (and women) were created for? It’s only when males are harmed that anyone sees any reason to get upset.

    end{sarcasm}, in case it wasn’t obvious.

  15. 15
    CHARLES

    I was just coming over here to mention this.

    These persons are supposed to be addressed as “Most Reverend” and “Your Grace” – why when they are apparently duplicitous and deceptive. “Not sure I knew at the time,” Argh. >:(

  16. 16
    Pierce R. Butler

    Modern theology is sooooo sophisticated, there’s no room left in a priestly brain for mere legalities.

  17. 17
    Pierce R. Butler

    … Catholic priests don’t learn about the ethics of raping children, or of throwing their dead bodies into a septic tank. … 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.

    In my preschool, we learned how to dispose of bodies so they would never be found.

    And, so far, they haven’t!

  18. 18
    Jason Dick

    Well, to be fair, he could just be talking about the legality of the situation, “Well, hey, it might have been bad, but I didn’t think it was illegal.” Not that that’s a whole lot better, but it is true that many forms of rape have been legal in the disturbingly recent past.

  19. 19
    Kevin Kehres

    Lying liars and the lies they lie.

    @13

    selfishly hoarding a gift God made explicitly for sharing

    God will make more. Lots and lots more.

  20. 20
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @AMM:

    Oh, misogyny is definitely part of it, but I think you’ve failed to appreciate the heterosexism. Sure, raping little girls might be a crime, but, hey! As you said, girls/women were made for that, and men were made to do that to girls/women, so, violation of autonomy, individually traumatic for the victim, but nothing more important than that! Whereas raping boys/men, well, that’s not merely a crime against the individual (and a private matter, because domestic and sexual violence are private matters, to be handled within the family, dontcha know?) but also a crime against nature! There could not possibly be a natural sexual urge (and we all know that rape is a natural sexual urge that just gets a little too strong to wait for consent) for a man to fuck a boy! That’s disgusting and wrong. Also, the men in power? It doesn’t hurt their fee fees to imagine a girl getting raped, because they’re just imagining penises and vaginas and it doesn’t occur to them to think about consent. But, hey! They are PsychicallyInjured!™ when the idea of two penises in the same place crosses through their brains. Why do you injure their fragile heterosexuality like that?

    Misogyny, hatred of queers, hatred of trans folk, rape culture: it’s all interrelated in complicated ways.

    But yeah, that the thing. It pisses me off no end that they keep pretending that only boys are victimized and/or only the boy victims matter.

  21. 21
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    You didn’t know you are supposed to be celebrate, period. ✓

  22. 22
    twas brillig (stevem)

    He didn’t know it was illegal back then? I smell “denial” in the air. Yes, he knew and is trying to con his way into making us believe that he didn’t know it at the time. Bullshit! Pull the other one, rev.

  23. 23
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    wth, autocorrect?

  24. 24
    otranreg

    Karlsson? With 8 year old boys?

    No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o! The best memories of childhood literature ruined!

  25. 25
    robertbaden

    There was a book by Mark Twain, Letters From the Earth, that talked about abuse of women by priests.

  26. 26
    Doubting Thomas

    Did they cut out the part where the interviewer called the priest a lying piece of shit?

  27. 27
    damien75

    When I read “They just didn’t know it was bad to stick your penis into 8 year old boys.” I immediately understood that the sex abuse scandal was about a priest (or priests) and a boy (or boys) around eight.

  28. 28
    a miasma of incandescent plasma

    “Of course he knew!”

    And… here’s the evidence:

    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.

    http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/st-louis-archbishop-carlson-claims-to-be-uncertain-if-he/article_4215ecea-3409-53b3-813b-545c81a1b793.html

    And then there’s this:

    Carlson went on to admit that he never personally reported any incidents of sex abuse to the police… Carlson was involved in handling sexual abuse cases in Minnesota for 15 years.

