Cardinal Mahony admits mistakes in handling case of abusive visiting priest
February 24, 2014
Cardinal Roger Mahony, who served as archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, has admitted mishandling the case of Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera.
In a deposition that was recently unsealed, the prelate admitting directing his vicar of clergy not to give police a list of altar boys who worked with priest following abuse accusations.
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.
“It was in early 1988-- some 26 years ago-- that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles became aware of the terrible sexual abuse which the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera had been inflicting upon young people in Los Angeles,” Cardinal Mahony wrote on his blog following the release of the deposition. “This case highlighted errors made by us in the Archdiocese in those early years, and for those errors I apologize once again. But this case also led to several major changes in procedures used by the Archdiocese, and these were improved upon over the years.”
Cardinal Mahony then discussed the seven “more serious errors which several of us in the Archdiocese made, along with the steps taken to eliminate them in the future.”