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Continued: Ex-Twin Cities Bishop Carlson: No recall of sex abuse cases

Kapoun remained in active ministry until 1996.

Carlson has previously said that he had investigated the Adamson case and had disagreed with then-Archbishop Roach’s decision to keep Adamson working in churches because of his sexual misconduct. He was removed from the case because of that disagreement, he has said.

Nonetheless, Carlson said in the new deposition that he didn’t remember basic information about the Adamson case. When asked what the specific accusations were, Carlson couldn’t recall.

“I don’t remember,” he said, “but I’m sure they were of a sexual nature.”

When asked to elaborate on Adamson’s “pattern” of behavior, which he referred to in a 1980 memo, Carlson responded: “I don’t remember why I used that word [pattern], but I have no reason to doubt that if I used it, there was something.”

When asked the name of any other priest who had reported abusing children, Carlson responded: “The reports on people [abusers] could come to many different people, and I don’t remember which ones were reported to me.”

Challenging forgetfulness

In response to Carlson’s frequent replies of “I don’t remember,” Anderson produced a 1987 deposition from now-deceased Winona Bishop Loras Watters, describing a conversation with Carlson about an upcoming court deposition.

“He [Carlson] said, the best thing you can say is, ‘I don’t remember,’ ” Watters testified.

Anderson then asked: “Is that what you told Bishop Watters to do?”

“I have no knowledge of the discussion,” replied Carlson.

Carlson said the reason he had so few answers about Adamson was that “accuracy is very important to me.”

Bob Schwiderski, president of the Minnesota Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests (SNAP), said the archdiocese could be a different place today if Carlson and others had forged a strategy of openness and healing when the clergy abuse scandal first erupted.

“He had a chance to have this archdiocese turn out so much better,” said Schwiderski. “Instead it’s been dodge-run-deny.”


Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511

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