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Poll: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Archbishop Robert Carlson?

June 15, 2014 Crime, Featured, Religion, Sunday Poll 36 Comments
Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar
Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar

St. Louis’ Catholic Archbishop, Robert Carlson, was the center of a controversy last week over his testimony in a tapped deposition:

In a letter released Friday night, Carlson said he “misunderstood” a series of questions when he said he was unsure if he was legally obligated to report sexual abuse to police. Carlson had been deposed for a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where he was previously a bishop. Carlson had a role in handling claims against priests who were accused of sexually abusing children from 1979-1994. (KMOV)

The controversy continues this week.


In the deposition questions about mandatory reporting begin on page 84, it picks up again on pages 108-09. According to a question from one of the lawyers, mandatory reporting became the law in 1973. Carlson served as the Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 1983–1994, where he handled sex abuse claims.

The poll this week asks your favorably of Robert Carlson, the poll is at the top of the right sidebar.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "36 comments" on this Article:

  1. guest says:

    Steve, here we go again. Taking every opportunity to bash organized religion. Let’s see? Do people have a “favorable” or “unfavorable” opinion of Archbishop Robert Carlson? What in the world does this have to do with urban policy in St. Louis? Next up, do people have a “favorable” or “unfavorable” opinion of…Mike Matheny? Steve Ehlmann? I-70 to Kansas City? St. Charles Housewives? Float Trips on the Meramec River? Bunnies?
    Steve, every reader knows you’re a devout atheist and hate the Catholic Church and its teachings. So, when it comes to a poll like this, it’s really not very enlightening. Yeah, let’s see…”Oh, wow, readers at UR have a ‘highly favorable’ opinion of Archbishop Carlson”. Like that’s gonna happen.

    • It was a big news story so I decided to do a poll. Look at the results, huge numbers have voted ‘highly favorable’. I think you’ll agree I was very level in how the post was written. But FYI, I don’t dislike any one religion/faith more than any other — they’re all equal in my eyes.

      • guest says:

        Oh, I’m quite certain those “favorable” votes are coming from the highly organized, pro-Catholic PR spin machine in St. Louis. They have radar running for any chance to portray the Catholic Church in a positive light. Or it’s just regular people out there trying to screw with your poll. Virtually NO ONE has a high opinion of Carlson and what he said in his deposition. How could they? Lies covering lies, being spun by church lawyers.

        • Stacey says:

          St. Louis is a Cathoic city whether people like it or not. It was founded by Catholics and it will always be Catholic. Many St. Louis politicians are Catholic and support their Catholic churches. At a recent Mass at my parish, I saw our Alderwoman and our State Representative in attendance and I have factual evidence that they give lots of money to our parish. LOTS.That saying, there are many St. Louisans in powerful positions who support the Catholic Church and who approve of Carlson, yet they are careful not to voice their opinions publically for fear that they might get smeared by the media. I know many wealthy and influential St. Louisans who fit this category. Mayor Slay is one of them. He himself is a Catholic (a Maronite Catholic) and very much supports the Archdiocese (although he is very careful in what he says publically). The Archdiocese approves of Slay. He was their candidate.

          The media here does everything possible to portray the CC in a negative light and it has been quite successful in this situation. But as hard as the media tries, it will never destroy the Catholic Church in this city. It’s roots are too deep and they go back to the very foundation of this city. No matter the controversy, the common St. Louisian will always go back to supporting the parishes they grew up in and pouring their money at their parish picnics and events. Many parishes are extremely influential in certain neighborhoods of the city. Take a look at St. Louis Hills neighborhood and the effect that St. Gabriel Catholic Church has on it. It practically owns St. Louis Hills neighborhood. Common St. Louisans might critical of the Church hierarchy but they are certainly loyal to the parishes they grew up in and their loyalties cannot be shaken.

          St. Louis is Catholic whether people like it or not and the Carlson controversy will die and be forgotten about in due time.

          • Many of the original citizens were Catholic, they also owned slaves.

          • marty says:

            Most Catholics did not own slaves as slavery was banned under the Spanish Empire. It was the Anglo-American Protestants that owned slaves and abused them the most! Remember that the German Catholics were against slavery and fought for the Union! Catholics were also the first to de-segregate their schools!

