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Friday, September 21, 2007

The Catholic Church Attacks Sexual Abuse Victim

The Catholic Church attacked a sexual abuse victim. What the hell else is new?

MEXICO: Church Lashes Out at Sex Abuse Victim

MEXICO CITY, Sep 19 (IPS) - Catholic Church leaders in Mexico accused a victim of sexual abuse, who brought charges in a U.S. court against Mexican Cardinal Norberto Rivera for protecting an alleged pedophile priest, of seeking economic gain.

An article published in the Mexico City Archdiocese’s weekly publication Desde La Fe on Tuesday says that "a majority of the civil lawsuits brought in the United States are aimed at obtaining large sums of money, and 95 percent of these suits are won by the plaintiffs. It's a sure thing."

The article, which at no point laments the victim’s suffering or offers solidarity, states that "the real reason that Joaquín Aguilar filed the lawsuit was because of the juicy opportunity represented by bringing a civil suit in the United States."

"We are talking about millions of dollars! Money that he could never hope to obtain in Mexico," says the article.

Aguilar, who says he was sexually abused in the 1980s by a Roman Catholic priest in Mexico who is also accused of molesting some 50 other boys, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles, California last year accusing Rivera and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony of conspiring to cover up the actions of Father Nicolás Aguilar (no relation).

Nicolás Aguilar served as a parish priest in the central Mexican city of Puebla in the 1980s, under then bishop Rivera, who transferred him to Los Angeles, where he served under Mahony for less than a year before fleeing to Mexico in 1988. He faces 19 counts of child molestation in southern California, as well as charges in Mexico, where he remains a fugitive from justice.

In early August, Rivera was questioned for nine hours in Mexico City by representatives of the U.S. court hearing the case and Joaquín Aguilar’s lawyers.

Mahony, the head of the Catholic Church’s largest archdiocese in the United States, was questioned last Thursday.

According to Desde La Fe, the lawyers of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which is backing Joaquín Aguilar, are motivated by profit, since they could expect to earn "the high sum of 40 percent of any damages" rewarded.

The article argues that civil trials in the United States are less rigorous than criminal trials in terms of standard of proof, and that compensation payments are based more on the feelings of the jury than on an objective decision.

Cardinal Rivera is completely innocent, says Desde La Fe, after reiterating that Joaquín Aguilar and his attorneys are only after money.

But anthropologist of religion Gilberto Morrillón told IPS that the Catholic Church in Mexico "is being arrogant by reducing a lawsuit for a cover-up of child sex abuse to a matter of mere money."

"It would seem that (the Church leaders) do not care about Aguilar’s suffering or about the guilt of their priest," he said.

"Pedophilia is a very serious problem that has been acknowledged by the Church, which is why it finally had to give in and pay out millions of dollars in damages," he said.

Rivera claims that in 1987 he sent a letter to Mahony warning him that Father Aguilar might have "homosexual problems," although he said he did so in code, using euphemisms.

However, Mahony says he never received such a letter from Rivera, and that he employed the priest without being aware of the allegations he was facing in Mexico, and fired him when he was accused of sexually abusing young members of his congregation in Los Angeles.

In July, the archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay the landmark sum of 660 million dollars in damages to 500 victims of molestation by priests.

A total of 10,667 people alleged abuse by 4,392 priests in the United States between 1950 and 2002, and compensation-related costs for the Catholic Church amounted to 573 million dollars, according to a 2004 study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, "The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States".

The church sex abuse scandal erupted in the United States in 2002, with former victims speaking out and filing around 1,200 lawsuits since then.

Evidence, testimony and confessions from bishops in the United States as well as Mexico have shown that Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing minors have frequently been transferred from parish to parish, sent to rehabilitation centres, or simply removed from the scene by their superiors to protect the Church from scandal and avoid court action.

In Mexico, the country that has the second largest number of Catholics in the world after Brazil, no one knows for certain how many priests have been accused of child abuse, but the Church claims there have only been a few isolated cases.

These sick bastards are beyond disgusting!!

First of all, no amount of money in the world will ever give these victims the things that they desire most in life. For some, they want their childhood back!! They want the childhood that was stolen from them by filthy, disgusting pedophile priests and nuns who didn't give a rat's ass about their victims. For some, they want a normal life. They want the normal life that they've never been able to have since the moment they were abused. For others, they want a combination of both!! They want their childhood back and they want a normal life. Sadly, none of them will have either!!

Second of all, how fucking dare they suggest that this is about MONEY!! This is about JUSTICE. This is about bringing the criminal to justice, and all of those people who let the abuse happen. This is about making sure that it's never allowed to happen to another person ever again!!

This man should have never been abused. At least fifty other victims of this sick pig should have never been abused. But the fact of the matter is that they were, and the Catholic Church should be held accountable for their role in all of this!! If that means a civil lawsuit, so be it!!

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