  29. 29
    unclefrogy

    here is the thing that gets me. This official of the church is supposed to be one of the smart ones who made it to a level of management. He can then say what everyone knows must be a lie. Why? At this point the I can only guess he is trying to protect himself and the church as naive and innocent of at least the law.
    That he can’t see the damage he is doing while trying to weasel is way out of jail is really telling how out of touch with reality he lives.
    Except for the actual words spoken he sounds just like some mafia Boss saying he did not that xxx crimes.
    uncle frogy

  30. 30
    Trebuchet

    This official of the church is supposed to be one of the smart ones who made it to a level of management.

    As you can easily see by looking at corporate and political “leadership”, you don’t have to be all that smart. You usually just need to be an asshole.

  31. 31
    David Marjanović

    You didn’t know you are supposed to be celebrate, period. ✓

    wth, autocorrect?

    “Celibate” doesn’t actually mean “not having sex”, it means “not marrying”. Catholic priests of the Roman rite* aren’t allowed to marry – they aren’t directly forbidden from having sex, that’s just a side-effect of sex outside of marriage being considered sinful.

    Even today, the official bureaucratic French term for “unmarried” is célibataire.

    * Those of the Greek rite are required to marry. And for a few years now, they’ve been allowed to read masses by the Roman rite without further ado. Oh well. The heads of theologians don’t easily explode.

  32. 32
    David Marjanović

    (For much of the Middle Ages, Catholic priests were pretty much expected to regularly do business with prostitutes. Only later did such extramarital sex come to be regarded as too grave a sin.)

  33. 33
    Sili

    That he can’t see the damage he is doing while trying to weasel is way out of jail is really telling how out of touch with reality he lives.

    What damage? Do these scandals do anything to reduce the popularity of the RCC in Africa and the Philippines?

  34. 34
    Al Dente

    Priests are not only supposed to be celibate but are also supposed to be chaste, i.e., refrain from sexual intercourse.

  35. 35
    jstackpo

    Somehow I suspect that he was lawyered up with very precise language for his testimony.

    Which doesn’t excuse him, only explains things a bit.

  36. 36
    shockna

    50 or so years ago, when I was a Catholic child, I was taught that Holy Orders (the priesthood) was unique in the Seven Sacraments because it was a Direct Call From God.
    God himself chose every priest.
    I wonder if they still teach that.

    They still teach it to laypeople. I do wonder if they also teach it in seminary.

    My last desperate attempt to preserve my faith in Catholicism was to attend seminary to become a Priest (it didn’t work, obviously; I left seminary long before I was actually to go through the sacrament). And yes, they do still teach this.

  37. 37
    pacal

    Of course he is lying when he says he didn’t no it was illegal at the time. For by 1984 there had been plenty of well publicized cases involving the sexual abuse of minors. Only if this creep had been living on a desert island could he have been ignorant of it. In fact by 1980 sex scandals involving Priests and Alter boys had become such common knowledge that the movie Airplane (1980) had a reference to it. The scene shows a Priest sitting down and opening a magazine like it has a centerfold called Alter Boy.

    The guy is such a transparent liar.

  38. 38
    Amused

    *Putting on lawyer hat*

    To be completely fair, he didn’t say he didn’t know whether raping children was morally wrong. He said he didn’t know it was a crime. Speaking generally, it’s a very technical difference, but it does probably matter for the case.

  39. 39
    Bronze Dog

    Ah, but the priest is saying he didn’t know it was a “crime”. A “crime” is a legal judgment, not a moral one. In other words, he’s saying “I understand now that I’ll get in trouble for it”, not “I understand now that it’s bad.”

    Which is even more sickening.

    Lots of other people noticed that distinction, but I think it needs all the reiteration.

    The other thing worthy of reiteration: Yeah, there are girls being victimized by priests, too. Let’s not forget them.

