Rivera Ready to Comply with Courts over Child Abuse Cases
The Herald [Mexico]
December 12, 2006
Cardinal Norberto Rivera told Mexican radio Monday that he was willing to cooperate with the courts in his country and in the United States to clear up some cases of alleged sex abuse of minors in which priests were involved.
"I´m ready to collaborate with any authority because I believe in justice and will always defend children above all others," said Cardinal Rivera, who is also archbishop of Mexico City.
"We all have to cooperate so that justice is done in Mexico, and of course it grieves me deeply if a Mexican priest has molested children in the United States, so I´m ready to cooperate" with the authorities of that country, he said.
The cardinal said that he has not yet been summoned to testify in the Los Angeles court that is trying a case of a supposed international conspiracy to protect priests suspected of sexually abusing children in the United States and Mexico.
The complaint, brought last September by the Mexican Joaquín Aguilar, implicates Rivera and U.S. Cardinal Roger Mahoney, archbishop of Los Angeles.
Joaquín Aguilar, 25, said that when he was an altar boy he was sexually molested by his fellow countryman and fugitive priest Nicolas Aguilar, who had been an assistant of Rivera and traveled to Los Angeles recommended by the current archbishop of Mexico City.
Father Nicolas Aguilar is also accused of sexually abusing U.S. children when he was assigned to parishes in California.
The cardinal said that the pederasty cases that have tarnished the reputations of a number of religious people are an "element of human frailty and of our hedonistic environment and models of sexuality that the media disseminate with a complete deviation from morality."
"I believe that priests are victims of these deviations," said Cardinal Rivera, one of Mexico´s most influential religious leaders.
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