Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 14, 2017 / 13:35 pm
The Archdiocese of Mexico has countered claims made by two former priests that Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera covered up the actions of pedophile priests, calling the allegations an “orchestrated farce.”
The communications office of the Mexico City archdiocese reported that Cardinal Rivera had spoken to a Public Ministry official July 26, in response to the June 2 complaint filed by Alberto Athié and José Barba.
Athié and Barba filed their complaint with the Attorney General of the Republic's Office, accusing Cardinal Rivera of the alleged cover-up of 15 pedophile priests. In the 1990s Athié had brought allegations against Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ. Fr. Maciel was later removed from public ministry after it was verified he had committed sexual abuse and fathered several children.
The Archdiocese of Mexico indicated that Athié and Barba based their charges on a Dec. 19, 2016, news brief published in El Universal “in which a meeting was made known that the cardinal had with journalists where the archbishop mentioned that during his administration as head of the Primatial Archdiocese of Mexico he had sanctioned 15 priests – not all for the crime of pederasty, but with other illicit acts classified in canon law.”
The archdiocese said that “the complaint against the Archbishop of Mexico was in the sense that he did not promptly report these cases to the authorities, for which they cavalierly accused him of covering up sexual abusers.”
It indicated that during his July 26 meeting with the Public Ministry agent, “the cardinal showed copies of the complaints filed by the Archdiocese of Mexico since 2010, as laid down by law, against alleged criminal acts within the Church.”
The archdiocese added that Cardinal Rivera “made it clear that from the time that Part 2 of Article 12 of the Law on Religious Associations went into effect Aug. 19, 2010, – which obliged ministers of worship and their representatives to inform the appropriate authority of the probable commission of crimes – he was aware, through some of his episcopal vicars, of the probable commission of six presumably criminal acts.”
According to the archdiocese, the cardinal instructed his episcopal vicars “immediately to notify the appropriate authorities, which was done, as attested by the copies he exhibited, and which demonstrated that he did not commit the crime of cover-up.”