A civil suit filed in the United States in 2010 by a Mexican citizen alleged Aguilar-Rivera raped him when he was a 12-year-old altar boy in Mexico. The suit alleges Mahony and a Mexican cardinal conspired to hide Aguilar-Rivera between the two countries with full knowledge of his alleged pedophilia, putting an untold number of children at risk. Mahony has denied the allegations.
Aguilar-Rivera was convicted in Mexico in 2003 of a misdemeanor sex abuse charge, but was allowed to walk free while the case was under appeal, according to the Dallas Morning News.
He remains on Mexico's federal prosecutor's Most Want List wanted on charges of rape and indecent assault.
Aguilar-Rivera was finally stripped of his duties in 2009 by the Vatican, which approved his removal from "clerical state, a priest who has been accused of the sexual abuse of minors in Mexico and the United States," the Catholic News Agency reported on July 31, 2009.
Attorney De Marco said it's disgusting church authorities did nothing to stop him.
"He was able to walk around with the authority of the collar in a country where that authority carries more significance than it does here," De Marco said. "How could anyone ever justify that 21-year delay? This man molested 26 children in nine months in the United States. How many more were there over 21 years?"
Aguilar-Rivera, now 71, is believed to be alive, a free man in Mexico.
Mahony prays for humiliation
Mahony, who turns 77 next week, was appointed archbishop of Los Angeles by Pope John Paul II in 1985, overseeing the archdiocese until 2011 when he retired. In 1991, he became a cardinal, the highest-ranking Catholic clergy below the pope.
McKiernan, who launched BishopAccountability.org in 2003 to keep track of the widespread church abuse, said the recently released documents show the scope and magnitude of Mahony's and Curry's efforts in "intentionally evading the authorities."
"We didn't have evidence of that before. It's actually more stark," he said. "You can tell from these documents Mahony was trying to keep abused priests away from police. -... The document record is a disgraceful one."
Curry stepped down earlier this month as the regional bishop of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and "publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as vicar for clergy," archbishop Gomez said in announcing the resignation.
Mahony has said he has long acknowledged mistakes in the 1980s and that he improved the reporting mechanisms of priestly abuse in the years that followed.
He has recently taken to his personal blog, scribing an array of posts about praying for humiliation.
"... I am for the first time realizing that I should be praying for the very things from which I cringe, the disgrace I abhor, the fool that I seem," he blogged on February 15.
In a post this week, he asked followers for "your prayers and your encouragements in my own life to handle all of my mistakes, omissions, and commissions as God asks, and as Jesus and Mary lived out: to take in what swirls around me, to hold it, to carry it, to transform it and to give it back as grace, blessing and gift."
De Marco, the attorney conducting the deposition, said Mahony should feel one emotion far greater than humiliation: shame.
Amid calls for Mahony to not travel to Rome, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles remains steadfast in its support of his trip, saying canon law dictates that he attend.
Catholics United, a liberal-leaning group that pushes for social justice within the church, and SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) said they delivered a petition with close to 10,000 signatures to Saint Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood on Saturday, asking for Mahony not to attend the conclave.
"His participation in the conclave would only bring clouds of shame at a time that should bring springs of hope. Cardinal Mahony, please, stay home," said Chris Pumpelly, Catholics United's communications director.
There is no indication he will.