Mexican Bishop Announces Laicization of Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors

Catholic News Agency
July 31, 2009

Mexico City, Mexico, Jul 31, 2009 / 06:28 pm (CNA).- Bishop Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez of Tehuacan announced this week the Holy See has approved the removal of "Nicolas Aguilar Rivera from the clerical state," a priest who has been accused of the sexual abuse of minors in Mexico and the United States.

Bishop Aguilar explained that the decision by the Pope, which was made public by the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, is final and cannot be appealed. He said all the priests of the Diocese of Tehuacan have been informed of the decision.

While he expressed sadness over the case, Bishop Aguilar also noted that there are "many priests who have given and are giving honest and spiritual testimony to their priestly ministry, and this gives us comfort, peace and joy."

Armando Martinez Gomez, president of the College of Catholic Lawyers, said in an interview that Cardinal Norberto Rivera is innocent of charges that he covered up the priest's abuse. "He has zero tolerance for these types of situations. His conscience is clear and he has said that if Aguilar Rivera has any debt to justice then he should turn himself in."


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