Robert Carlson named Archbishop of St. Louis

St. Louis – St. Louis' next Roman Catholic leader said it's imperative for the Church to be a moral voice in the community.

Archbishop-elect Robert Carlson was introduced at a news conference Tuesday, several hours after the Vatican announced his appointment.

His predecessor, Archbishop Raymond Burke, took heavy criticism for publicly admonishing Catholic politicians who disagree with the Church's views on abortion. In 2004, Burke said he would deny communion to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Carlson said he will not back away from controversy, but he will handle such situations privately.

"I'm sure that there'll be days when I'm in a controversy with somebody over something, because I think I have to be a moral voice in the community," Carlson said. "But part of being a moral voice is also giving people the tools so that they can make the decision themselves."

Carlson comes to St. Louis from Saginaw, Mich., and was also bishop of Sioux Falls, S.D.

The Archdiocese said a date for his installation Mass could be announced next week.