ST. LOUIS (CNN) - The current archbishop of St. Louis says he was unsure if a priest having sex with a child was a crime back when he was auxiliary bishop in the Twin Cities.
The comments by Archbishop Robert Carlson came in a deposition taken in May but released Monday.
It's part of a lawsuit against a Minnesota priest. Carlson is not a party to the lawsuit.
Matt Karis shook his head after watching the deposition on a phone.
He was raised to believe in the Catholic religion, but he says he doesn't believe that the St. Louis archbishop didn't know it was a crime for a priest to have sex with a child.
Carlson served as Chancellor of the Twin Cities archdiocese in the 1980's.
Carlson said under oath that he couldn't recall details about how he handled allegations of abuse against a Minnesota priest.
He also said he never went to authorities after that priest admitted in 1984 that he engaged in criminal sexual contact with a minor.
"It's just disgusting," Karis said.
Despite criticism, attorney Art Margulis says a defense attorney could try to make sense of Carlson's deposition by saying he truly didn't know what constitutes a crime.
"It's quite possible that the archbishop may not have known all of the facts concerning what's been described as a sexual assault," Margulis said.
The archdiocese of St. Louis released a statement Monday.
It says the archbishop did make it clear in the deposition that he knows child sex abuse is a crime today.
And he also goes on in the deposition to call pedophilia an "egregious offense."