  40. 40
    unclefrogy

    Well if history is a guide, sooner or later sexual abuse scandals will come to light in Africa and the Philippines.
    I would note that if the clergy truly believed in sin and redemption they would freely confess their sins in public and take their earthly penance with humility just as their Jesus advised and showed by example. if they did that they and the church would gain.
    they do not, they show instead that it is the earthly structure of the church and not their imaginary mythological god and salvation that is primary.

    because reasons and not faith,
    uncle frogy

  41. 41
    Doubting Thomas

    Ignorance of the law, like god told me to, is not an acceptable defense in any court of law in this country.

  42. 42
    jemimacole

    “What exactly do they teach in Catholic seminaries?”

    One of my best friends was a seminarian. His way of telling it: they teach you how to deflect questions like ‘who goes to heaven and hell?’ and oratory – speaking nicely. There’s some basic theology, but … here goes the mindblowing thing: you can get into seminary with a 2.1 GPA. The requirements for Kansas prison guard … 2.3 GPA. There are some *very* smart seminarians, but most of them are utterly subliterate types who need the Spark Notes explained to them. They learn by rote, there’s very little in the way of thinking, writing and so on. There’s a massive recruitment crisis for priests, and they’re basically taking any warm body they can and sticking a robe on them and handing them boxes of magic biscuits. These are not clever people, they’re – my friend’s phrase – the kids too weedy to be jocks and too pigshit stupid to be nerds. He left because he could not stand to be around so much stupid the whole time. As with so many things about the Catholic Church, the reality is even more ridiculous and appalling than an atheist fever dream.

  43. 43
    lorn

    Well … as monstrous as such behavior clearly is, it isn’t entirely inconsistent with Catholic doctrine. The doctrine is that the church is primarily focused upon this notional but ephemeral structure known as the soul. An ongoing theme within the Catholic church is that the soul is immortal whereas the body isn’t. The ratio of a finite number of years alive and infinity in heaven or hell, also notional constructs, is interpreted as meaning that whatever happens to the body is insignificant as long as the soul ends up in the right place. There is also the long standing interpretation that suffering is good for the soul because it direct a person away from temporal comfort and toward eternal comfort.

    This is the sort of thing taught in seminary.

    AFAIK child rape isn’t actually taught as a subject in seminary but tolerance of it seems to be implied by Catholic doctrine. Corporal and capital punishment, misogyny, and child rape are all part of the array of full-service options offered by Catholic church. All designed to help you get you, and your children, into that imaginary place they call heaven.

    And, of course, the Catholic faith has always claimed to be beholding to eternal law before temporal law.

  44. 44
    robster

    Ah, the seminary. What they do there is carefully remove any lingering examples of rational intelligence and replace them the ability to embrace absurd silliness. They learn that the wine and cracker is really filet de jesus after a bit of abracadabra, that silly hats are a godly fashion statement and pope Frank’s farts don’t smell. Not that hard if you’re already afflicted and compromised with christian nonsense.

  45. 45
    Kamaka

    “I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson said. “I understand today it’s a crime.”

    OK. That is the biggest fattest lie I have ever heard. A 3-year-old child could do better.

    What exactly do they teach in Catholic seminaries?

    My seminarian informant told me that fundraising was job one.

    Well if history is a guide, sooner or later sexual abuse scandals will come to light in Africa and the Philippines.

    The Filipinos are in denial about all of this right now, but it will most certainly blow up in a big way sometime soon, because the RCC loves them some little brown folk. The Filipinos are way down the food chain from the Irish.

  46. 46
    Kamaka

    The Filipinos also have this nasty bunch to deal with. http://www.iglesianicristowebsite.com/
    Everywhere I traveled in Luzon, Iglesias has the fancy cars and the fancy compounds all fenced in to keep the poverty out, all the while sucking the blood of the unwashed masses. Despicable.

  47. 47
    David Marjanović

    Corporal and capital punishment, misogyny, and child rape are all part of the array of full-service options offered by Catholic church.

    Not true. Since at least JPII, the Catholic church has been officially against capital punishment. Unlike your average American fundy, it is now consistent about that “sanctity of life” thing.

