Press Releases


Follow Archbishop Robert J. Carlson on Facebook and Twitter for his latest statements.

Find joint statements and press releases from the bishops of Missouri on the Missouri Catholic Conference website.


December 2019

December 24, 2019 - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's Christmas Message Offers Prayers of Comfort, Compassion, Forgiveness and Hope

November 2019

November 15, 2019 - Statement from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Following the 2019 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Fall General Assembly

November 12, 2019 - "The Word Was Made Flesh and Dwelt Among Us": Archdiocese of St. Louis Offers Advent Faith-Formation Oportunity

October 2019

October 29, 2019 - Media Alert: Archbishop Robert J. Carlson to Offer Blessing for Border Mass Pilgrims

September 2019

September 13, 2019 - Statement from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and the Archdiocese of St. Louis Regarding Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s Report on Clergy Abuse in the State of Missouri

September 10, 2019 - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Urges Parishes to Participate in Weekend Mass Collections for Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts

August 2019

August 5, 2019 - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Offers Prayers, Support for Victims of Terror in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio

July 2019

July 26, 2019 - Archdiocese of St. Louis Releases List of Clergy with Substantiated Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

June 2019

June 29, 2019 - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Has Submitted Letter of Retirement to Pope Francis 

May 2019

May 24, 2019 - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Commends Governor Mike Parson for Signing the “Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act”

May 23, 2019 - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Offers Prayers, Support for Storm Victims

May 17, 2019 - Archbishop Robert Carlson's Response to the Passage of House Bill 126: Missouri Stands for the Unborn 

May 9, 2019 - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Statement on Pope Francis' New Mandate on Reporting Abuse

May 6, 2019 - Archdiocese of St. Louis Hires New High School Superintendent, Dr. Todd Sweda

April 2019

April 15, 2019 - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Statement on Notre Dame Cathedral Fire, Update on Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (Old Cathedral)



Press Releases > Statement from Archbishop Carlson Regarding Recent Sexual Abuse Findings
Statement from Archbishop Carlson Regarding Recent Sexual Abuse Findings

Statement from Archbishop Carlson Regarding Recent Sexual Abuse Findings

August 16, 2018
Media Contact:
Gabe Jones

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, released the following statement regarding the recent sexual abuse findings:

The recent allegations of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy as revealed by a grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania are extremely disturbing. Priests are called to be spiritual fathers to their people, and bishops are called to be shepherds of their flock, to protect the people in their care. We know that in many cases that has not happened. The trust of the faithful has been violated.

We must act on behalf of the victims of this abuse in order to bring to them the love, healing, and light of Christ.

Our own Archdiocese of St. Louis has not escaped the scourge of clergy sexual abuse over the past few decades. Since 2002, the archdiocese has renewed its efforts and made every attempt to protect those who cannot protect themselves and to ensure that the light of Christ is present everywhere—especially where children or vulnerable people are present.

I pledge my continued commitment to the protection of children and young people. Our archdiocesan policy regarding the protection of children is stringent, thorough, and includes multiple points of accountability. All clergy, seminarians, employees, and volunteers whose service in the Church brings them into contact with children must have a regular background check. Since 2002, over 100,000 adults who are employed by or volunteer in our parishes and institutions have participated in the professionally developed program, “Protecting God’s Children.” The program equips those who serve the Church to foster a safe environment for our children and vulnerable adults.

In the fall of 2017, a former member of the FBI conducted a complete review of our child protection and Review Board policies and procedures. Our program was judged to be thorough and comprehensive.

Established in 2002, the Archdiocesan Review Board currently consists of a majority of lay members not employed by the archdiocese who review every allegation of clergy sexual abuse and provide me with advice concerning allegations. I have always followed the advice of this board. The board includes lay members with backgrounds in law enforcement, medical ethics, psychology, psychiatry, and a medical doctor whose expertise is in the diagnosis and treatment of juvenile sexual abuse.

Our seminary’s admission process involves a thorough psychological evaluation, which includes detailed knowledge of the man’s mental and psychological health. The seminary has two full-time lay psychologists to assist in human development, and each man meets regularly with an in-house spiritual director and formation advisor. In addition to all these points the faculty, administration, formation advisors, and psychologists gather three times a year to discuss the progress of each seminarian in every dimension of his formation, so that any potential problems can be identified and addressed.

Today no clergy against whom a substantiated claim of abuse of a minor has been made have permission to conduct priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I support and encourage anyone with an allegation to contact law enforcement.

The Church relies on the help of God’s grace to remain firm in Her resolve and effective in Her action to protect children and young people. I will be inviting the priests of the Archdiocese of St. Louis to join me in offering Masses for all victims of sexual abuse. I pray that we may always express the pure love of Christ particularly for children and the most vulnerable in our midst.