Protesters march in St. Louis over Archbishop Carlson’s testimony

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - A lawyer for St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson defended the church leader Wednesday saying his reputation had been tarnished by statements taken out of context.

This came after a firestorm of public criticism over Carlson’s testimony regarding child sex abuse in a thirty year old case against a Minnesota priest. Attorney Charles Goldberg described the archbishop as a “leader” in combating child abuse by clergy. At the time, Carlson was part of the leadership of the Catholic Church in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The video showing segments of Carlson’s sworn testimony regarding the Minnesota case was released by lawyers for the plaintiff. Goldberg said it was taken out of context and the questions really referred to whether Carlson knew at the time if it was a crime to fail to report abuse of children to law enforcement.

St. Louis critics of Carlson gathered outside the New Cathedral Wednesday afternoon calling on him to show transparency regarding abusive clergy within the St. Louis Catholic Church. Catholic Ellen Prendergast of Old Monroe urged “good” priests to demand the bad ones be removed. “I can’t stand that the good priests continue to let the bad priests and their past and even their present be covered up,” she said.

Linda Briggs-Harty, a member of the church from Brentwood, said, “I don’t know if he should step down or not but people need to start looking at the fact this is absolutely ridiculous to be talking like this as a moral leader.”

Paul Alvino, who challenged the Archdiocese in Missouri Courts, lost when the state court of appeals ruled the abuse happened at a cabin owned by a priest and not on church property and therefore the Archdiocese had no responsibility for the actions of its employee.

“They spent well over a million dollars defending themselves against me and they admit it…they believed me they said it was true and they put me through hell,” Alvino told the protestors. “This is the way they treat people,” he added.

The director of SNAP, Survivors of those Abused by Priests, David Clohessy criticized Carlson for promising to be open and transparent and yet breaking those promises. Clohessy challenged Carlson to debate his track record on child abuse cases in public.

To read Archbishop Carlson’s deposition and that of the former Minnesota priest in question Thomas Adamson go to


  • snapjudy

    Responding to St Louis AD statement of today, about the media news coverage regarding Carlson’s testimony:

    Is Archbishop Carlson trying to convince us that what we hear and what we see in his video testimony is not what we hear or what we see? Also, did he really call the cops, but he lied in his testimony? Is he now trying to lie about what we are very capable deciding for ourselves while watching his testimony?

    What an insult to people’s intelligence. We suggest that everyone watch Carlson’s video testimony and decide for yourselves.
    Judy Jones, SNAP Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

  • bernard law

    The Catholic church will double down on the lies, knowing that the old ladies will listen to any excuse the church gives them, and will not seek the truth, which takes 17 seconds to find:

    In the first 17 seconds of the video at

    QUESTIONER: “Archbishop, You knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid”
    ARCHBISHOP CARLSON: “Um, I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it’s a crime”

    It couldn’t be clearer.

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