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Catholic Church Shielded Priest Who Preyed On Immigrant Children

Vatican City FlagEvidence showing that the Catholic Church protected Monsignor Peter Garcia and several other priests sexually abused children. The evidence is in the form of letters filed in the civil case leveled against Father Nicholas Aguilar Rivera.

During his decades long ministry, Garcia targeted illegal immigrants. In at least one case, he threatened to have one boy deported if he went to the authorities. One monsignor documented the case in a letter sent to one of the archbishops stating “The priest took him to the jail and instructed him to either behave or else he would end up either in jail of back in Mexico. He was supposedly told if you talk, I have lawyer friends and I will surely have you deported.”

Garcia died in 2009 and never faced prosecution. He did, before he died, admit to raping boys since he was ordained in 1966. The letters describe Garcia’s behavior, and document incidents including him tying up a young boy and raping him. In 1986, former Archbishop of Los Angeles Roger Mahoney discussed discussed strategies to protect Garcia from prosecution.

In writing to a New Mexico treatment center for pedophile clergy, Mahoney wrote “I believe that if Monsignor Garcia were to reappear here within the archdiocese we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both criminal and civil sectors.” Garcia returned to Los Angeles in 1987, but left the priesthood two years later after refusing medication to suppress his sexual urges.

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