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Suit claims Cardinal Mahony, Mexican cardinal conspired to hide priest’s abuse

April 21, 2010

A man who alleges he was abused in 1997 has filed suit against Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles and Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico, claiming that the prelates conspired to hide abuse by Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera.

The lawsuit alleges that Cardinal Rivera, then bishop of Tehuacán, asked Cardinal Mahony in to accept Father Aguilar into his archdiocese. Cardinal Rivera allegedly referred to Aguilar’s “homosexual problems” in a letter to Cardinal Mahony.

In 1987, Father Aguilar began to minister in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Within a year, police suspected of 26 incidents of abuse. According to the lawsuit, Aguilar fled to Mexico the night Cardinal Mahony was told of the allegations.

Father Aguilar subsequently began to minister in Mexico again, where he is suspected of abusing 60 boys. He was laicized in 2009.

“None of the documents concerning Nicolas Aguilar Rivera are new,” said a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “The media have reported on them extensively in the past decade. They show that Cardinal Mahony urged Aguilar Rivera's return to the U.S. to face justice.”


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