          • Rich Bargette says:

            That’s right Steve, it was the CATHOLIC CHURCH who de-segregated their schools way before the public schools did. Learn a history lesson people. Who do you think actually helps the poor in this city?? Who runs St. Patrick’s Center? Who runs CATHOLIC Charities? Who runs St. Peter and Paul Soup Kitchen? Who runs the Missionaries of Charity Soup Kitchen, After-School program, Abused Women’s Shelter? Heck, who runs most of the hospitals in St. Louis?

            There would be no St. Louis without Catholics. Fact.
            It’s even named after a Catholic saint, a French monarch at that!!

          • ” In 1947, St. Louis Archbishop Joseph E. Ritter quietly instructed Catholic schools to admit black children. Protests erupted as classes began in September.

            About 500 angry white parents gathered in Capstick Hall, 5815 Easton Avenue (now Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard), on Sept. 9 to oppose Ritter’s decision. Said meeting co-chairman William T. Rone, “We do not want Negro children alongside our children in the schools.””
            Source: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/a-look-back-archbishop-ritter-integrated-catholic-schools-warns-opposition/article_fedc0718-1449-56ff-9c31-50115a468059.html

          • “The first black slaves to arrive in the area were brought by Philippe Renault in 1719. These slaves, numbering 500, came from the island of Santo Domingo (the French colony of Haiti). Both these slaves and their masters spoke French and were at the very least, nominal Catholics. Renault’s slaves worked in the lead mines west of St. Genevieve. A few of these slaves working as boatmen came upriver to St. Louis. ”
            Source: http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/slavery.htm

          • mark says:

            Steve, it said they were “nominal Catholics”. That doesn’t mean that slavery was approved by the Catholic Church which was and still is AGAINST slavery.

            Same with desegregation of schools. The Church stood firmly in this case. It was the institution of the Catholic Church under Cardinal Ritter to desegregate the schools. It was one of the first things he did. Maybe some Catholics didn’t like it. But too bad, they had to obey because desegregation was the right thing to do. It was the just thing to do. When did the public schools desegregate?? And were there not angry white parents who protested??

            Steve, the Catholic community in St. Louis has done more for peace and justice than you will ever realize. That is not to say that some Catholics have not done atrocities… Are all atheists perfect? Have there been no atheist pedophiles? No atheist criminals?

          • marty says:

            Great comeback Mark!

          • guest says:

            “No matter the controversy, the common St. Louisian will always go back to supporting the parishes they grew up in and pouring their money at their parish picnics and events. Many parishes are extremely influential in certain neighborhoods of the city.” Don’t be so sure. North city is dotted with the hulking remains of abandoned Catholic Churches, and now it’s happening on the South Side. There used to dozens of Catholic schools all over St. Louis. Now there are a fraction of what there used to be. Many of those Catholics left the city, moving to places like Arnold, Fenton, and St. Charles. So while there are plenty of Catholics still living in the city and holding leadership positions, that hold is not forever. So long as Catholics keep moving out of the city (see – cops and firemen); so long as city families complain about paying earnings taxes and parochial school tuition (just listen – it’s all over), the Catholic population of St. Louis will continue to decline, parochial schools will close, and parish churches will close. No matter what the people in St. Louis Hills might think.

          • marty says:

            The overall Catholic population of the area will not decline. How come the Archdiocese just built a new church in Wentzville? It’s called St. Gianna Parish. Website is below.


            Also, many Catholics are urbanists and preservationists. What about Sean Thomas, Director of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group! A great St. Louis resident, practicing Catholic, and sends his children to Catholic school.

            Also look at how St. Francis De Sales Church in South City is being restored:

          • guest says:

            There are plenty of Catholics in St. Louis, but there are also lots of cracks in the foundation on city Catholicism. Recently closed schools include St. Mary Magdalen, Epiphany, St. Aloysious, Holy Innocence, St. John the Baptist, and possibly Immaculate Heart of Mary. Teetering are St. Joan of Arc and St. Stephen Protomartyr.

            The Arch Diocese has already begun a process to realign schools in the “South City Deanery”, a process which the vaunted St. Gabriel’s boycotted. Now St. Gabe’s only has one priest. From three to one in a span of about 4 months. Coincidence? So the A-D closes city churches and schools and opens one in Wentzville? That sounds like more urban sprawl brought to you courtesy the STL Arch Diocese!

            Meanwhile, bash organized religion all you want Steve, but as these Catholic schools and churches close, that’s another nail in the coffin of neighborhood decline.

          • Decades ago church and neighborhood stability were linked, but not anymore. More and more the population doesn’t claim any religion. Cherokee Street’s rebirth hasn’t happened because of any church. In fact, it’s likely happened because no powerful church held back the creative efforts of the residents.

