February 14, 2005

Father of Faith


For the past 11 years, he's been the leader of 130,000 eastern South Dakota Roman Catholics.

But this week, Bishop Robert Carlson leaves the diocese to take a new assignment in Saginaw, Michigan.

In 1994, the man who would become bishop of eastern South Dakota was far from familiar with the state.

Carlson says, "I didn't know much about Sioux Falls or the area. I knew almost nothing about farming and agriculture."

So Bishop Robert Carlson says he started his service here with an open mind and a message to the faithful. ...

During his time in diocese, Carlson also heard the voices of those who'd been hurt by his church. Victims of sexual abuse came forward. But first, Carlson says his approach to handling the crisis came to him in prayer.

He says, "We started looking for victims in 1996, we didn't wait until 2002."

Carlson says while he didn't handle everything perfectly, he continued to learn with each incident. He found everyone heals in different ways, and he hopes the church's public struggle could benefit the rest of society.

Carlson says, "There is no room for abuse in our culture. It has to stop."

Posted by kshaw at February 14, 2005 07:01 AM