dead-letter office

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 22, 2007

Let's see, now.

When Father Nicolas Aguilar was accused of molesting about a dozen boys, the Los Angeles archdiocese refused to hand over a list of potential victims because
the confessional seal must never be violated
the chancery wanted to protect the anonymity of the victims
the dog ate the homework
the archdiocese feared that detectives were really interviewing Hispanic altar boys as part of a crackdown on illegal immigrants.
Yeah, that's it. The immigration-crackdown line.

But now Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City says that he had warned Cardinal Mahony about Father Aguilar's tendencies, before the Mexican priest arrived in LA. So why didn't Cardinal Mahony take steps to protect the children?

Tod Tamberg, spokesman for Mahony, said the cardinal never received a letter from Rivera.

"We've said this many times before, and Cardinal Rivera may very well have sent a letter, but nobody received it," Tamberg said.

How terribly unfortunate. But what can you say? We've all had problems with undelivered mail, haven't we?

But wait: Ordinarily a priest can't just show up in a different country and take an assignment, without some clearance from the local bishop. Why was Father Aguilar given an assignment in LA?

A few years ago, the Dallas Morning News asked precisely that question:

Cardinal Mahony declined to be interviewed. Spokesman Tod Tamberg did not respond to most questions from The News, although he did say that Father Aguilar was accepted in Los Angeles after Cardinal Rivera wrote that his cleric wanted to move there "for reasons of his family and health."

Ah. So Aguilar was accepted into the LA archdiocese on the basis of a letter that Cardinal Mahony didn't receive. All perfectly clear now? Any lingering questions?

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  • Posted by: Bigs2480 - May. 26, 2010 10:13 AM ET USA

    I am 30 years old and am discerning to join the KoC. This decision is giving me serious pause. I know the KoC would like to get younger men to join, but this type of thing will be a serious deterrent. For young Catholic men we tend to be either seriously orthodox or not interested in the Catholic Church at all. Men are looking for bravery, sacrifice, and a challenge. We are not interested in "pastoral" approaches that, despite good intentions, simply confuse or deceive the faithful.

  • Posted by: ltluca7192 - May. 25, 2010 9:18 PM ET USA

    Pertaning to this matter of the K of C not suspending membership to 'high profile' members (politicians) I recently sent a letter addressed to the Supreme Knight Carl Anderson about this situation. I am not of the stripe of those who will automatically cancel their membership or refuse to put any money in the basket when I see discrepancies in the Catholic Church; but I did tell that I was confused. A membership can be cancelled when dues are not paid and when catholic doctrine is not followed.