          • guest says:

            “Cherokee Street” is not a neighborhood.

          • You’re correct, it’s the edge of two neighborhoods (Gravois Park & Benton Park West). It was a very rough area 20 years ago. My point is areas can be rejuvenated without the help of a church(s).

          • guest says:

            “Very rough area 20 years ago”? Well, Haffner had his Record Exchange there and the historic hat shop was still open. Not sure what data supports that neighborhood conditions in Gravois Park are better now than they were 20 years ago.

          • mark says:

            St. Francis De Sales church in South City has helped stabalize the neighborhood that it is in. The church has received countless neighborhood awards. Churches continue to be instrumental in neighborhoods. More and more young people are attending the church that was once almost closed and more and more the neighborhood gets better.

          • guest says:

            Same can be said for the anchor institution in the Shaw neighborhood – St. Margaret’s of Scotland Church. Without that church, the neighborhood would have likely collapsed back in the 70s, much the same way McRee Town did.

          • neil allen says:

            The good thing is that your children are learning the real truth, and they will leave the Catholic church.

          • Nick Roberts says:

            Ok, you’ve got some serious anger management problem dude. I’m not Catholic but I try to respect peoples’ right to believe. You’ve just come on here and made some extremely belligerent statements. Try to be a tad bit reasonable. This forum is for conversing about things, not blasting peoples’ beliefs.

          • neil allen says:

            Even if their belief is that protecting, hiding and moving child rapists is what the leaders of “God’s church” would do? Really?

    • neil allen says:

      The Catholic church is a religion of organized child rape, and their leaders lie under oath about it. That is news, even though it is Catholic to hide the truth, then whine and act like a victim when the truth comes out.

      • Stacey says:

        Right, and I’m guessing that the public schools system is also an institution of organized child rape as well. Because it’s a fact that the public schools have a much larger rate of child abuse than the Catholic church or any other Christian church for that matter.

        • neil allen says:

          Standard Catholic lie.

          The Catholic church ADMITTED 4,392 substantiated, accused child sex offenders in the own John Jay report. That was 4% of the 100,000 priests over a 50 year period, but if you read the details of the report, 8-9% of priests were child sex offenders in the 70s and 80s, and 100% of them confessed to another priest, and the Catholic church protected 100% of them, in brutal defiance of Jesus in Matt 18:6.

          No other church or school system or any other institution has NEARLY the percentage. PROVE that they do, without using the standard Catholic distortions of the truth, like “estimates”, “extrapolations”, guesses, or “Joey said, “Jane said”.

          And of course, no other church committed organized crime, moving and shuffling known, serial child rapists to new places where they could rape again.

          And NO intitution protected child rapists who raped over 100 children, like Fr Oliver Grady, Fr Lawrence Murphy (200 deaf boys, no less), Fr James Porter, Fr Ruben Martinez, Fr Gilbert Gauthe, Fr Brendan Smyth, Fr John Geoghan, Fr Gerard Risdale, and countless others.

          The Catholic church isn’t God’s church, and if another church raped children and protected the rapists, they wouldn’t be God’s church either.

          Satan loves you for lying for his child rape crime ring, though.

  2. Dawn P. says:

    St. Louis Review has a good explanation. Please read

  3. Chris Lombardo says:

    I am ashamed and horrified at the fact that priests and bishops have been abusers of children. I am a Catholic and always will be. I believe in my faith and I believe that child abuse must be tackled aggressively. My faith, however, will never be shaken. Just because a priest has abused a child, doesn’t mean that I will leave my faith. Just because PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS HAVE ABUSED CHILDREN, doesn’t mean I will not send my kids to school. And for the record, public school teachers have a way higher child abuse rate than the Catholic priests. I am ashamed that this horrid abuse happened in my Church, but I believe the Archbishop has a chance to defend himself against the abuse of the media…

    This explains a lot:

    • mark says:

      Amen Chris.

    • neil allen says:

      Jesus hated child rapists, and also said that you should go find every victim. Have you done that, or is it enough that you found a couple of other places (that also aren’t God’s church), and they had some cases (which were not organized pedophilia, like the Catholic church), and that gave you an excuse to use before God.

      • guest says:

        hahaha what a complete crack head

        • neil allen says:

          Catholic, who follow the religion of organized child rape and professional pedophile protection to please their god, are the true crack heads.

  4. neil allen says:

    He’s just another lying, pedophile protecting Catholic leader


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