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Deposition: Cardinal Mahony admits directing vicar not to release information to police

February 20, 2014

Cardinal Roger Mahony said in a deposition that he directed his vicar of clergy not to give police a list of altar boys who worked with a priest suspected of abuse, the Associated Press reported.

The deposition, taken in 2013, was unsealed on February 19.

Cardinal Mahony, who served as archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, was being asked about the case of Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera. The visiting priest returned to Mexico in 1988 after Father Thomas Curry, then vicar for clergy and now an auxiliary bishop, informed him of impending charges. The priest remains at large.

The archdiocese recently settled with 11 men who say they were abused by the priest.

Cardinal Mahony said in the deposition that he was motivated by concern for the altar boys.

It “could be very traumatic to those servers to all of a sudden be sitting in front of a policeman being interrogated,” he said. “And we had no suspicion at that time of any other victims and nobody among the altar servers.”

Because of the statute of limitations, it is unlikely that Cardinal Mahony will face obstruction of justice charges, according to a law professor quoted by the Associated Press.


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  • Posted by: Defender - Feb. 21, 2014 1:53 AM ET USA

    This should be a major item for the pope to address: how bishops are chosen and allowed to remain. The cardinal's pomposity and arrogance was well known, but to arbitrarily presume to know best is remarkable. Wonder what else he is responsible for?

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Feb. 20, 2014 2:50 PM ET USA

    In reality, Mahoney's actions are no less deplorable than that of many, many American bishops at the time. They can all say a prayer of thanks for the statute of limitations. Were it not for that, the USCCB could meet in Danbury, Allentown, or perhaps Leavenworth.