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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
to Cardinal Mahony
July 6, 2004
We are writing to you on behalf of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). SNAP is the nation's largest, oldest and most active support group for women and men wounded by religious authority figures (priests, ministers, bishops, deacons, nuns and others). We wish to bring to your attention a matter of serious concern and ask for your help.
The Dallas Morning News recently conducted a year-long investigation which found 200 cases of known and suspected abusive priests were sent to foreign countries. Half of those molesters were running from the law. One of those priests, Father Nicolas Aguilar of Mexico, was transferred to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1987.
We need your help in notifying your flock that some of their children may have been exposed to a dangerous predator. We also need your help in urging anyone who experienced, suspected or witnessed abuse to contact law enforcement.
As you are aware, child molesters rarely stop abusing children. The odds are incredibly high that Father Aguilar sexually abused Los Angeles area youngsters. This means there are hurting and troubled survivors of Father Aguilar who need support and counseling.
We ask you to do everything in your power urge survivors to come forward, seek help and contact the police - appeals from the pulpit, personal visits to parishes where he spent time, announcements in parish bulletins and your diocesan newspaper. We believe it is imperative that you also notify the media of Father Aguilar's presence in Los Angeles in order to reach as many survivors as possible.
We at SNAP are more than willing to offer assistance in this outreach
campaign. We believe it can perhaps spare other innocent and vulnerable
children the horrific trauma that thousands of us experienced as
youngsters. (We are happy to report that another of the abusive
fugitive priests profiled in The Dallas Morning News, Salesian Fr.
Frank Kelp, has already, thanks to considerable publicity and public
pressure, been apprehended by
Cardinal Mahony, now is the time to do the right thing. Los Angeles Catholics deserves complete disclosure and information related to Father Aguilar's activities in your archdiocese. Survivors need to know they are not alone. We urge you to do your civic and moral duty, and be diligent and aggressive spreading the word about Aguilar and his crimes.
We look forward to your prompt response.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests