|"OK so they have a little problem -they are men of god"|
In 1986, Cardinal Mahony wrote to a New Mexico treatment center where one abusive priest, Msgr. Peter Garcia, had been sent.
Peter Garcia told therapists that he had molested boys “on and off” since his ordination in 1966. He sexually abused up to 20 boys, including one he allegedly tied up and raped, according to church records. Many of his victims were undocumented immigrants from Mexico, and Garcia assured church officials they would not go to the authorities. Garcia left the priesthood in 1989. He died in 2009 without being prosecuted.
“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 the criminal and civil sectors,” Cardinal Mahony wrote.
Monsignor Garcia admitted to abusing more than a dozen young boys, most of them from families of illegal immigrants, since he was ordained in 1966, and in at least one case he threatened to have a boy he had molested deported if he talked about it, according to documents filed in court.
He was never criminally prosecuted, and has since died.
In a 1987 letter regarding the Rev. Michael Baker, who had also been sent for treatment in New Mexico after admitting that he had abused young boys, Msgr. Thomas J. Curry wrote to Cardinal Mahony that “he is very aware that what he did comes within the scope of the criminal law in California.”
“ It would be decades before Father Baker was convicted of sexually abusing children.