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Deposed Archbishop Says He Can’t Recall Abuse Case

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WCCO) — Another videotaped deposition was released Monday from a leader in the Catholic Church.

This time it’s from Robert Carlson, the archbishop of St. Louis, who was also a prominent bishop in the Twin Cities archdiocese in the ‘80s and early ‘90s.  The deposition was videotaped last month, and it’s part of a lawsuit accusing priests of sexual abuse in Minnesota.

Attorney Jeff Anderson says Carlson handled a case of alleged clergy abuse, which is now in the courts.

He says Carlson’s answers about the case, or lack of them, speak volumes.

Anderson says he has deposed Carlson 15 different times over the years. But the answers remain the same.

“He said 193 times…’I do not remember,’” Anderson said.

Carlson is currently the archbishop of St. Louis, but he was an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis until 1994.

Anderson says Carlson handled the clergy abuse case that is at the center of the John Doe lawsuit, and once advised a Winona bishop that the best thing to say in his own deposition was “I don’t remember.”

Anderson previously released the depositions of Archbishop John Nienstedt, former Vicar General Kevin McDonough, and retired Archbishop Harry Flynn. He says Carlson’s testimony helps connect the dots.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis pointed out that Carlson is not a party to the lawsuit itself and says his moral stance on the sin of pedophilia is that it is a “most egregious offense.”

The civil case that all of these depositions are a part of is expected to go to trial this fall.

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