  48. 48
    anteprepro

    And yet the plain ol’ everyday Catholics will just “No Troo Catholic” their way back into continued support of a corrupt child-raping machine they call a church. Go go religion.

  49. 49
    dorght

    Surprise NEWSFLASH, popular media reporting is sloppy, headline driven drivel. NEWSFLASH plaintiff’s lawyers may selectively edit a disposition tape and release it.
    After reading the articles watching the video I noticed the lead in context was missing, and the archbishop was answering a very specific legal question as to when he “first” discerned it was a crime. Honestly can say I could not answer that question either, I assume I was very young. A deposition is not a time to be guessing at answers.
    The St. Louis archdiocese posted this today:
    http://archstl.org/commoffice/press-release/2014/archdiocese-st-louis-addresses-arch
    Ok, that release does add context and makes the situation statements were made in more understandable.

    All this does not, however, excuse the church’s conduct. I grew up in catholic schools in the 60s and 70s and I remember way back then general discussions about confession and illegal activity. So the church knew and taught about moral/ethical behavior they chose to ignore their own teachings and moral standards for themselves.
    I am a little surprised at PZ Myers though for not being more skeptical of the headlines and edited video footage.

  50. 50
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @dorght:

    I think PZ was wrong to use bad as a follow up to “illegal”, but it is pretty clear that PZ was discussing the Archbishop’s response to a question about legalities. See:

    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.

    So, yeah, PZ had the issues clear, even if you didn’t and even if he didn’t write about them as clearly as one might.

    But moving on from that, I’ve read the press release. Although reporting requirements nearly always apply to knowledge of **illegal,** repeated, harmful actions towards children, they do not always apply to knowledge of legal but harmful, repeated actions.

    The church, in its press release, is attempting to twist the narrative such that people believe that the question put to the archbishop is one about when the archbishop first learned that it was a crime to fail to report illegal, repeated, harmful actions towards children.

    You, fortunately, don’t make the conflation, but it might be nice if you took your skepticism seriously enough to note that the church’s statement is clearly designed to mislead before you use it as some exculpatory evidence.

    In fact, it doesn’t add context: if you didn’t know that this was a legal deposition just from the video, I’m surprised at you, not at the “new” info in the church’s statement.

    Moreover, it doesn’t make the statements “more understandable”. I understood perfectly well, as did PZ, why the statements were being made: because only this precise statement “I don’t remember when I learned that” can be a defense against liability AND immune to prosecution for perjury. While it’s possible that he honestly doesn’t remember a general time frame for when he first learned that adult sex with a juvenile is a crime, the plaintiff’s counsel made this “i don’t remember exactly when” dodge entirely untenable by asking,

    …certainly by the 70s?

    in a context where it was clear he was speaking of decades. For him to assert that he had never heard that statutory rape is a crime, that he had never read a news story about child rape, that he had never counseled someone wrestling with going to the police about such things, all that is entirely laughable.

    So now we’re just wondering if it’s entirely impossible that any of those memories would be from a context which he should have been certain indicated a date before Jan 1, 1980.

    Such contexts might include, say, high school jokes about jail-bait and college jokes about jail bait. To say that he was unaware as a young man just above the age of 18 that sex with girls below a certain age (even if he wasn’t sure exactly what that age might be) is fucking ludicrous.

    So, did he complete college before Jan 1, 1980? Yep. From his own official bio/cv on the archdiocese website:

    Saint Paul Seminary, B.A. in Philosophy, 1966

    So, yeah. The idea that he has no contextual memories providing a vague date that is nonetheless certain to be before Jan 1, 1980 is ludicrous. It’s even ludicrous to believe he doesn’t have a vaguely dated memory that nonetheless must have been formed prior to Jan 1, 1970.

    So that leaves the dilemma:

    Either the archbishop is lying, in a particularly calculated way, to avoid tort liability for his employer while avoiding personal liability for perjury OR this man is so disconnected from the values and laws of the society in which he holds himself out as a moral beacon that his elevation by the pope condemns the RCC far more generally than simply as an organization that had a bad apple somewhere in its midst.

    Choosing bishops, archbishops, and cardinals is part of the religious duty of the papacy, where the pope is infallible. A pope infallibly chose a moral imbecile as its moral beacon?

    Well, frankly the idea that this was a divinely inspired “perfect” choice made by god through the pope would be even worse for the RCC than just revealing that their moral authority isn’t.

    There is no way in which this is good for the RCC or reasonable behavior on the part of the archbishop. The church’s statement adds no useful context. It misleads readers. It, frankly, compounds the error that leads us to believe the church casually lies to protect itself.

    I don’t know why you thought for a moment that it somehow made things better for Carlson, the archdiocese, or the RCC.

  51. 51
    David Marjanović

    Choosing bishops, archbishops, and cardinals is part of the religious duty of the papacy, where the pope is infallible. A pope infallibly chose a moral imbecile as its moral beacon?

    No. Only “a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church” can be infallible, and that only under fuzzily defined conditions.

  52. 52
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Pardon my error, and thanks for the correction, David Marjanović.

    Very interesting that it is so limited. Does the pope get out of infallibility free when he appoints a commission to set a policy, which it then does in the pope’s name?

    You don’t have to answer, even if you know. I find such things curious, but not worth the brain space to try to retain permanently.

  53. 53
    dorght

    @Crip Dyke, …
    I would really like to see the video of the lead in to the released questions. This out of context stuff really bothers me, makes me very suspicious, and negatively evaluate the plaintiff’s lawyers. The archdiocese’s press release did raise one possibly valid concern and then try to dismiss the entirety of the issue. Also purposely misleading.

    So new conspiracy theory Bishop’s gate and the gaps in the recording.
    (Actually watched hand movements, etc to see if I could detect any gaps, but no just a selective start)

    The real point of my post though wasn’t the church’s or lawyer’s sleaze bag ways but the lack of critical thinking on the part of the media and their reporting. It really looks like a case of news headline by press release, with no verification or application of basic journalism.

  54. 54
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @dorght:

    The real point of my post though wasn’t the church’s or lawyer’s sleaze bag ways but the lack of critical thinking on the part of the media and their reporting. It really looks like a case of news headline by press release, with no verification or application of basic journalism.

    Well, we sure do agree there. I’ve read 3 news stories on the original story, and one based on the church’s press release.

    I didn’t think any of them were any good.

  55. 55
    dorght

    Here’s the transcript of the deposition:
    http://www.archspm.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/158765rcarlson05232014_Full_Redacted.pdf
    pg 108

    Two middle fingers raised towards my immediate East.

    Reading the transcript at first I was sympathetic towards the archbishop. He was facing a lawyer who was thoroughly prepared with documents and ready to play gotcha with testimony on his memory of 30+ year old events. Given the science of memory I have serious trouble with believing eye witness testimony in capital murder trials given hours or days, then again years after the events. I not going to change that standard just because I don’t like the church. The archbishop is consistent in asserting he only wanted to make accurate statements and not remembering may be the most accurate statement he could give.

    The press release made by the archdiocese is pure bullshit. While raising the “you’re talking about mandatory reporting?” quote they neglect the follow on
    “MR. ANDERSON: Objection heard. I’ll ask another question. Okay?
    MR. GOLDBERG: Go ahead.
    Q. (By Mr. Anderson) Archbishop, you knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid?
    A. I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it’s a crime.”

  56. 56
    David Marjanović

    Very interesting that it is so limited. Does the pope get out of infallibility free when he appoints a commission to set a policy, which it then does in the pope’s name?

    Not sure if that has ever happened, at least not without the pope signing the statement… but, again, infallibility is not the default; it’s opt-in, not opt-out. :-þ

  57. 57
    David Marjanović

    (The pope alone signing the statement, I mean.)

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